MovieChat Forums > Ripley's Game (2002) Discussion > Why can’t they get Patricia Highsmith ri...

Why can’t they get Patricia Highsmith right?


In the book, Jonathon's leukemia is not advanced. He comes to believe so only because of a rumor that Tom spreads as a joke. The joke was retribution for an insult that Tom had perceived in something Jonathon said to him at a party. In the book, the insult is rendered so subtly that the reader wonders if it is only in Tom's head.

Later, when Tom's friend needs help with this German mafioso, Tom thinks of Jonathon.

They arrange the hospital visit/switching of medical reports to reinforce Jonathon’s MISTAKEN belief that his condition is terminal. Since the film leaves out the fictitiousness of Jonathon’s condition, I’m not sure why they even included the hospital visit. Maybe they needed to fill in some time.

In this way, the novel progresses step-by-step, growing from a misconstrued statement to an insult to murder. That’s why it’s called Ripley’s GAME. This film doesn’t portray a game, it portrays a mission.

Another thing. Tom and his wife don’t have this lusty, flirtatious relationship. Tom is gay and his wife is too busy with shopping and taking sailing trips to take note of anything he does.

Filmmakers! Please! Just follow the novel. It’s all there in the novel.

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That would have made the film so much better and would have been easy to do. Was the book so subtle that the film producers missed the point?


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Filmmakers! Please! Just follow the novel. It’s all there in the novel.

I refer you to my signature.

The book is not always better.

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I agree the original take on Ripley's motivations was more interesting, my guess is the changes were made to make Ripley more likeable. My question is whether it was Cavani's idea, or if they were forced on her? Producers are notorious for ordering what they perceive to be audience-friendly re-writes, such as to make characters more likeable, endings happier, etc.

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