The Talented Mr. Ripley script
Synopsis: The Talented Mr. Ripley is a 1999 American psychological thriller written for the screen and directed by Anthony Minghella. An adaptation of Patricia Highsmith's 1955 novel of the same name, the film stars Matt Damon as Tom Ripley, Jude Law as Dickie Greenleaf, Gwyneth Paltrow as Marge Sherwood and Cate Blanchett as Meredith Logue. The novel was previously filmed as Plein Soleil in 1960.

1958

PROLOGUE:
INT. RIPLEY'S CABIN. EVENING.

Fade up on Ripley, as in the final scene of the film,

sitting, desolate in a ship's cabin. The camera rotates

around his face, which begins in light and ends in darkness.

RIPLEY (O/S)

If I could just go back. If I could rub

everything out. Starting with myself.

Starting with borrowing a jacket.

EXT. CENTRAL PARK WEST TERRACE. EARLY EVENING.

Ripley is at the piano, accompanying FRAN, a young soprano.

CREDITS begin.

FRAN (SINGS)

Ah, such fleeting paradise

such innocent delight

to love,

be loved,

a lullabye,

then silence.

The song finishes. Applause. They're the entertainment at a

cocktail party to celebrate a silver wedding anniversary.

Some partygoers congratulate Fran on her performance. A

distinguished looking man, pushing his wife in a wheelchair,

approaches Ripley, offers his hand.

HERBERT GREENLEAF

Most enjoyable. Herbert Greenleaf.

RIPLEY:

Tom Ripley. Thank you, sir.

HERBERT GREENLEAF

(pointing at Ripley's borrowed

jacket)

I see you were at Princeton.

Then you'll most likely know our son,

Dick. Dickie Greenleaf...

EMILY GREENLEAF:

We couldn't help noticing your jacket.

HERBERT GREENLEAF

Yes.

EMILY GREENLEAF:

Class of '56?

RIPLEY:

(hesitating)

How is Dickie?

INT. ELEVATOR OPENING OUT INTO LOBBY. EARLY EVENING.

Fran, Ripley, Mr and Mrs Greenleaf and others emerge from an

elevator. Emily talks to Fran, Herbert to Ripley.

EMILY GREENLEAF:

(to Fran)

I hope you'll come and see us...

FRAN:

That's very kind.

EMILY GREENLEAF:

Both of you...

HERBERT GREENLEAF

Of course, Dickie's idea of music is

Jazz. He has a saxophone. To my ear Jazz

is just noise, just an insolent noise.

EXT. CENTRAL PARK WEST. EARLY EVENING.

Ripley shakes hands with Herbert Greenleaf as he gets into

his Rolls Royce. They are making an appointment. Ripley

crosses the street to Fran, pecks her cheek. She hands him

his share of their fee.

RIPLEY:

Gotta run. I'm so late.

(he hands Fran's boyfriend the

jacket he's been wearing)

Thanks for the jacket.

BOYFRIEND:

Sure. Thanks for filling in for me.

From Greenleaf's point of view he sees a couple embracing.

EMILY GREENLEAF:

Darling couple, aren't they?

HERBERT GREENLEAF

Yes. An exceptional young man.

From another vantage point Ripley hurries on as Fran gets

into her boyfriend's car. A piano quartet starts up.

EXT. THEATER. EVENING.

Ripley runs past the droves of arriving concert-goers and

heads for the theater. Music continues.

INT. MEN'S ROOM, THEATER. NIGHT.

The interval:
A thick mass of men in tuxedoes grooming

themselves at the basins. Ripley turns on faucets, offers

towels, brushes off dandruff. Men talk over, round, and

through him. Put coins in a bowl.

INT. A BOX AT THE THEATER. NIGHT

The concert continues. Ripley peers through the curtain at

the performances. A haughty woman in the box turns round and

he closes the curtain.

INT. BACKSTAGE. 1:30 A.M.

An empty auditorium. Ripley plays Bach in the blue

ghostlight. A caretaker emerges from his rounds, flips on

the house lights. Ripley jerks up from his playing, waves

apologetically.

RIPLEY:

Sorry, sorry. I know. Sorry.

EXT. GREENLEAF SHIPYARDS, BROOKLYN. DAY.

Greenleaf and Ripley walk through one of the drydocks. A

huge void in the shape of a boat, swarming with workers

preparing the shell of a new liner. If Central Park is where

the money is spent, this is clearly where it's made. And a

lot of it. Workers nod deferentially to the man with his name

over the buildings behind them.

HERBERT GREENLEAF

Mongibello. Tiny place. South of Naples.

Marge, his uh, the young lade is

supposedly writing some kind of book. God

knows what he does. By all accounts they

spend the whole time on the beach. Or his

sailboat. That's my son's talent,

spending his allowance.

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Anthony Minghella

Anthony Minghella, CBE (6 January 1954 – 18 March 2008) was a British film director, playwright and screenwriter. He was chairman of the board of Governors at the British Film Institute between 2003 and 2007. more…

All Anthony Minghella scripts | Anthony Minghella Books

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