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Test Screening of Patricia Highsmith's Ripley film, WHITE ON WHITE!

Hey folks, Harry here... Here's yet another of the Patricia Highsmith adapted Ripley stories turned feature films... this time with Barry Pepper as the mysterious Tom Ripley and being directed by Roger Spottiswoode. The film doesn't yet have a release date in 2004, but it has a helluva cast... Pepper is joined by Tom Wilkinson, Willem Dafoe, Alan Cumming, Ian Hart, Claire Forlani and Jacinda Barrett. So without further ado, I turn it to you...

Harry, This is not a review, but a note.

Last night I caught wind of a test screening for the latest movie with Patricia Highsmith's Tom Ripley character. First there was "?Purple Noon" which was re-made into "The Talented Mr. Ripley", then "The American Friend"which was remade into "Ripley's Game" and now "Ripley Underground"aka "White on White"

The test screening was at San Francisco State University so it was a tough crowd of film students, and still the response was very positive. Some good comments did come up in the post-showing Q&A session with the producer (Stephen Ujlaki) & one of the screenwriters (don't know her name) afterward.

At the beginning the audience was warned that it was the second run through of the Director's cut, so it was going to be a bit awkward. It was a good rough directors cut. Though the story is having some identity issues as to whether or not it's a Psychological Thriller or Drama or a Dark Comedy. Personally I hope they balance it more towards the comedy because it had a lot of really good laughs, though I'm not sure all were intentional. They also put a sweet romance into the mix which doesn't fit the thriller category either.

What really makes the movie though is the acting. The lead of Tom Ripley is played by Barry Pepper, who did a good job, but paled in comparison to the supporting characters. Alan Cummings and Claire Forlani are just incredible in this movie and steal the screen every time they occupy it. Not even the venerable Willem Dafoe can wrestle the screen presence away from Cummings in their scene together. Not to say Dafoe didn't turn in his usual quality performance, even though his character was a bit weak, in my opinion.

Like I said this isn't a review, I'm not going to give up any plot details, but I just wanted to drop you a note to keep an eye out for this movie in 2004. It has lots of potential to be a really fun movie to dash into the air-conditioned theaters for during dog days of summer. Not a Need-To-See movie, but a Should-See movie.


And if anyone asks who sent you this piece of crap, tell em WestX

Readers Talkback
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  • Dec. 11, 2003, 1:57 a.m. CST

    When the hell was this made?

    by Cash Bailey

    Next thing you know we'll be hearing they've actually made WHITE JAZZ.

  • Dec. 11, 2003, 2:47 a.m. CST

    Ummm.. the last one wasn't even marketed well

    by devanjedi

    What's with making all these Ripley movies and then marketing them like crap!

  • Dec. 11, 2003, 2:48 a.m. CST


    by devanjedi

    Nobody's marketing these Ripleys well. "The Improperly Sold Mr. Ripley". I doubt the regular public even heard about the John Malkovich one.

  • Dec. 11, 2003, 4:08 a.m. CST

    Alan Cumming...

    by SilentType

    ....RULES! He does. He just rules, and that's all there is to it. Oh...the first RIPLEY movie (With Damon) was terrific, but I thought RIPLEY'S GAME was kinda boring.

  • Dec. 11, 2003, 4:35 a.m. CST

    "Oooooh, deary me!"

    by Cash Bailey

    I've been a fan of Alan Cumming since I saw him on a Scottish sitcom called THE HIGH LIFE, where he and some other guy played gay airline stewards. I knew it was only matter of time until he became a star. I wish I had seen him in Mendes' CABARET.

  • Dec. 11, 2003, 5:11 a.m. CST

    Blundetto: Re: Yeah, what's with the White Jazz -movie?

    by BEARison Ford

    Blundetto, that was a mock-up made by a fan if i'm not mistaken, either that or a promo made when it was at one time in active pre-production (which it is not now). While both Cusack and Nolte were once attached to White Jazz, and I think Cusack is even producing it, it's been in development hell for years and years. I'd love to see it brought to the screen though, along with the rest of the L.A. Quartet. L.A. Confidential was great and should not stand alone.

  • Dec. 11, 2003, 5:15 a.m. CST

    "White Jazz" With Cusack? Hah.

    by atleastwebrits

    That little girl would melt like a crayon in a James Ellroy Universe. Poster was a concept by some self-promoting grapohic artist. Project was announced way back in 2001, but isn't happening.

  • Dec. 11, 2003, 6:12 a.m. CST

    Nice cast

    by Heleno

    But y'all are right, the last couple were badly marketed. Ripley is a brand name, but only really for Alien. Alan Cumming though rocks - I saw him the other day when I got to go to the Peter Pan premiere party. He was running round drunkenly, sitting on Santa's lap and wearing an eyepatch he'd stolen from some little kid. What a guy.

  • Dec. 11, 2003, 11:46 a.m. CST

    So, do this movie even has a director?

    by damorend


  • Dec. 11, 2003, 9:37 p.m. CST

    Obviously a pant!

    by godoffireinhell

    Yeah, I can see it! It's white!