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, ... See full summary »
In 1959, Truman Capote learns of the murder of a Kansas family and decides to write a book about the case. While researching for his novel In Cold Blood, Capote forms a relationship with one of the killers, Perry Smith, who is on death row.
Philip Seymour Hoffman,
Clifton Collins Jr.,
Brick Pollitt (Paul Newman), an alcoholic ex-football player, drinks his days away and resists the affections of his wife, Maggie (Dame Elizabeth Taylor). His reunion with his father, Big Daddy (Burl Ives), who is dying of cancer, jogs a host of memories and revelations for both father and son.
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
I happened to be sitting in a lovely hotel room at a wonderful resort in the Ozarks, ready to go out on the boat after golfing 18 holes in fine weather, when I made the mistake of turning on the TV. One of the cable channels was screening "In Cold Blood." I watched the opening sequence. Despite the beautiful weather, and the girlfriend nagging at me to get up off the couch and go outside, I knew I wouldn't leave the room until the movie was over. I can't add much to the fine reviews by others, particularly the review by the gentleman from London, except to add that the dialogue in the movie is marvelous. The writer and director caught the laconic, spare speech of the Midwest. The questions and answers between the characters are perfect. (Paul Stewart, the reporter: "Don't the people in this town lock their doors?" John Forsythe, the detective: "They will tonight.") And the way Perry and Dick look at each other menacingly in critical situations gives one the chills. (Dick: "Don't worry baby; we left no living witnesses." Perry, staring at Dick: "I know one.") Of all the great performances in the film, my favorite is John Forsythe as the KBI detective who grows weary from contemplating the evil minds behind the murders of his Kansas neighbors, the Clutters. A close second among the great performances is Scott Wilson, who makes Dick a charming loser going nowhere in life, unable and unwilling to civilize himself to live in society.
Certainly this is one of the ten best movies ever made, and the best of all the "True Crime" movies. (The made-for-TV remake was a horrible, lame joke.) I just hope when it comes on again it's a miserable day outside so I don't miss out on the boating! Ed in St. Louis
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