In Cold Blood is Richard Brooks’ stylish and powerful 1967 drama adapted from Truman Capote’s novel about a shocking real-life murder case. This daring cinematic portrait employs flashbacks to fully examine what drives an individual to commit thoughtless and brutal crimes, while using a highly innovative jazz score by Quincy Jones to capture the moody atmosphere. Capote’s own role as researcher-narrator of the young criminals’ intense friendship, fantasies, and troubled lives is effectively brought to the screen in this striking, groundbreaking drama.
Two aimless drifters, Perry Smith (Robert Blake) and Dick Hickock (Scott Wilson), target the home of Kansas businessman Herbert Clutter. After breaking into the house, they find no money, and Smith and Hickock brutally kill the entire Clutter family. They escape the scene of the crime and head for Mexico, but they eventually go back to the States, ultimately returning to Kansas. After being chased for almost a year, the troubled drifters are captured and sentenced to death.
After attending Philadelphia’s Temple University, Richard Brooks (1912-1992) labored away as a sports reporter for the Atlantic City Press Union, the Philadelphia Record and the New York World-Telegram. Brooks joined New York radio station WNEW as a staff writer in the late 1930s, then moved on to the NBC network writing pool. After a season as director of New York’s Mill Pond Theatre, Brooks headed to Los Angeles, where he did some more radio writing and broke into films as a scripter of “B” pictures, Maria Montez epics and serials. Following two years’ wartime service with the Marines, Brooks published his first novel, an anti-intolerance effort titled The Brick Foxhole. Brooks was contractually unable to work on the screenplay adaptation of Brick Foxhole (released in 1947 as Crossfire), but found time to pen a brace of additional novels; he also co-wrote Brute Force (1947) and Key Largo (1948). In 1950, Brooks made his directorial debut with MGM’s Crisis, an offbeat political melodrama… read more
Richard Brooks’ adaptation of Capote’s true-crime masterpiece ‘In Cold Blood’ is a compelling and authentic examination of the consequences of a lack of empathy in societies marginalised and disenfranchised… read review
I’ve been meaning to see this for 20 years, and finally just did. It has a flavor all it’s own, particularly when compared to similar films of the late 60’s. It’s vulgar, heart-breaking, evil… read review