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In Cold Blood (1967)

Approved | | Biography, Crime, Drama | 7 March 1968 (Argentina)
After a botched robbery results in the brutal murder of a rural family, two drifters elude police, in the end coming to terms with their own mortality and the repercussions of their vile atrocity.



(based on the book by), (written for the screen by)

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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
John McLiam ...
Ruth Storey ...
Brenda Currin ...
Nancy Clutter (as Brenda C. Currin)
Paul Hough ...
Good Samaritan


In meeting in Kansas, ex-cons Perry Smith and Dick Hickock are breaking several conditions of their respective paroles. The meeting, initiated by Dick, is to plan and eventually carry out a robbery based on information he had received from a fellow inmate about $10,000 cash being locked in a hidden safe in the home of the farming Clutter family of Holcomb, Kansas. After the robbery, they plan on going to Mexico permanently to elude capture by the police. Each brings a necessary personality to the partnership to carry out the plan, Dick who is the brash manipulator, Perry the outwardly more sensitive but unrealistic dreamer with a violent streak under the surface. Perry literally carries all his dreams in a large box he takes with him wherever he goes. The robbery does not go according to plan in any respect, the pair who ultimately hogtie and execute all four members of the Clutter family, only coming away from the home with $43 in cash. As Perry and Dick go on the run, a murder ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

7 March 1968 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Truman Capote's In Cold Blood  »

Box Office


$3,500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System) (5.0) (L-R)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


In two scenes Robert Blake's character makes a reference to The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948). Blake played the paperboy who sold the winning lottery ticket to Humphrey Bogart in that classic movie. However, despite the fact that many people believe it was written into the script because of Blake. It wasn't. According to Truman Capote it was Perry Smith's favorite movie. See more »


Many vehicles present in film are of the 1960s and not 1959. See more »


[first lines]
Little girl on bus: 'Scuse me.
See more »


Referenced in The Screentest Girls (1969) See more »


Row, Row, Row Your Boat
Performed a cappella by Robert Blake and Ted Eccles
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

In The Still Of The Night
17 April 2006 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Imagine turning out the lights in your remote farmhouse on a cold night, and then going to bed. There's no need to lock the doors. The only sound is the wind whistling through the trees. Sometime after midnight a car with lights off inches up the driveway. Moments later an intruder beams a flashlight into your darkened living room.

What makes this image so scary is the setting: a remote farmhouse ... at night. Based on Truman Capote's best-selling book, and with B&W lighting comparable to the best 1940's noir films, "In Cold Blood" presents a terrifying story, especially in that first Act, as the plot takes place largely at night and on rain drenched country roads. It's the stuff of nightmares. But this is no dream. The events really happened, in 1959.

Two con men with heads full of delusions kill an entire Kansas family, looking for a stash of cash that doesn't exist. Director Richard Brooks used the actual locations where the real-life events occurred, even the farmhouse ... and its interior! It makes for a memorable, and haunting, film.

Both of the lead actors closely resemble the two real-life killers. Robert Blake is more than convincing as Perry Smith, short and stocky with a bum leg, who dreams of finding Cortez' buried treasure. Scott Wilson is almost as good as Dick Hickock, the smooth-talking con artist with an all-American smile.

After their killing spree, the duo head to Mexico. Things go awry there, so they come back to the U.S., stealing cars, hitchhiking, and generally being miserable as they roam from place to place. But it's a fool's life, and the two outlaws soon regret their actions. The film's final twenty minutes are mesmerizing, as the rain falls, the rope tightens, and all we hear is the pounding of a beating heart.

Even with its somewhat mundane middle Act, "In Cold Blood" stages in riveting detail a real-life story that still hypnotizes, nearly half a century later. It's that setting that does it. Do you suppose people in rural Kansas still leave their doors unlocked ... at night?

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