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The Talented Mr Ripley

The Talented Mr RipleyA clever and manipulative Manhattan
  hotel worker experiences the other
of life when he’s paid to go to Italy
  and persuade a wealthy man
s son to
  return to America — but it is a trip that is
  to lead to a horrifying series of events
  in the psychological thriller The Talented
  Mr Ripley

IN LATE FIFTIES NEW YORK, Tom Ripley (the terrific Matt Damon) is working as a rest-room attendant in an up-market Manhattan hotel when is given an opportunity to play the piano at a Princeton alumni party where he is approached by the wealthy Herbert Greenleaf (James Rebhorn) and his wife Emily in the mistaken belief that he was at Princeton with their son.

Greenleaf pays Ripley $1,000 dollars (a princely sum in the 1950s!) to go to Italy, just South of Naples, to persuade their rich, spoiled playboy son Dickie (Jude Law) to return to America, travelling first class and using the Greenleaf name to open doors.

On arrival in Italy, he briefly meets the lovely textile heiress Meredith Logue (Cate Blanchett) and cheekily introduces himself as Dickie Greenleaf — a deception he is also to use to his advantage much later.

Ripley teaches himself Italian and tracks down Dickie and his fiancée Marge Sherwood (Gwyneth Paltrow), convincing them he was at Princeton with Dickie. He tells them he is a piano player with a shared love of Jazz (also Dickie's favourite) and a fiancée named Frances; moves in with them, and quickly becomes firm friends with them both. When Ripley — who has a gift for mimicking voices — tells Dickie what he is really doing in Italy, Dickie says wild horses wouldn't drag him back to America.

Becoming more involved with Dickie and Marge's lives, Ripley realises that Dickie has been unfaithful to Marge. They are joined by Dickie's brash friend Freddie Miles (Philip Seymour Hoffman), whose constant jibes are a source of irritation to Ripley, whose growing sexual obsession with Dickie is becoming apparent as Dickie begins to tire of his company.

Dickie is overcome with remorse when a young Italian woman, Silvana (Stafania Rocca), whom he has been seeing, becomes pregnant and drowns herself after Dickie refuses to help her.

Tension mounts as Ripley makes homosexual advances to Dickie, who rebuffs and ridicules him, and they begin to fight while out sailing together. Ripley accidentally kills Dickie in anger and goes to extreme lengths to make it appear that his friend is still alive but has abandoned Marge.

Enjoying his wealthy lifestyle, Ripley assumes Dickie's identity — but his deception leads him once again to the attention of Freddie and a switch of location from Rome to Venice. As he rouses the suspicions of those around him, Ripley finds himself pushed into a corner, but there is a further twist as he tries to avoid discovery.

Ripley's life has spiralled out of control, but will he be forced to commit more murders in order to keep one step ahead of the law? The Talented Mr Ripley is a memorable film driven by a terrific cast against a backdrop of beautiful, historic Italy.

Written for the screen and Directed by Anthony Minghella, The Talented Mr Ripley is an adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's novel of the same name, published in 1955, and was previously filmed as Plein Soleil in 1960.

The Talented Mr Ripley also features: Jack Davenport as Peter Smith-Kingsley; Sergio Rubini as Inspector Roverini; Philip Baker Hall as Alvin MacCarron; Celia Weston as Aunt Joan; Lisa Eichhorn as Emily Greenleaf; and Gretchen Egolf as Fran.

Director of Photography is John Seale ACS, ASC; Exec Producer is Sydney Pollack; Produced by William Horberg and Tom Sternberg; and Screenplay by Anthony Minghella, who also directed the film.

The American psychological thriller The Talented Mr Ripley is released on Blu-ray on 19 September 2011. Certificate: 15 | Running Time 138 Minutes | Catalogue No: MIROPTD2280 | RRP: £24.99.

Extras: Audio commentary with Director Anthony Minghella | Teaser Trailer | Full length Trailer | Cast and Crew interviews | Inside The Talented Mr Ripley | Making of the Soundtrack.

"The Talented Mr Ripley is a memorable film driven by a terrific cast against a backdrop of beautiful, historic Italy"
Maggie Woods, MotorBar