Choice: Film - The American Friend

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Indy Lifestyle Online
The American Friend, Riverside Studios (0181-237 1111) 6.15pm

Faithful is not the word I would use to describe the many and varied film versions of the novels of Patricia Highsmith (above). The first novel of this massively influential American crime writer was Strangers on a Train which Alfred Hitchcock bought while it was still in galleys. His movie has a wonderful tension and great visuals but the script (partly by Raymond Chandler) loses the book's erotic tension. The recently re- released Plein Soleil introduced audiences to her eponymous anti-hero of The Talented Mr Ripley, shortly to be filmed by Anthony Minghella. the character reappeared in Wim Wenders's conflation of Highsmith's two sequels: Ripley's Game and Ripley Underground but Highsmith was not fond of the result. Yet for all its waywardness with the source material, this compelling picture draws you in to its dark moody world. Even people who loathe the rest of Wenders's work like this film.

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