Sunday, January 18, 2009

In Cold Blood

Richard Brooks, 1967, bw (8.8*)
Journalistic filming of Truman Capote’s Pulitzer-winning non-fiction book about the ruthless killing of the Clutter family of Kansas by two burglers, who had heard in prison that the family had a safe in the house. Director Brooks has made this chilling account more realistic and frightening by the use of flashbacks in the killers words, and a slightly grainy ‘newsreel’ look, also by building up to the actual crime, which is mostly shot by flashlight. One of the more spine-tingling crime re-enactments on film.

A later film, Capote (which won an acting Oscar for Philip Seymour Hoffman), examines this period in Capote’s life, when he was torn between researching his book, justice for the Clutters, and sympathy for the killers, who were awaiting execution.

The killers are excellently portrayed by Scott Wilson (from In the Heat of the Night), and tv's Robert Black (a former Little Rascal), in their best performances of their careers. This is a must-see for all true crime fans, more eerie than any Hitchcock film, in fact, it's almost too realistic to recommend.

Quote: That Mr. Clutter was a real nice gentleman, right up until I slit his throat.


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Artist, photographer, composer, author, blogger, metaphysician, herbalist

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These are the individual film reviews of what I'm considering the best 1000 dvds available, whether they are films, miniseries, or live concerts. Rather than rush out all 1000 at once, I'm doing them over time to allow inclusion of new releases - in fact, 2008 has the most of any year so far, 30 titles in all; that was a very good year for films, one of the best ever.

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