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Capote (2005) Poster

(2005)

Goofs

Factual errors 

According to William Shawn's sons, he did not arrange for Richard Avedon to take pictures of Smith and Hickock, did not arrange Truman Capote's reading, and actually felt squeamish about the project. He also did not accompany Capote to Kansas for the executions.
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Anachronisms 

When Capote purchases baby food to nurse Perry Smith back to health, several of the soup can labels on another shelf have UPC bar codes and ring-pull tops.
When Truman Capote is speaking on the telephone in one scene, the handset is clearly connected by an RJ22 four-pin connector, which was invented in the 1970s.
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Capote complains that he has been on the In Cold Blood case for four years. In the next scene he is invited to a party celebrating the movie To Kill a Mockingbird. But four years after the murders would have been late 1963, and four years after he met the murderers in January 1960 would have been at least 1964.
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In the arraignment scene for Hickock and Perry, the flag in the courtroom has 50 stars. In January 1960, the United States flag still had 49 stars. The 50th star for Hawaii was not added officially until July 4, 1960.
A Close-up of a photograph in the newspaper Capote is reading shows it to be diffusion-dithered. It should be half-toned, the way all papers of the time printed their photographs.
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Jack carries a bag of groceries into the kitchen of the Spanish villa. The bag is a plastic, two-handle, "T-Shirt" style bag that was not introduced until the late 1970s.
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When Capote is drinking martinis with the Sheriff and his wife, they are using modern, "New York" martini glasses. The glasses at that time had a diameter of about 2 inches and stood about 5 inches high.
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Capote phones William Shawn to announce that his piece will be book length, and to ask for more money and a photographer. This would have been in 1960, but the IBM Selectric typewriter in Shawn's office was released in July 1961. Also, the model pictured is a Selectric II, introduced in 1973.
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When Capote is speaking on the phone with William Shawn in 1959, after first reading about the Clutter murders, the phone's dial is plastic. At the time, rotary phones had metal dials.
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When we see the "prints" of the Richard Avedon photographs, the type of film can be seen in the black border - it reads as "Agfa APX 400". Agfa did not begin manufacturing their APX line of films until the 1990s. Moreover, Richard Avedon's preferred film for shooting portraiture at the time was Kodak Plus-X.
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Truman's eyeglasses have multi-colored anti-reflective coatings.
Capote's hotel room has a plastic bottle of soda.
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The light switch on wall was modern toggle-type "snap switch" with narrow profile handle and smooth plastic ivory colored cover plate with curved edges. I would have expected a wide profile handle (or perhaps even a push-button type switch) and a dark bakelite cover plate with the fine grooves, etchings and engravings common in houses of that era.
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In an early scene, Capote is seen reading a copy of the New York Times with a six-column wide front page. The Times used an eight-column format at the time.
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During a visual of the city at night a car is at the side of the road with its four way hazard flashers on. They were not available in the early 1960s.
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A school bus shown in the background parked during the school scene shows an International hood and grille style from the late 1960s to early 1970s.
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When Truman and Harper are renting a car upon arriving in Kansas, the '55 Chevrolet visible through the window has mag wheels on it. Aluminum mags weren't being manufactured in 1959.
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When Capote is talking to Perry in the county jail cell (where he is being held during the trials) you can see modern-day cars just out the window.
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The rental car is a 1955 Chevrolet Bel Air sedan. In November of 1959, this car would be too old to still be in a rental fleet. The 1960 Pontiac sedan used by the state of Kansas certainly had an unrealistically long service life as well - into 1965.
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When we see the pictures taken by Avedon, the film type is Agfa APX 400, which did not exist at the time.
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Regarding the 'hands-free' car start a starter can be in the accelerator pedal, so in the on position of the key, a hands-free start could be possible.
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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

When Harper Lee is leaving Spain, she briefly chats with Capote then gets into a cab to leave. We hear the engine start, however both of the Cabbie's hands are on the steering wheel.
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In the opening wide shot of the wheat fields, we can hear strong wind gusts, but the field is still.
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Continuity 

