Hollywood didn’t pay much attention to Patricia Highsmith, aside from Alfred Hitchcock, who discovered her for cinema. The North American author was much better received in Europe, so his early adaptations proliferated in France and did not become a prophet in his country until the version of British Anthony MInghella years after his death.
Aliens on a train
Alfred Hitchcock (1951)
Just a year after the release of the first HIghsmith novel, which was a huge popular success, Alfred Hitchcock brought this story to the movies about two strangers planning to share their crimes. The director and screenwriter, none other than Raymond Chandler, transforms the original architect into a tennis star. It may seem like an analogy about good and evil, but you should be mindful of the interests of the climbing hero who wants his ordinary wife to disappear to marry someone more promising.
René Clement (1960)
This first version of ‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ signed by René Clément had an exemplary ending, far from Highsmith’s vice, but with great visual impact. It relies on Alain Delon’s magnetism in the role of Ripley, which at the time caused a critic to joke that it seemed unthinkable for the overly beautiful actor to consider being someone else.
Wim Wenders (1977)
There is not the slightest mention of Delon in Highsmith’s diaries, but he stops by describing his meeting with writer Wim Wenders and his now Nobel Prize-winning screenwriter, Peter Handke. A fine example of the new German cinema, the forthcoming film transforms Ripley into Dennis Hopper and places all attention on his victim (Bruno Ganz), a terminally ill framemaker whom he convinces to become a murderer and secure the future. your family.
Claude Chabrol (1987)
A newly separated and deeply depressed man takes refuge in a country house, where he finds a way to calm his worries by contemplating the quiet life of several neighbors, and especially his own. It may not be one of the perfect Chabrol’s best works, but the great practitioner of suspense knows how to connect with the author’s unhealthy universe.
Mr Ripley’s talent
Anthony Minghella (1999)
The director of ‘The English Patient’ has hit the mark with this brilliant adaptation, full of nuances and beauties (oh, the Amalfi coast) enough to make one forget the movie starring Delon. While Matt Damon didn’t seem like the best choice for the title character at first, the actor knew how to bring innocence to his character. This is not worthless in the case of a murderer.
Liliana Cavani (2002)
Ripley here has the look of John Malkovich, and that’s the most interesting thing to say about this adaptation, which follows the author’s novel more closely than Wenders’ far superior version, ‘The American Friend’. Attracted by the once scandalous Liliana Cavani with credibility and extreme demeanor.
Tod Haynes (2015)
The novel, which Highsmith did not dare to sign under her own name, was finally published in 1990 with her own novel under the title ‘Carol’. Haynes produced a masterpiece. A graceful and profound drama, backed by performances by leading couple Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara, separated by social classes and moral traditions of the time, but combined with a moving passion that transcends the veil.
Adrian Lyne (2022)
The final cinematographic edition to the author’s world featured a French version directed by Michel Deville with Isabelle Huppert and Jean-Louis Trintignant. No less valuable is the last eight-year-old Adrian Lyne, an expert in forgettable and embarrassing erotic ‘thriller’. The so-called chemistry that needs to be revealed from Ben Affleck and Ana de Armas – they were then – is notable for its absence.