In Cold Blood (1967)
Reviewed on 2011 January 12
Very, very creepy account of how a couple of loser drifters slaughtered a Kansas farm family, novelized by Truman Capote and adapted for the screen and directed by Richard Brooks.
Perry Smith (Robert Blake) and Dick Hickock (Scott Wilson) are a pair of failures who never seemed to either catch a break in life or help themselves, and so decide to help themselves to someone else’s success. Dick knows that Herb Clutter (John McLiam) has a nice existence, and Dick recruits Perry to go get some of the cash that he’s sure Herb tucked away in the walls of his fine house. Dick has but one rule for the heist: no witnesses, no matter what happens. The people of Kansas are horrified by the murders and resolve to track down the criminals.
The film works because it shows how Smith and Hickock were created without excusing them, and the impact that their crime had on the whole town. Besides being an important story, it’s just a brilliant movie. I think the most upsetting part is when Perry and Dick are driving towards the Clutter home and the scenes are interwoven with the Clutters just being a happy family and settling down for the night. Without being overdramatic, Brooks captured the randomness and determination of death.
Four chocolate morsels.