Like the title says. IN COLD BLOOD dramatizes actual events and people in a realistic, technically well-crafted fashion, based upon Truman Capote's "nonficton" novel. Capote seized upon the real-life November 15, 1959 mass murder of the Clutter family in Holcomb, Kansas, by two
psychopathic killers, and turned the grisly tale into a bestseller. In making the movie, director Brooks avoids further analysis, laying out the story of Smith and Hickock as faithful docudrama.
Vagrants Blake and Wilson desperately cast about for ways to make an illegal buck, having been cell mates in state prison. Wilson has learned from another inmate that the Clutters keep $10,000 in their farm house, so the pair invades the home, terrorizing, then savagely slaughtering, the family;
they leave with little loot since there is no $10,000 to be found. The killers are shown running to Mexico, then back to the US, leaving a trail of bad checks which federal agents follow until they're apprehended in Las Vegas. Brooks then spends half the film displaying Blake and Wilson in the
Kansas State Penitentiary at Lansing waiting to be hanged. He emphasizes the state's brutality in taking their lives on the gallows on April 14, 1965, after endless appeals, stays, and agonizing soul-searching on the part of the culprits.
The facts described, what's it all about? Brooks avoids all the pitfalls of cliche, but shouldn't an in-depth docudrama have presented the aftermath of the murders on the Clutter's community and relatives? For those familiar with the case, the leads do bear a resemblance to the two real-life
murderers, but Brooks's examination is decidedly one-sided. Exquisitely photographed in wide-screen black-and-white by Conrad Hall.
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- Rating: R
- Review: Like the title says. IN COLD BLOOD dramatizes actual events and people in a realistic, technically well-crafted fashion, based upon Truman Capote's "nonficton" novel. Capote seized upon the real-life November 15, 1959 mass murder of the Clutter family in H… (more)