In Cold Blood (film)
|In Cold Blood|
original U.S. poster
|Directed by||Richard Brooks|
|Produced by||Richard Brooks|
|Screenplay by||Richard Brooks|
|Based on||In Cold Blood
by Truman Capote
|Music by||Quincy Jones|
|Editing by||Peter Zinner|
Pax Enterprises, Inc.
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Running time||134 minutes|
In Cold Blood is a 1967 film based on Truman Capote's book of the same name. Richard Brooks prepared the adaptation and directed the film. It stars Robert Blake as Perry Smith, Scott Wilson as Richard "Dick" Hickock and John Forsythe as Alvin Dewey. The film follows the trail of Smith and Hickock; they break into the home of the Clutter family in Holcomb, Kansas, kill all four members of the family, go on the run, are found and caught by the police, tried for the murders and eventually executed. Although the film is in parts faithful to the book, Brooks created a fictional character, "The Reporter" (played by Paul Stewart). The film was nominated for four Academy Awards: Director, Original Score, Cinematography and Adapted Screenplay.
Some scenes were filmed on the locations of the original events, including Garden City and Holcomb, Kansas; Kansas State Penitentiary, where Smith and Hickock were executed; and the Clutter residence, where the murders took place.
November 1959. Perry Smith (Robert Blake) and "Dick" Hickock (Scott Wilson) concoct a plan to invade the home of the Clutter family, as Mr. Clutter supposedly keeps a large supply of cash on-hand in a safe. While the two criminals felt that their plan for the robbery was sound, it quickly unravels, resulting in the murder of Mr. and Mrs. Clutter, as well as their two teenage children. The bodies are discovered the next day, and a police investigation is immediately launched. As the investigation builds, the two wanted men continue to elude law enforcement by heading south and crossing into Mexico, but after a while they return and decide to travel to Las Vegas to win some money at gambling; there they are arrested for parole violation, being in possession of a stolen car and passing bad checks.
The police separately interrogate the two men about the Clutter murders. Both Smith and Hickock admit to their check bouncing offenses, but deny knowing anything about the murders. Next the police confront them with evidence, such as a bloody footprint matching the boots worn by one of the men ("You boys signed your own work!"), but they are slowed by Smith's refusal to provide answers. The police claim that another mistake made by the men is that they left a witness. Finally, Hickock confesses and states that he does not want to be executed for the crime, claiming that Smith committed all of the murders. When Smith learns that Hickock confessed, he claims that it was Hickock who killed the entire family, not he.
Smith and Hickock are both found guilty of the crime and sentenced to be hanged. A representation of their final moments and their execution are presented at the conclusion of the film.
The story of the murders is told in flashback, or analepsis, after the arrest of the suspects.
- Robert Blake as Perry Smith
- Scott Wilson as Dick Hickock
- John Forsythe as Alvin Dewey
- Paul Stewart as Reporter
- Gerald S. O'Loughlin as Harold Nye
- Jeff Corey as Dick's father
- John Gallaudet as Roy Church
- James Flavin as Clarence Duntz
- Charles McGraw as Perry's father
- Jim Lantz as Officer Rohleder
- Will Geer as Prosecuting attorney
- John McLiam as Herbert Clutter
- Paul Hough as Kenyon Clutter
- Ruth Storey as Bonnie Clutter
- Brenda C. Currin as Nancy Clutter
- Donald Sollars as Clothing Salesman
The film was generally well received. Critics praised Brooks' interpretation of Capote's book, and were especially complimentary of the performances of the cast, including Scott Wilson and Robert Blake as the killers. Another thing that helped the film was the use of black-and-white photography to heighten the tension of the film, to give it the "you are there" touch. Brooks added to the film's authenticity by filming in the actual locations, including the Kansas State Penitentiary, where the executions of Smith and Hickock took place.
The film went on to receive four Academy Award nominations: Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Original Music Score and Best Adapted Screenplay. At the time of its release, it was given the words "For Mature Audiences", which meant no children under 17 were allowed to see the film without parents or legal guardians of age: now the MPAA has given the film an "R" rating due to the film's violence and mature nature.
- American Film Institute Lists
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies - Nominated
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes and Villains:
- Perry Smith & Dick Hickock - Nominated Villains
- AFI's 100 Years of Film Scores - Nominated
- AFI's 10 Top 10 - #8 Courtroom Drama
Television remake 
A 1996 miniseries directed by Jonathan Kaplan was also made based on the book with screenplay by Benedict Fitzgerald. In that adaptation, Anthony Edwards portrayed Dick Hickock, Eric Roberts played Perry Smith, and Sam Neill played Kansas Bureau of Investigation detective Alvin Dewey.
See also 
||This article needs additional citations for verification. (April 2010)|
- "In Cold Blood, Box Office Information". The Numbers. Retrieved March 8, 2012.
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies Nominees
- AFI's 100 Years...100 Heroes and Villains Nominees
- AFI's 100 Years of Film Scores Nominees
- In Cold Blood at the Internet Movie Database
- In Cold Blood at the TCM Movie Database
- In Cold Blood at AllRovi