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Plein Soleil Special Edition *Digitally Restored [DVD]
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Pre-New Wave French film noir thriller directed by René Clément, based on the novel 'The Talented Mr Ripley' by Patricia Highsmith and shot on the warm and glowing Mediterranean coast. Alain Delon stars in his debut leading role as Tom Ripley, a young American who is paid by the wealthy Greenleaf family to travel to Europe to persuade his friend, errant playboy Philip Greenleaf (Maurice Ronet), to return to the family home in San Francisco. When he gets there, Tom discovers that Philip has it all - including a beautiful fiancée, Marge (Marie Laforet) - and begins to covet his luxurious lifestyle. Philip, initially amused by Tom's arrival, soon tires of him, and as Tom begins to find himself excluded from Philip's coterie, his envy takes a murderous turn. Highsmith's novel was later adapted by Hollywood as 'The Talented Mr Ripley' (1999) starring Matt Damon, Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow.
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Top Customer Reviews
The first image is a still from the first French DVD Edition of the film that I bought in the year 2000. Notice the vibrant blues, the darker browns of the suitcase.
The second image is a still from the DVD purchased here: notice how washed out the image looks, the wall in the background is not blue, but an insipid brown...it's as if the whole thing was filmed with a sepia filter over it.
I chose these stills deliberately because in the Special Features on the DVD, they show you a comparison of before the cleaned it up, and after they cleaned it up: this was one of the scenes they use to illustrate the enhancements. Enhancements that are visible in that Special Feature only, because the film itself does not look like the alleged restored version. Ironically, the version on my French DVD from the year 2000 looks what the restored version should have been.
StudioCanal should hang their heads in shame at this. Either something went wrong and the unrestored version of the film was used for the main feature, or they're cynically advertising it as restored when in fact it's not.
The film would get five stars. This edition does not.
Washed out colours, no BD detailled image whatsoever.
Terrible. The DVD looks better in comparison!
The movie itself is 5 stars, the BD one star.
Although some of it is set in Rome, the main part of the story is set against a beautiful Italian coastal backdrop, which gives the most memorable scenes and the cinematography is highlighted there, with the sharp focus of the Italian sun.
This is a 1960 film and so it's never going to look like a modern film with digital editing, but for me the transfer was pretty good and I was very pleased to be able to see this psychological thriller on Blu Ray.
It is slower perhaps, than modern audiences are used to - but this seems entirely appropriate to the tense atmosphere of some scenes and it does allow you to truly appreciate the full beauty of some of the shots. This is a classic of French cinema and while some might still prefer the later Minghella film - this is so different, it is intriguing to watch and compare.
Alain Delon comes into his own as an intense presence and a convincing psycopath, while being very watchable. I think this is a must-see for French film enthusiasts and the Blu Ray allows dubbed or subtitled versions. It also has 3 bonus features on the director René Clément, Delon and the restoration.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The film has been beautifully restored, you would never think it 55 years old. I am a great fan of Patricia Highsmith's Ripley books, and "Plein Soleil" is a fine version of "The... Read morePublished 13 months ago by ShirleyJay
Excellent film possibly even better than the American version of Ripley. Well worth a look.Published 18 months ago by Purple buyer
Terrific as another version of The Talented Mr Ripley. rather rewarding to read the Patricia Highsmith novel, see the Mighella film, then see this.Published 19 months ago by Amy Boone
Although the French conversation is very rapid at times, and with a fair amount of slang, it is still quite easy to follow. The ending is a Gothic surprise. Well done !Published 21 months ago by Mr. Louis Des Preaux
We found this film gripping to watch in this newly restored 4K scan, Blu-ray version. The sequences on the yacht were simply stunning, and Rene Clement's magnificent casting &... Read morePublished on 19 May 2014 by mysterioustraveller
Brilliant film which highlighted the different interpretations of the same theme. Sub-titles worked well but the additional material was a little egotisticalPublished on 18 Mar. 2014 by FitzJo