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Ripley's Game [DVD] [2003]

4.3 out of 5 stars 60 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: John Malkovich, Dougray Scott, Lena Headey, Ray Winstone, Uwe Mansshardt
  • Directors: Liliana Cavani
  • Writers: Liliana Cavani, Charles McKeown, Patricia Highsmith
  • Producers: Cam Galano, Ileen Maisel, Marco Chimenz, Mark Ordesky
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, German, Italian
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Eiv
  • DVD Release Date: 16 Feb. 2004
  • Run Time: 110 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (60 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009P9XX
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,365 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Three years after walking off with millions of dollars’ worth of forged Renaissance drawings, Tom Ripley (John Malkovich) has settled into a life of culture and opulence in Italy. One night however, Ripley finds his complacency disturbed when he overhears himself insulted by Jonathan Trevanny (Dougray Scott), a terminally ill ex-pat. While any ordinary sociopath might settle for a mild act of retribution, the game Ripley devises is far subtler – and infinitely more sinister.

An unwelcome visit from a former criminal protégé offers Ripley his chance for revenge. Reeves (Ray Winstone) has eveolved from a small-time thug into a powerful underworld figure and has now come back to ask his one-time mentor for help. The Russian mafia is moving in on his turf in Berlin and Reeves needs someone completely unconnected with criminal circles to assassinate a brutal Moscow gang boss. Ripley declines to take on the job himself but suggests an ideal candidate: a dying man with little to lose and an urgent need to secure the financial security of his wife, Sarah (Lena Headley) and young son …

From Amazon.co.uk

Ripley's Game is a well-appointed star vehicle in which the slippery protagonist of The Talented Mr Ripley returns in another deadly guise. The star this time is John Malkovich, whose older Tom Ripley has settled into an Italian villa and a life of aesthetic contemplation (a little like Hannibal Lecter in Hannibal). A former partner (Ray Winstone) drags an innocent frame-maker (Dougray Scott), dying of leukaemia, into the role of unexpected hit man. Ripley, for his own enigmatic reasons, helps. Liliana Cavani, of The Night Porter notoriety, directed this handsome if nebulous film (which has no connection to the Matt Damon picture, other than a Patricia Highsmith source novel). Malkovich exudes his usual oily disenchantment with the world; Lena Headey, like the location footage, is gorgeous. The same novel was adapted in very different style by Wim Wenders for his brilliant 1977 film, The American Friend, with Dennis Hopper and Bruno Ganz. --Robert Horton

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Although I have read the book on which this film is based, I had heard that this film would have to be good to live up to highly acclaimed Ripley series.
I have been a fan of John Malkovich for a long time, having always admired his enchantingly smooth exterior and unforgettable face. All his attributes contribute flawlessly to give Tom Ripley a haunting and mysterious yet oddly likeable character.
The actual quality of filming is very high indeed, from the beautiful panaormic scenes of Ripley's home and grounds to the dark sinister and claustrophobic atmosphere of the express train.
To my mind this film is a hark back to the days of suspense and sinister film-making (think Hitchcock) which is certainly welcome in my view.
Definately a film to buy and treasure
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Ripley's Game is a very different interpretation of Patricia Highsmith's novel to Wim Wenders' The American Friend, but that's not a bad thing: both films can stand on their own merits, existing in very different worlds. Where Wenders' film was more of an underground rock club cover version of the novel, this tends to play up the arid elegance and dry wit, but with superb setpiece sequences like the killing on the train that mixes black comedy, horror and human nature remarkably adroitly, that's an asset rather than a problem. Dougray Scott is as problematic as ever as the art restorer whose casual derogatory remark puts him on Ripley's radar as the perfect fall guy, throwing all the focus onto John Malkovich (who took over direction uncredited when Cavani left before it was finished over a curious 'scheduling conflict'), but he holds the spotlight well in a performance that's so pitch perfect it lifts the film to another level.

Where Dennis Hopper's Ripley had told so many lies he had to constantly remind himself who he used to be, Malkovich's mature Ripley knows exactly who and what he is and, having come to terms with how morally and emotionally hollow he is, has come as close to what passes for contentment for him as he's likely to. You don't have the journey of self-discovery or the layers you get in Anthony Minghella's adaptation of The Talented Mr Ripley, but you do get one of the more convincing movie sociopaths - and one who feels like he's one of those higher beings you occasionally meet in all walks of life, only with better taste. When he talks about taking a human life having no more consequence than one less car on a busy road, it cuts to the sociopathic essence of Ripley.
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By J. Neal VINE VOICE on 10 Jan. 2004
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Patricia Highsmith's tour de force of eccentric crime fiction; known to initiates as The Ripliad, makes fertile ground for film-makers, [like The American Friend] with varying results. Having read the entire series of books many years ago, I always felt that casting Matt Damon in the lead role for the first - The Talented Mr Ripley - was a dreadful mistake, being far too unsure and not nearly urbane enough. This latter deficiency doesn't even register with John Malkovich's portrayal of Tom Ripley, which hardly comes as a surpise, considering his darkly presence-filled personality, which is the core feature of Ripley's Game. If anything, Malkovich pushes the scale too far in the opposite direction, the strongest impression that the literary Ripley gives, is one of almost bland ordinariness, a characteristic not found in the film at almost any level. Malkovich's interpretation also suffers somewhat from being possibly too organised, rather than fortuitously bungling, but all these criticisms stem simply from a readers impression [I always imagined Ripley to be like Michael Palin]. This aside, the film itself, is excellent, with some memorable and startling photography, that indefinable Euromovie soul, and plently of louring, misty landscapes, which all add to the slightly oppressive aura of the film itself. Fortunately, the director has steered clear of the horribly inappropriate homo-erotic undertones of the first movie [what was that all about anyway?] and made an honest, classy, if not utterly faithful version of the second Ripley novel. All in all, despite its differences from the written original, this film is a treat and well worth adding to your collection.
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Format: DVD
For some reason I've never been able to stand John Malkovich. He always imbues his characters with a stuffy, self-importance, and a kind of self-aggrandizement complete with an overblown plumy accent. So I approached Ripley's Game with hesitation; I just wasn't sure if I could even watch it. Well, the good news is that this film version - while admittedly looking more like a made for television movie - is far better than the previous Ripley outing, the tepid Talented Mr. Ripley that starred a "not quite right" Matt Damon.
For some reason, Ripley's Game never got the theatrical release in the US it deserved, although it did do good business in Europe. Admittingly, the film lacks the star wattage of its predecessor, but it certainly makes up for this by finally giving us a "real" Ripley, a Ripley that we can care about, and also an actor who seems to fit the part. Malkovich plays him as a snaky, smooth, elegant and charming middle-aged man, a Machiavellian character who is always in the background deviously pulling the strings.
You can rest assured that this Ripley can kill a man without a moment's hesitation and then stop to admire an expensive statue before making his getaway or even send his girlfriend a beautiful bouquet of red roses. It's not just that this Ripley is a talented murderer - he can also deftly manipulate the innocent and cleverly handle public insults at a party - walking away, of course, with the upper hand.
Having made a fortune ripping off fine art, Ripley is now living the high-life in a stylish Italian manor with a beautiful young pianist for a wife (Chiara Caselli).
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