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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 19 December 2007
"In Cold Blood" ranks top of my honor list of crime/dramas. Adapted from international bestseller non-fiction novel by Truman Capote; it was a real sensation of late 1950s, a true crime classic based on 1959 Halcomb, Kansas murders.

Thanks to writer/producer/director Richard Brook's journalistic background, it has a good taste of docu-drama in and of itself. His directorial touch is amazing. Everything unfolds as it should, and the story clicks along without a wasted second. The film was shot mostly in actual locations (e.g. Clutter house where the murders were committed) and used the people (7 original members of 12 jurors & the real hangman who made their execution) involved to make the film as authentic as possible. Furthermore, the outstanding cast and exquisite, richly-detailed black & white cinematography of Conrad Hall contribute greatly to the gritty, documentary realism of the story.

Well, another thing that impressed me so much is the psychological portraits of killers. Both characters are well-drawn and well-acted. Perry Smith, brutal albeit naïve and weak-willed of the duo is victim of circumstances. His childhood traumas (broken home, tough father and promiscuous mother) and complexes about his physical handicap reflect his interior confusion perfectly. Flashbacks and his fantasies are put so proper places that not only enriches the viewing experience, but also deepens the film's philosophy. On the other hand, Dick Hickock portrays Smith's sly accomplice with terrifingly manipulative mind. Theirs are one of the most alive albeit morbid relationships in cinema history in that both feed on other's psychopathology and the film captures perfectly all the pathos of their situation. We come to realize that these two as both equal but opposite kinds of a killer. As the voice-over narrator says "neither of them would have done it alone. But together, they made a third personality. That's the one who did it".

To sum up, "In Cold Blood" deserves all praises as a superbly photographed film in a documentary style. Highly recommended...
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on 19 March 2004
This film is just plain mesmerising from start to finish. Robert Blake and Scott Wilson both give deeply believable performances as two amateur thieves who end up with a massacre on their hands.
Based on Capote's book about an actual event that stunned the small farming community where it occured, the film is shot in black and white and has a fly-on-the-wall feel about it. Engrossing and brutal, with just enough heart and just enough humour to make it real.
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A film based on real events and the concept taken largely from the book "In Cold Blood" by Truman Capote. These two guys wiped out an entire family and, even now, we don't have all of the facts, we'll never know how those people suffered at the hands of Perry and Dick before they finally killed them. Capote created a work of art when he wrote "In Cold Blood"; bringing home to the public for the very first time a style of reporting that was simple and clean, he wrote the book as a journalistic report rather than a "story" and that's why this film works, that's the basic element that's been captured here. There's no glorification of the murder it's just brutally cold and fast and there's no wallowing through the lives of the culprits looking for pity, looking for justification. They plan it, they do it, they run away and very nearly get away, plain and simple. I loved this film. The whole atmosphere's cold, dark and brooding and you feel anxious right from the start, something bad's coming and you can't stop it. I would suggest, humbly, that you read the book before you watch the film, you don't have to, but it's a classic and goes further. Good quality, no problem with the picture or sound, definitely worth watching.
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on 26 December 2009
A film as good as the book? Well it's not far off. `In Cold Blood' was Capote's best book by a mile and this film gets very close.

Brooks was a fine underrated director and this may be his finest (though `The Professionals' and `Elmer Gantry' were pretty good). Shot in glowering black and white by the late great Conrad Hall and using most of the original locations this film just feels like they've got it right.

As the two protagonists Robert Blake and Scott Wilson are superb. Blake's is the showier role (and Capote was obviously more interested in Perry Smith) but Wilson is perhaps even more chilling. A charming, smiling all-American boy who just happens to have a great big empty hole where his heart should be. As the film makes clear these were two pathetic losers who probably would've never done any real harm had they never met - but together they made another altogether more dangerous beast.

The film wanders a little when Smith and Hickok are on the run and the flashbacks are not really necessary but the film, for the most part, retains a vice-like grip.

You can keep your Hannibal Lecter's - Smith and Hickok were real evil, in all its miserable, pathetic ordinariness.

Definitely work seeking out.
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on 10 October 2016
I must admit I found this film quite un-nerving and quite shocking. This is a trip inside the mind of a very psychiatrically challenged person, and to watch this type film one must put on one side one’s own natural feelings of humanity.

If you like films dealing with deviancy then this may interest you. Well acted with a very story.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 29 July 2012
'In Cold Blood' is on my list of top 10 favourite black-and-white movies of all time. Although it is unknown to many, and certainly not as famous as the book, this film is a riveting and powerful drama. If you have already read and enjoyed the best-selling book by Truman Capote, you will surely enjoy the big screen adaption.

This is the original version, filmed in beautiful black-and-white in 1967, starring a young Robert Blake and Scott Wilson, both actors are excellent in their roles as the crazed, complex murderers Perry Smith and Dick Hickock.

This is a film that really grabs your attention from the very beginning and holds it throughout the entire two hours. Staying true to the book, the movie really gives you an insight into the clever murderers' minds and makes the viewer understand how both men were actually very different people and two different kinds of killer altogether.

The movie was very well laid out. The viewer is firstly introduced to the main characters who carried out the crime and then after the crime has been committed the movie covers the trial. The actual killings of the doomed, respectable middle-class Clutter family are highly disturbing scenes and had me on the edge of my seat. I must also make note of what very good cinematography it has, and the attention to detail which was given to it is brilliant.

Most of the scenes were actually filmed on the locations of the original events, including the place where Smith and Hickock were executed, and the Clutter residence, where Perry and Smith committed the murders.

'In Cold Blood' is one very clever film, a must-see for all lovers of crime drama, and definitely worth repeated viewings. It encouraged an awful television mini-series in 1996, so make sure you obtain this one: In Cold Blood [DVD].
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VINE VOICEon 18 July 2009
Robert Blake stars in this dark and atmospheric thriller which made him famous. He and a pal rob and murder a family. Earning only a few dollars from the horrors they perpetrated, they go on the run.
Pursued by determined law-enforcement officers, they are eventually captured and hanged.
There is something documentary style about it and the ending is wonderfully thought-provoking.
This little classic is a must-see if only for the fifties style of imagery.
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on 4 March 2015
Excellent film, very powerful and well acted. I suggest reading the book it was based on. Interesting that Harper Lee who accompanied Trueman Capote when he visited the area and became close to one of the defendants, is publishing her follow up to To Kill a .........., and Cspote is only know for two books
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on 30 August 2010
brilliant from start to finish a movie that should be better known acting from blake and cast second to none
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on 11 December 2010
Top film. As a parent it has allowed me to understand Capote's theme and story whilst assisting daughter with A Level studies.
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