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4.7 out of 5 stars
In Cold Blood [DVD] (1967)
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Price:£13.47+ £1.26 shipping

TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 6 September 2014
This classic film, commendably well directed and acted, tells the story of the murder in 1959 of the Clutter family, father, mother and two teenage children, on their farm in Kansas. At two a.m. two men approached the darkened house hoping to find a safe - one had been told about the safe by a former Clutter worker when he shared a cell with him in prison. There was no safe, but they had formed a plan to leave no witnesses, so the four family members were all tied up and shot. The murders sent a ripple of fear through the whole community. The Clutters were well-known and well-liked, they died in their own home, and there appeared to be no motive for the killings - only $40 and a transistor radio were stolen. Who could have done such a thing - where were they, and would they do it again?

Six weeks later the killers, Perry Smith and 'Dick'; Hickock, were found and arrested. The police work had been thorough and professional, but they had three significant pieces of good luck, one of which helped them to identify the men and the other two to secure a conviction in this witnessless case. Smith and Hickock were tried and condemned to death, but sentence was not carried out for five years while a series of appeals was heard. In the end, they died by hanging in 'The Corner', an old tin-roofed workshop beside the prison in which they had spent those years.

The writers Truman Capote and Harper Lee researched all of this on site and what they found became the basis of Capote's outstanding book 'In Cold Blood'. This is the film version of that book. It tells a compelling but deeply disturbing story without sensationalism. It is not judgemental. It explores, as the book does, the psychological basis for the killings - Smith in particular was affected by disturbing events in his childhood and his relationship with his father - and in the end the message the film confronts us with is that there is no ray of hope in this story ; it is just something that happens and, in the end, that darkens the lives of all who come in contact with it. It is a compelling film, but a disturbing one, and, shot in black and white, it has considerable period credibility and atmosphere. I can't imagine it being better done, and it is certainly thought-provoking.
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TOP 100 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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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 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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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 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 27 August 2017
This is a beautiful film .
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on 29 January 2016
I only bought this out of curiosity. A lot better than I thought it would be. I always liked Robert Blake. He was good on the Beretta TV series.
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on 25 June 2016
Very pleased with the DVD but had to pay £2 excess postage...it had reused postage stamps and they were hanging off.
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