Please do not be dismayed by the black and white cinematography or the year of the release, In Cold Blood is one of those crime thrillers that will blow you away. It looks and feels like a modern movie, and that will become apparent from minute one. The way the camera moves and the angles they keep choosing are way ahead of their time. The same can be said about the soundtrack. However, I do have to admit there will be just a couple of outdated scenes. Nothing that will spoil your viewing pleasure because by then you will already be on the hook.
I’ve been putting off watching In Cold Blood because I’ve read it’s chilling and difficult to watch. I imagined an outdated home invasion movie that drags on for two hours. Oh, how wrong was I to think that. Based on true events that Truman Capote wrote about extensively in his book of the same name, this is a gripping masterpiece that will make those two hours fly by. We will be following two prison buddies, now free and anxious to get some easy money. You see, they’ve heard about this family living on a remote farm in Kansas and how they have this big safe full of money.
Now, I want you to look at the poster, at these sets of eyes staring at you from the past. They are the eyes of real Perry Smith and Dick Hickock. Everything about this movie feels carefully thought out and researched. Also, the storytelling is just too gripping. First, we will hook up with Perry, fresh out of jail, and get a taste of how life was back then. It’s so fascinating to look at all these customs, technologies, and ways of life from this, modern perspective. All the while fully knowing that things are going to get ugly. So, the tension keeps rising and rising. You feel like you’re watching a car crash in slow-motion but with an ability to go back in time and see what caused it.
Perry Smith just got out of jail carrying all his possession in one heavy suitcase. He reunites with his friend from prison, Dick Hickock, to do a simple robbery. A simple robbery that should net them a lot of money. Money Perry wants to use to go to Mexico and start looking for buried treasure. However, first, they must get the money…
In Cold Blood also features the first attempts at psychological profiling I have ever seen in movies. They even thank Dr. Joseph Satten and the Division of Law and Psychiatry of The Menninger Foundation. Just ten years later, the FBI will form its criminal psychology unit and start looking into this matter more intensely. Do check out Fincher’s excellent tv show Mindhunter if you want to know more. And while we’re on this subject you might want to take a look at Capote, a 2005 biographical drama film about Truman Capote starring Philip Seymour Hoffman.
Through the lens of the events that happened that night in Kansas, we will look at humanity itself. Playfulness blends with total and utter darkness. Death, life, and suffering all roll into this ball that seems impossible to untangle. Opposite of this flurry of emotions and events hard to reconcile we have the cold and emotionless approach to storytelling. Watching this movie feels like you’re reading a really good book for the lack of a better term.
It stars Scott Wilson and Robert Blake, two guys who gave performances of a lifetime here. You might remember Wilson from The Walking Dead and Blake from Lost Highway. Additionally, Blake had a pretty interesting life and even managed to escape the death sentence for the murder of his wife. He was tried and acquitted in a regular court but found liable in a California civil court for her wrongful death. I could go on and on about their lives and the beauty of this movie but I won’t. Rabbit Reviews is a movie recommendations site and In Cold Blood is definitely worth watching.
Director: Richard Brooks
Writers: Truman Capote, Richard Brooks
Cast: Robert Blake, Scott Wilson, John Forsythe, Paul Stewart, Gerald S. O’Loughlin, Jeff Corey
Fun Facts: The family photos seen in the rooms of the house are real photos of the Clutter family members.