Capote (film)

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Capote Poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Bennett Miller
Produced by Caroline Baron
William Vince
Michael Ohoven
Written by Dan Futterman
Based on Capote 
by Gerald Clarke
Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman
Catherine Keener
Clifton Collins Jr.
Bruce Greenwood
Mark Pellegrino
Amy Ryan
Chris Cooper
Music by Mychael Danna
Cinematography Adam Kimmel
Editing by Jeremy Hinkle
Studio A-Line Pictures
Copper's Town Productions
Infinity Media
Eagle Vision
Distributed by United Artists
Sony Pictures Classics
Release dates
  • September 22, 2005 (2005-09-22) (Telluride)
  • September 30, 2005 (2005-09-30) (United States)
  • October 28, 2005 (2005-10-28) (Canada)
Running time 114 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $7 million[2]
Box office $49,233,161[2]

Capote is a 2005 biographical film about Truman Capote, following the events during the writing of Capote's non-fiction book In Cold Blood. Philip Seymour Hoffman won several awards, including the Academy Award for Best Actor, for his critically acclaimed portrayal of the title role. The film was based on Gerald Clarke's biography Capote and was directed by Bennett Miller. It was filmed mostly in Manitoba[3] in the autumn of 2004. It was released September 30, 2005, to coincide with Truman Capote's birthday.


In Kansas, a family friend discovers the dead bodies of four of the members of the Clutter family. While reading The New York Times, the story of the Clutters rivets writer Truman Capote (Philip Seymour Hoffman), who calls The New Yorker magazine editor William Shawn (Bob Balaban) to tell him that he plans to document the tragedy.

Capote travels to Kansas, inviting childhood friend Nelle Harper Lee (Catherine Keener) to come along. Capote intends to interview those involved with the victims, the Clutter family, with Lee as his go-between and facilitator. Alvin Dewey (Chris Cooper), the Kansas Bureau of Investigation's lead detective on the case, brushes him off, but Dewey's wife Marie (Amy Ryan) is a fan of Capote's writing and persuades Dewey to invite Capote and Lee to their house for dinner. She is starstruck by Capote's stories of being on movie sets with film stars.

Dewey warms up to Capote and allows him to view the photographs of the victims. The Deweys, Lee, and Capote are having dinner when the murder suspects, Perry Smith (Clifton Collins, Jr.) and Richard "Dick" Hickock (Mark Pellegrino), are caught. Flattery, bribery and a keen insight into the human condition facilitate Capote's visits to the prison where the accused are being held.

Capote begins to form an attachment to Smith. He informs Shawn of his intent to expand the story into a full-length book. Following the trial and conviction, Capote is able to gain continued access to the murderers by bribing Warden Marshall Krutch (Marshall Bell).

Capote spends the following years regularly visiting Smith and learning about his life, excepting a year-long stint when Capote goes off to Morocco and Spain to write the "first three parts" of the book, accompanied by his romantic partner Jack Dunphy (Bruce Greenwood).

The story of Smith's life, his remorseful manner, and emotional sincerity impress Capote, who becomes emotionally attached to him despite the gruesome murders. Smith refuses to tell Capote what happened on that fateful night, angering Capote. After much persuasion, Smith tells him in great detail. The story becomes a meditation upon the need for redemption even in very grave circumstances.

Legal appeals drag on for years. Capote is exasperated, as he is unable to have his book published without an ending. In the meantime, Lee's novel To Kill a Mockingbird becomes a best-seller, to Capote's surprise and jealous annoyance.

The last appeal is finally rejected. Capote is an eyewitness as Smith and Hickock are hanged, with Smith's hanging being explicitly shown. Capote talks to Lee about the horrifying experience and laments that he could not have done anything to stop it. She replies, "Maybe not; the fact is you didn't want to." This is the last line of the film. The next and last scene shows Capote looking at photos from the case as well as writings and drawings given to him by Smith.



Acting awards for Philip Seymour Hoffman[edit]

Critics' awards[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Capote". London, England: British Film Institute. Retrieved April 26, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Capote (2005)". Retrieved November 16, 2006. 
  3. ^ Capote (2005) – Filming locations
  4. ^ Source: the fifth estate, segment "The Wrong Man", March 9, 2010, about controversial Manitoba Crown prosecutor George Dangerfield.

External links[edit]