When the girl is knocking on the Clutters' front door we can see two large windows on either side of the door. In the inside shot, these windows do not exist, suggesting the inside was filmed in a different house.
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In the early scene of Capote riding in the passenger seat of the Chevy, a passenger-side mirror is seen. All exterior shots of the car show no passenger-side mirror.
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The car they use to drive around town keeps changing from a turquoise Chevy to an earlier model yellow and white Chevy. Sun shades on the windows are visible from inside the turquoise car, while the yellow car has none.
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When Harper Lee is driving in the rental blue car when she and Capote first arrive in Kansas, there is a Chevy sticker on the driver's side bottom window. Later, it is gone.
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As Capote and Harper Lee converse with Alvin and his wife at the table near their kitchen, Capote's cigarette is almost finished. In the close-up of Capote, the cigarette is longer.
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In the kitchen scene, when shot from Truman's back the martini glasses are empty, when shot from the hostess perspective the martini glasses are full. Truman fills the martini glasses at the end of the scene.
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Harper and Truman are dining together in a restaurant. Shot from Truman's left, he is holding a glass in his right hand, and his left hand is empty. In the next shot, from his front, he has a fork in his left hand. A few seconds later, back to his left side, his left hand is empty again.
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When Capote's luggage is placed on the roof of the taxicab in Spain, it is clear that the position of the rope used to tie down the luggage changes between cuts. In some shots the rope tightly runs across the luggage. In other shots the rope is falling off the luggage. In addition, when the cab pulls away, the rope is not even there.
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Crew or equipment visible 

When Harper Lee is leaving Spain, Capote walks her out to the waiting taxi. When they both bend over to put her suitcase into the trunk, a cordless microphone unit can be seen just under Lee's shirt, attached to the waist of her pants.
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As Truman and Harper drive to Danny Burke's residence you can see the reflection of the (modern day) towing car in Truman's side mirror.
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Errors in geography 

Harper Lee is picked up in Costa Brava, Spain, by a taxi with French license plates.

Factual errors 

Although depicted in several scenes typing furiously on a typewriter, Truman Capote was famous for writing everything in longhand. He never typed any of his novels or short stories.
In the movie, Capote's hair is parted on the right side. All photos of Truman Capote show him with his hair parted on the left.
Truman Capote never viewed the murdered members of the Clutter family at the funeral home, as he didn't arrive in Holcomb until several days after their funeral had taken place. According to "In Cold Blood", the detail about the heads of the deceased being wrapped in gauze was related to Capote by Nancy Clutter's friend, Susan Kidwell, who visited the funeral parlor with Nancy's boyfriend Bobby Rupp, while the caskets remained open.
Truman Capote always wore his watch on his right wrist, but in the movie it appears on his left wrist.
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In the opening shots, we see wheat waving in the wind in November in Kansas. There is no wheat fully grown and ready for harvest in Kansas in November.
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When Nell and Capote are doing their research in Kansas, they are looking for a girl named Laura Kinney, who is portrayed as the one who found the Clutter family on that Sunday Morning. In the book, "In Cold Blood" Nancy Clutter's two friends, Nancy and Susan, are the ones that find the Clutter family dead.
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Alvin Dewey learns of the arrests of Dick Hickock and Perry Smith as he is sitting down to Christmas dinner with his family and Capote. According to "In Cold Blood," he learned of the arrests on December 30, 1959.
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Richard Avedon is shown using a Hasselblad, though he is well known for using a Rolleiflex.
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As with most biopics, some historical details have been altered for the sake of the narrative.
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The camera used for the shots of Perry Smith was a Hasselblad. This is a square 6cm x 6cm format with two triangular signature indents on the film rebate. The printed pictures were 6cm x 7cm format with 3 small indents on the film rebate.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

A character in the movie pronounces it the "Arkansaw" River. According to a state law passed in 1881, this is the correct pronunciation, yet many people also pronounce it "Ar-kan-sas".
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Revealing mistakes 

Flopped shot: Upon entering the chapel of the funeral home in Holcomb, Kansas, Capote sees four closed caskets. Funeral custom and casket design dictate that the body be arranged so that when a casket is opened, the head of the deceased is always on the viewers left, and the foot-end of the casket is on the viewers right. In this scene, Capote approaches what customarily would be the foot-end of one of the closed caskets. Then he opens the lid and looks inside where we see the head and shoulders of the deceased.
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When Capote visits the prisoners on Death Row, Dick Hickock addresses Capote first as "Phil" (i.e. Phillip Seymour Hoffmann) instead of Truman and next Dick addresses him addresses him as Capote. This is right before Dick says to Capote (on Capote's way out of Death Row) they did not mean to kill that family.
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Spoilers

The goof items below may give away important plot points.

Continuity 

The contents of the telegram from Perry Smith to Nell, just prior to the execution, are changed in Smith's voice-over. Smith's voice says it is addressed to Nell, but the telegram indicates it is to Capote; Smith says "you" twice, which in the telegram reads "him"; and Smith's voice-over omits "I understand" Capote's absence from the hanging, whereas the telegram specifies that note of forgiveness.
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Factual errors 

In the movie, Capote watches Perry Smith's hanging. In real life, Truman Capote only watched Dick Hickcock's hanging. He couldn't stand to watch Smith die, and so left before it happened.
A scene opens with "April 14, 1965" on the screen; Capote is shown preparing to go to the prison. Smith and Hickock had been put to death by 1:19 AM on April 14.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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