The Complete Ripley: The Tom Ripley thrillers

The Complete Ripley: The Tom Ripley thrillers

Summary

Five gripping full-cast adaptations of Patricia Highsmith's bestselling 'Ripley' series - plus bonus material

Charming, cultured and clever, Tom Ripley has a taste for the finer things in life. And he is determined to get them, by any means necessary...

These five plays - The Talented Mr Ripley, Ripley Under Ground, Ripley's Game, The Boy Who Followed Ripley and Ripley Under Water - chart Tom's journey from impoverished conman to wealthy bon viveur and serial killer. His homicidal adventures begin when he befriends shipping heir Dickie Greenleaf: he wants money, success, and he's willing to kill for it. But when he attains the luxurious lifestyle he craves, he is always on the edge of being discovered. Will his shadowy past finally catch up with him?

BAFTA-winning actor Ian Hart stars as Ripley in these tense, thrilling dramas. Also included are two bonus documentaries: Looking for Ripley, in which crime writer Mark Billingham unravels the mystery behind our lasting fascination with Tom Ripley, and A Passionate Affair, presented by Marcel Berlins, who asks whether Patricia Highsmith fell in love with her suave, amoral anti-hero.

Text © 1993 by Diogenes Verlag AG Zurich, all rights reserved.
© 2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd
(p) 2022 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

About the author

Patricia Highsmith

Patricia Highsmith was born Mary Patricia Plangman in Fort Worth, Texas. Her parents divorced 10 days after her birth on 19 January 1921, and her mother married her stepfather Stanley Highsmith in 1924 and moved to New York three years later. Their relationship was stormy, and Patricia later described her childhood as 'a little hell'.

Highsmith was taught to read by her grandmother at the age of two: the beginning of her lifelong love for books. She studied English at Barnard's College in 1942, and after graduation, took a sales job at Bloomingdale's department store while freelancing as a comic book writer.

In 1949, she travelled to Europe, where she eventually settled. Her first novel, Strangers on a Train, was published in 1950, and made into a film by Alfred Hitchcock the following year. Her next book, written under the pseudonym Claire Morgan, was the lesbian love story The Price of Salt (1952), inspired by an encounter with a glamorous blonde in a mink coat during her shop assistant days. In 1955 came The Talented Mr Ripley. Featuring her own favourite character, a charming, amoral psychopath who gets away with murder, the book was a hit with the public and critics alike, and was awarded the Edgar Allan Poe Scroll by the Mystery Writers of America in 1957. It was followed by Ripley Under Ground (1970), Ripley's Game (1974), The Boy Who Followed Ripley (1980), and Ripley Under Water (1991) - collectively known as the Ripliad.

Among her other novels were The Cry of the Owl (1962) and A Suspension of Mercy (1965), and she also wrote several collections of short stories including Little Tales of Misogyny (1975) and Tales of Natural and Unnatural Catastrophes (1987). Patricia Highsmith died in Locarno, Switzerland, on 4 February 1995. Her final novel, Small g: a Summer Idyll, was published posthumously the same year.
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