Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Great Re-Casting

Allow me to explain. Rianna and Natalie are hosting a blogathon where the goal is to re-cast a film made between 1965 and today with actors from before 1965. Of course for me, it was a little hard to think of a good film to re-cast since many of my favorites are pre-1965. But I thought hard, and the film I came up with was Anthony Minghella's The Talented Mr. Ripley.

The film's set in the 1950's, so I'll feature actors from that time period. Oh, this should be so easy since many of my favorite actors made it big during that decade. Anyway, here goes nothing.

Peter Smith-Kingsley
A friend of Marge's who develops a sort of kinship with Tom, unaware of who Tom really is.
Originally played by: Jack Davenport

My Choice: Anthony Perkins
Keep your thoughts of Psycho at bay as I explain. I wanted an actor who could play someone that was naive but trusting. Perkins, in fact, is that in his first few scenes in Psycho. (Might seem a trifle awkward with who I have as Marge.)

Meredith Logue
An heiress who, going by his introduction to her, thinks Tom is Dickie.
Originally played by: Cate Blanchett

My Choice: Jean Simmons
I wanted an actress who had class, beauty and elegance but not too much of it. (Safe to say Audrey Hepburn was out of the running.) Jean is sort of the poor man's Audrey (not that it's a bad thing, mind you), so she was the ideal choice.

Freddie Miles
A good friend of Dickie's but someone Tom views with contempt (and vice versa).
Originally played by: Philip Seymour Hoffman

My Choice: Ernest Borgnine
Anyone who's seen From Here to Eternity knows Ernest could play a complete S.O.B., so naturally I took that into account. Yet at the same time, Ernest could play a real swell guy to hang out with (which is what Freddie is to Dickie), so that also provides good reason to cast him.

Marge Sherwood
Dickie's fiancee, who welcomes Tom openly but grows deeply suspicious of him as time wears on.
Originally played by: Gwyneth Paltrow

My Choice: Janet Leigh
Considering who I've chosen for Dickie, this one seemed like a no-brainer. That, and I wanted an actress like Paltrow, someone who possessed a natural beauty and talent to match. Janet was my go-to girl.

Dickie Greenleaf
A millionaire's son taking refuge in Italy, he uses people and lives life the way he wants to.
Originally played by: Jude Law

My Choice: Tony Curtis
Again, another no-brainer on my part. A gorgeous actor who can be sexy and sleazy at the same time? I've seen Tony do that enough times to know he's ideal for this part.

Tom Ripley
He appears to be a charming and innocent young man, but in reality he's a con man who craves a life of luxury.
Originally played by: Matt Damon

My Choice: Farley Granger
You're probably thinking, "Who?" If you've seen Rope or Strangers on a Train, then you'll know who he is and what kind of character he could play. He can appear calm but his mind can be troubled. His worries are hidden behind a handsome face. In short, the very being of Tom Ripley.

Huh. I deliberately didn't mean to pick actors who have worked with Alfred Hitchcock (Granger, Leigh, Perkins), but it gives them an added bonus as to how to act in a thriller. Also, an Oscar winner and four nominees in one cast? Sounds good to me. (Not as great as the original cast of four Oscar winners and one nominee, but it works for me.)

So what do you think of this classic re-cast?


  1. I like it. Perkins and Granger are inspired choices. Also this reminds me, I really need to rewatch Talented Mr. Ripley.

  2. Interesting idea. Of course for me you'd have to recast the director too as I disliked the movie. Hitchcock perhaps to continue your theme?

    1. Well, they didn't specify re-casting the director, but Hitchcock would be the ideal choice.

  3. Interesting how they all look extremely similar. Especially the portraits of the actors for Dickie Greenleaf.

    Did you plan that?

    1. Just a little, but I mostly went for similar acting styles.

  4. Great job! Thanks for being part of our blogathon! :D

    ~Natalie @ In the Mood

  5. All around great cast. Tony Curtis could have been great in a role like this and Granger would be perfect. I love your choices and your post.

    1. Oh, Tony and Farley would've made those roles their own. I just know it.

  6. I thought about recasting The Talented Mr. Ripley, but I couldn't get all the actors replaced...! You did it wonderfully.

    I tried to stay away from Hitch's actors too, but somehow I kept going back to them. He always picked the best ones!

    1. Aw, thanks! :)

      I seriously did not mean to do that on purpose. But you're right about Hitchcock picking the best actors.

  7. Yes, Granger would be a perfect Tom Ripley. Having Perkins, Curtis, Jean and Ernest all in the same movie would be just heaven. And surely the Hithcock connection can´t be missed, since Patricia Highsmith created Ripley in the book and also Strangers on a Train, that became a film starred by... Farley Granger :)
    I'm also in the blogathon recasting The English Patient.

    1. A cast like that does sound like heaven. Just like the original cast.

      Oh yeah. I forgot about Patricia Highsmith writing Strangers on a Train. (And I call myself a bibliophile. Sheesh.)

      I saw your post. Very nice choices.

  8. This is one of the more interesting choices I've seen in the blogathon so far. There's something about your choices that seem so different from the film and yet in keeping with it at the same time (I'm sure the easy answer would be "of course, it's a recasting"). Love your choices!

    1. Thanks! :)

      Like I said in reply to a previous comment, I mostly went with actors with similar acting styles of the original stars. And I think it's because I went with recognizable but not immensely famous names that gives it a certain allure.

  9. I really don't care for Simmons, but casting her as Logue is an especially fantastic choice. I could so easily seeing her drift into the pretty but somewhat safe sweetness of Meredith's cadence.

    1. I was wondering when you'd speak up, especially since this is one of your favorite films. At least you approve of Simmons. (I'd like to hear your thoughts on the five actors.)

    2. My favourite choice is Curtis, he's perfectly chosen as Dickie although he might come off as just a bit too err, dickish, for the role I suspect that, perhaps, he too could find a way to make the character irritatingly despicable yet still irresistible.

      Leigh intrigues me, particularly because I find her general on-screen presence more brittle than I'd imagine Margie to be.

      Granger is an inspired choice, especially because he's familiar yet not popular so it doesn't take a stretch of the imagination to imagine him as someone like Ripley.

      The Perkins' touch is cool, although now I want a movie from Peter's perspective because he'd been wasted otherwise.

      Borngine is the hardest sell for me, but only because I'd want someone as unlike PSH in the role as possible. But, hardly a deal-breaker.

    3. Darling, that's why I chose Curtis. After all, he is, as you say, despicable yet still irresistible in a few scenes of Some Like It Hot.

      I don't know about you, but that "brittleness" of Leigh's you speak of (I say it loosely because I never found her to be that) could work towards the end of the film.

      Glad you like Granger. My first choice was looking iffy the more I thought of it, so I decided to change it.

      Perkins I mainly went with because I was in dire need of an actor who could fit that role. My reasons are among the post. (Interesting musing by the way.)

      I couldn't really think of anyone else for Freddie (I still can't either), so that's why I went with Borgnine.

      Still, nice to know you like my choices.

  10. Years later, I come upon this. I like farley Granger as Dickie. And I think Tony Perkins would have been the perfect Ripley. I tend to dismiss Peter, an extremely minor character in the book, and Meredith, who wasn't even in the book, as non-starters. The right Ripley film has yet to be made. Tho I await it eagerly. I'm currently rereading the Ripliad.


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