Many comparisons can be made between "Plein Soleil"(better translated as "Broad Daylight" than "Purple Noon") and "The Talented Mr. Ripley". They are both good films, with incredibly intriguing story lines and fine performances. The cinematography in both films is superb as well. The more recent version does look better, technically, but the Clement film is very pleasing to the eye, not just for the scenery, but for the incredible beauty of the young Alain Delon.
This is not really a 'great' film--it's really just about the intrigue, and it fascinates the viewer by forcing identification with a nefarious protagonist--but it is mighty entertaining.
The Miramax DVD is something of a disappointment. Apart from some flashing in several scenes, the film transfer looks mostly very good. There is some distortion in the mono soundtrack, which unfortunately mars Rota's lovely score. Yet, there is at least one moment when everything works together beautifully: for instance the non-dialogue scene where Tom Ripley looks over an outdoor fish market in Naples--the colors, Delon's face and the music combine for five minutes of cinematic magic.
The DVD is also a letdown in terms of features: there are three skimpy trailers, NOT including one for "Plein Soleil". The English subtitles must be turned on, they are not automatic, AND the French-language soundtrack must be selected from the setup menu, otherwise the disc defaults to the inferior English-dubbed version.
Still worth having for an enjoyable movie