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Hannah Taylor Gordon,
At the end of the 1950s, in a more innocent America, the brutal, meaningless slaying of a Midwestern family horrified the nation. This film is based on Truman Capote's hauntingly detailed, psychologically penetrating nonfiction novel. While in prison, Dick Hickock, 28, hears a cell-mate's story about $10,000 in cash kept in a home safe by a prosperous rancher. When he's paroled, Dick persuades ex-con Perry Smith, 31, to join him in going after the stash. On a November night in 1959, Dick and Perry break into the Holcomb, Kansas, house of Herb Clutter. Enraged at finding no safe, they wake the sleeping family and brutally kill them all. The bodies are found by two friends who come by before Sunday church. The murders shock the small Great Plains town, where doors are routinely left unlocked. Detective Alvin Dewey of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation heads the case, but there are no clues, no apparent motive and no suspects... Written by
Echo Bridge Home Entertainment
After reading the book, I happened across this DVD at Wal-Mart for 3 bucks and thought, sure, what the hell... I got the DVD and watched it last night. When I started watching it, I checked the run time and it was about 90 minutes. I thought, OK cool... It seemed to run rather slowly, knowing the story and how much of it there was. By the time I got to the actual killings, I was like, "how much time does this have left?" Checked. "One minute?! What the hell?!" I felt incredibly cheated, thinking that the movie only progressed through a third of the overall story.
But then, I happily noticed that the DVD's scene selection menu included a part 1 AND a part 2. I still had another hour and a half to go! I then sat very happily and enjoyed the second half of the movie, even more so than the first.
I admit that I have not seen the 1967 original film (despite my sincerest desire to), I have however read the novel and felt that this was a fairly descent film, for a two-part TV miniseries, that is. I think the casting of the role of Perry was completely wrong and a few minor inconsistencies jumped out at me, but still very well done. The first half drags on a bit, while the second half is much more gripping. I think they should have proportioned the movie more like Capote did his book: 1/3 before the murders, 1/3 after, and 1/3 after the killers are arrested. Instead, the film makes it more 1/2 before the murders, 1/4 after, and 1/4 after the killers are arrested. Again, this makes the second half more exciting, but at the same time, less compelling while making the first half drag on and on...
Now I look back and realize I have just made the same mistake about making things drag on and on, so I will shut the hell up. Go watch the movie and make up your own damn mind!
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