Friday, July 12, 2013

In Cold Blood

On a cold November morning in 1959, an upstanding farmer, his wife, and two teen-aged children were found brutally murdered in their homes, the results of a botched home invasion, sending fear through the hearts of their small Kansas town and shock waves across the nation. Based on Truman Capote's real-life crime novel, In Cold Blood follows the manhunt, apprehension, trial, conviction, and execution of the two ex-cons responsible for the crimes, interspersed with flashbacks of their backgrounds and scenes from their brief getaway. Like Capote's novel, director Richard Brooks' adaptation builds his work on detailed realism, filming on many of the actual locations, presenting his film as a docudrama. It is starkly shot in black and white, incredibly edited, features an excellent performance from Robert Blake, and is only slightly diminished by the weighty narration of the Capote fill-in.