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.
Famed writer Truman Capote, southern born and bred but now part of the New York City social circle, is growing weary of his current assignment of writing autobiographical type pieces for the New Yorker. After reading a newspaper article about the just occurred November 14, 1959 cold blooded murders of the Clutter family in their rural Kansas home, Truman feels compelled to write about that event as his next article. So he and his personal assistant Nelle Harper Lee, also a southern born New Yorker and an aspiring writer of her own, head to Kansas to research the story first-hand. Truman hopes to use his celebrity status to gain access to whomever he needs, such as to Laura Kinney, a friend of the Clutter daughter she who discovered the bodies, and to Alvin Dewey, the lead police investigator and also a Clutter family friend. If his celebrity doesn't work, Truman will grease the wheels by whatever means necessary. When the police eventually charge suspects, two young men named Dick ...Written by
Capote was small and dressed differently than his peers at school, while Lee was a tomboy. Throughout their early childhoods, Lee protected Capote from bullies. See more »
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. See more »
Basically, "Capote" is a study of Truman Capote's greatest accomplishment and eventual downfall, which happens to be one in the same event, the Clutter killings. Capote on a whim decides to prove to people that non-fiction can be every bit as creative and dramatic as the wildest fiction. So he opts for doing a magazine article on the murders of the Clutter family, a kind of observation on what the murders did to the small community in Kansas. Interestingly enough, his secretary/assistant on the trip was his close friend Harper Lee ("To Kill a Mockingbird"). After the arrests of the two killers, Capote has a chance meeting with Perry, he is amazed at this "cold blooded" killer. Perry is not a violent mad dog killer, but an intelligent, peaceful and timid soul. Even during the savage killings, Perry did small things to comfort his victims. Capote can't help but sympathize with Perry and build a relationship with him (they do have a lot of things in common). Of course, part of this relationship is to get Perry to open up more and more to Capote, so Capote can get the information he needs to make his article into a book. There is a fine line in this relationship. You sense that Capote does have a compassionate feeling for Perry, even so far as hiring them an appellate lawyer. However, you also get the sense that Capote's motivation might be more commercial and business in purpose. As the story progresses, Capote starts to come to the realization of just how horrific these crimes were and that through his actions (getting the lawyer for them), he just might be letting two murderers go free. Moreover, he is constantly hounded by the two killers, who sense that he is their only friend and are relying on him for their own survival. Capote is in hell. Here is this book that will be his defining moment, but to finish it, he must stay involved in this perverse relationship with two savage killers. His life as come a long way from his happy days of endless parties in New York. Capote starts to drink excessively to escape the reality he has made for himself (and never stops). This movie is a very interesting character study and better get Hoffman a Oscar award for best actor, because he really does deserve it.
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