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Infamous (2006)

R  |   |  Biography, Crime, Drama  |  13 October 2006 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 13,662 users   Metascore: 68/100
Reviews: 100 user | 128 critic | 34 from

While researching his book In Cold Blood, writer Truman Capote develops a close relationship with convicted murderers Dick Hickock and Perry Smith.



(screenplay), (book)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Rey Arteaga ...
El Morocco Band
Justin Sherburn ...
El Morocco Band
Andrew Halbreich ...
El Morocco Band
William Shawn (as Frank Curcio)


On November 16, 1959, Truman Capote reads about the murder of a Kansas family. There are no suspects. With Harper Lee, he visits the town: he wants to write about their response. First he must get locals to talk, then, after arrests, he must gain access to the prisoners. One talks constantly; the other, Perry Smith, says little. Capote is implacable, wanting the story, believing this book will establish a new form of reportage: he must figure out what Perry wants. Their relationship becomes something more than writer and character: Perry killed in cold blood, the state will execute him in cold blood; does Capote get his story through cold calculation, or is there a price for him to pay? Written by <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


There's more to the story than you know


Biography | Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, violence and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

13 October 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Every Word Is True  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$13,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$452,966 (USA) (13 October 2006)


$1,150,403 (USA) (15 December 2006)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Woody Allen advised Douglas McGrath about a few things while he was writing the movie. Allen and McGrath are long-time friends. See more »


When both prisoners are brought in to be hanged, it is raining hard. Even though the distance traveled in the rain is short, there are no visible signs of the rain on their clothes or face. See more »


[about the Kansas townspeople]
Truman Capote: Do you think everyone keeps calling me "lady" to be mean, or can they honestly not tell?
See more »


References Beat the Devil (1953) See more »


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User Reviews

Tender and Terrible
30 September 2006 | by (Columbus, Ohio) – See all my reviews

"There will be time to murder and create." T.S. Eliot's Prufrock

Truman Capote described murderer Perry Smith as between the "tender and the terrible." Such may be said about writer/director Douglas McGrath's superior Infamous, a tale of Truman Capote's (Toby Jones) love affair with his innovative novelization, In Cold Blood, and its protagonist,Perry Smith (Daniel Graig). The tender is Capote's love of his female friends, especially Harper Lee (Sandra Bullock) and Smith (DanielCraig), and the terrible slaughter of the Kansas farm family in 1959 by Smith and friend Dick Hickock (Lee Pace).

Inevitable as accusing Toby Jones of only imitating Capote is the comparison with Philip Seymour Hoffman's Oscar performance of the titular author in Capote (1955). Jones's turn is more complex than Hoffman's, alternating between Capote's imaginative connection with the crime and his growing respect, even love, for Smith. In fact, the well-known love between the men is avoided in Capote but highlighted in Infamous.

I was hooked in the first sequence, when Gwyneth Paltrow as Peggy Lee sings "What is this thing called love?" and breaks down in apparent awareness of her own losses. The song, perfect for the themes of the film, and the film's score carry a melancholy with them that McGrath captures in Tru's constantly frustrated search for truth and love and Lee's inability to pen another novel after her Pulitzer-Prize-winning To Kill a Mockingbird. For that matter, Capote never completes a significant piece after that himself.

Last year's Capote seemed centered on the conflict in Truman over whether or not he was exploiting Smith to get a story and then never fully engaging a campaign to free them. This year's Infamous (a poor title regardless of it double artistic appropriateness) is more interested in Truman's struggle to write a new kind of fiction (docudrama) and his true affection for Smith. Infamous fleshes out the story and the fabulous artist whose "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and "In Cold Blood" are cultural staples of 20th century life.

48 of 63 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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