Alain Delon spotted using a Montblanc in Purple Noon

If your interests lie in men’s fashion, French cinema, or handsome men, then you may already be familiar with the French adaptation of The Talented Mr. Ripley, called Purple Noon. This 1960’s crime thriller follows Tom Ripley as he befriends – and ultimately murders and steals the identity of – the charismatic Dickie Greenleaf. Set in the Mediterranean, this story is a visually stunning example of style and performance.

The main character, that eponymous Mr. Ripley, is played by Alain Delon. Delon’s career has spanned over six decades in cinema and there is a good reason why that is. Looking at Purple Noon, one sees the charisma and good looks of Alan in every shot he is in. Not to mention, just like the 1999 American remake, the wardrobe of the film is out of this world.

One such item in the wardrobe would be Tom Ripley’s Montblanc 146. Seen early on in the film when Tom is writing postcards, it pops up a few more times throughout the film, which becomes a sort of Easter Egg for anyone watching to see if they can spot it. 

The Montblanc makes sense for a character like Tom, who has visions of social mobility and wants to put on class indicators to show he is worthy of the attention – and affection – of those within Dickie Greenleaf’s orbit. Being a sleek and classic pen, such as the 146, gives Tom the ability to seamlessly ingratiate himself with his cohorts. He is not too ostentatious, not too flashy – like the Montblanc itself, Tom, too, can blend in and fit in anywhere.

It’s in one way surprising to see a pen popular 60 years ago remain a top seller today; but on another hand, it’s not surprising at all. Montblanc 146, with its simple design and elegant form, has always impressed those with a penchant for style and refined taste.
Whether you’re a Tom Ripley or a Dickie Greenleaf, you no doubt understand that this pen fits just as nicely as your desk at home as on the Mediterranean riviera.

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