Ripley Under Ground (film)

Ripley Under Ground (also known as White on White[2]) is a 2005 German-British-French crime thriller film directed by Roger Spottiswoode and based on the second novel in Patricia Highsmith's Tom Ripley series. It stars Barry Pepper as the cunning psychopath Ripley and features Willem Dafoe, Alan Cumming and Tom Wilkinson in supporting roles. Ripley Under Ground was produced during July and August 2003,[2] but was only released two years later. The film was shown on the 2005 AFI Fest by American Film Institute, receiving a low-profile wide theatrical release.

Ripley Under Ground
Film poster
Directed byRoger Spottiswoode
Produced byAntoine de Clermont-Tonnerre
Marco Mehlitz
Michael Ohoven
Stephen Ujlaki
William Vince
Written byW. Blake Herron
Donald E. Westlake
Based onRipley Under Ground
by Patricia Highsmith
StarringBarry Pepper
Jacinda Barrett
Tom Wilkinson
Willem Dafoe
Alan Cumming
Claire Forlani
Ian Hart
Music byJeff Danna
CinematographyPaul Sarossy
Edited byMichel Arcand
Distributed byFox Searchlight Pictures
Release date
6 November 2005
Running time
101 minutes
United Kingdom[1]

Plot summary

After his friend, a successful young artist, is killed in a car accident, Tom Ripley (Pepper) and his friends hide his body and concoct a scheme in which they forge his paintings, eventually making a great deal of money. When an art collector (Dafoe) complains that a painting he bought from the gallery is a fake, Ripley must use his inimitable talents to defuse the problem by whatever means necessary.


Release and reception

The film received a wide theatrical release on 6 November 2005,[3] as well as being shown at the AFI Fest film festival in Los Angeles. It was released on DVD on 24 July 2007 in the Netherlands.

Given the film's low-profile release,[4] critical reviews have been scarce. Variety's review was less than positive, saying: "Although it strives to push Patricia Highsmith's best-known bad man in a snarky direction, Ripley Under Ground is too fidgety and unsure to settle on a sustained tone and ends up in a no man's land between hysterical satire and sleek Euro thriller. As previous filmic Ripleys demonstrated, from Purple Noon and The American Friend to The Talented Mr. Ripley and Ripley's Game, it's all in the casting, and the talented Mr. Barry Pepper is not capable of pulling off the demonically complicated and murderous con artist."[5]


  1. Buchanan, Jason. "Ripley Under Ground (2005)". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  2. "Manx Films, White on White (Ripley Under Ground)". Isle of Man Guide. Retrieved 21 February 2015.
  3. "Ripley Under Ground". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  4. Li, John (21 August 2009). "Ripley Under Ground DVD 2005". Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  5. Koehler, Robert (13 November 2005). "Ripley Under Ground Review - Read Variety's Analysis Of The Movie Ripley Under Ground". Retrieved 31 December 2010.
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