Capote's In Cold Blood

Four members of the Clutter family were murdered in their Kansas home in the early 1960s. Truman Capote, on assignment, went to Kansas to interview the friends of the victims and, notably, the apprehended killers, Perry Smith and Dick Hickock. Smith and Hickock were hanged by the state. Capote’s 1966 biography/novel about the six killings, In Cold Blood, caused a sensation, and led to Richard Brooks’ 1967 film. The film, of course, also caused a sensation: for its graphic violence, it’s sympathy with the killers, and it’s (unusual for the time) stand against the death penalty. And while the shock may have worn off in the past few decades, and the violence surpassed by Hollywood wham-bang, ...

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on each other across the flat grey landscape of center America. Dick makes the plans and scouts the victims, Perry accepts the browbeating, and makes the more rash decisions. Dick is a bully. Perry chews handfuls of aspirin, and holds himself as if he’s never doing anything quite right. Individually, the film states, they are not capable of murder, but together, they form the rage, the insecurity, the greed, the desperation, to commit murder. The film has a surprisingly homey tone. The small towns, the intimate stuffy Tijuana hotel rooms, the beautiful sequences where Perry and Dick are picked up by an elderly man and his little grandson, and the periodically stop along the side of the road to collect bottles. It’s all a way to get close into the minds of the two criminals, and let us understand why they did what they did. Not condone it, mind you, but at least understand it.
The story is told slightly out of order. In fact, we’re not even given the entire killing sequence until ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 3/27/2011 01:12:38 AM
Submitted By: nikkib
Category: Film & Theater
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 835
Pages: 4

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