Directed by Richard Brooks (USA, 1967, 135 min.).

The film adaptation of Truman Capote’s controversial novel, In Cold Blood, follows the trail of Perry Smith (Robert Blake) and Dick Hickock (Scott Wilson) as they break into the home of the Clutter family in Holcomb, Kansas, commit a horrific crime, go on the run, and are caught and tried for murder. The film was revolutionary in its “you are there” style of shooting, heightened by the use of black-and-white photography. Some scenes were filmed at the locations of the original events, including the penitentiary where Smith and Hickock were executed, and the Clutter residence, where the murders took place. The film was nominated for four Academy Awards: best director, original score, cinematography, and adapted screenplay.

Of Capote’s novel, Tom Wolfe famously wrote that “the book is neither a who-done-it nor a will-they-be-caught, since the answers to both questions are known from the…instead, the book’s suspense is based largely on a totally new idea in detective stories: the promise of gory details, and the withholding of them until the end.” In this light, Capote’s book and Brooks’s subsequent film can be seen as precursors to the contemporary craze of true crime dramas like The Jinx.

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