Purple Noon

MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +3

Content: -1/2

Martin Scorsese sponsored the re-release of this 1960 French murder mystery, which is in French with English subtitles. Tom Ripley (Alain Delon), a handsome, selfish young man, has been commissioned by a wealthy American to go to Italy and bring back the man's son, Philippe (Maurice Ronet). But Philippe doesn't want to give up his hedonistic lifestyle. Tom is upset, because if he doesn't deliver Philippe, he doesn't get paid. Because Tom is attracted to Philippe's girl, Marge (Marie LaForet) and grows to love the high life that he can't afford, tension develops. He ultimately murders Philippe, disposes of the body and assumes the dead man's identity. The gorgeous Mediterranean scenery and an interesting glimpse of Europe in the 1960s are highly entertaining. Viewers' palms will sweat during the murders and later as the police come to investigate. Tom appears to be getting away with these crimes until the very end. Throughout this excellent murder mystery you wonder if, and how, the killer can be caught, because it seems that he's committed the "perfect crime."

These rich people are living life without any restraints. They spend much of their time drinking and gambling. The men meet a woman on the streets of Rome, go drinking with her and soon are fondling her breasts and kissing her during a carriage ride. Their selfishness ends up hurting themselves and others. During a boat trip Philippe wants to be alone to make love with Marge, and Tom is set adrift in a dingy where he is badly sunburned. The couple goes below deck and Marge emerges wrapped only in a towel. Tom and Marge kiss and hold hands in a hotel room fully clothed and it's implied that they have sex. This lifestyle is contrasted with the discipline of ballet dancers, who play an important role in the film. Tom murders Philippe by stabbing him, although the actual death is not shown. When a friend of Philippe's shows up unexpectedly, Tom kills him by smashing his head with a vase. Both murders are crimes of passion, first because of Tom's jealousy and the second out of fear of being discovered. Even though the film deals with a sordid subject, the filmmaker treats it with discretion. There is no nudity, no swearing and no blood. The sexual habits and self-indulgent lifestyles of the main characters, though not glorified, are graphically portrayed, which prevents a positive endorsement.

Preview Reviewer: Theresa Zumwalt
Miramax Zoe, 375 Greenwich, New York, NY 10013

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: None

Obscene Language: None

Profanity: None

Violence: Few (2) times -- Moderate (man stabbed and thrown in ocean, man killed with blow to head)

Sex: Implied twice

Nudity: None; Near nudity (woman shown wrapped in towel)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Men fondle woman's breasts and kiss her

Drugs: Alcohol drinking


Running Time: Unknown
Intended Audience: Adults

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