In Cold Blood is based on the book by Truman Capote, that is based on the true story of the murder of the Clutter family by Perry Smith and “Dick” Hickock. Smith is played by Robert Blake, later known for his role as Baretta on the T.V. show by the same name, and maybe more so for being accused for the murder of his second wife. Hickock is played by Scott Wilson, who I know from The Walking Dead and look forward to watching him on the series Bosch. I did not recognize him at all, as his older bearded self doesn’t look much like he did in his youth, and his voice isn’t as distinctive yet either. The two actors looked remarkably like the real life killers that they play.
John Forsythe plays our lead detective on the case, Alvin Dewey. Forsythe already had a pretty decent T.V. career going when he made this movie, but of course he would go on to great heights as the voice of Charlie on Charlie’s Angels and the prime-time soup Dynasty.
Though this is not a classic film-noir, I guess it is to new for that, it was made in 1967. Richard Brook wrote this for the screen and directed it. He used black and white and many shadows, it looks like any good noir made in the 1950’s to me. It is a neo-noir in date alone in my opinion. Brooks, kept this as close to the book as possible and as accurate as possible, using some of the same jurors and a lot of the locals for extras. As well as going to the actual locations to film as many scenes as possible
The story starts with Perry Smith getting off the bus in Kansas to meet his friend Dick Hickock. Hickock has a plan for some big money, no witnesses and an escape to Mexico. The plan doesn’t seem to go well and our duo is on the run, broke and not sure what to do.
The movies Capote and Infamous are both very good movies about Truman Capote and him writing the book “In Cold Blood.” I have never read the book, but it is one on my long list of “Want to Read.” This movie makes me want to move it up the list a bit.
Favorite Tidbit: The character Perry Smith mentions the movie “Treasure of the Sierra Madre” twice, some thought this was written into the script because Smith was played by Robert Blake. Blake had an uncredited role in the film as a child. The real reason Smith mentions the movie in the film is because it was the real Perry Smith’s favorite film and he often referred to it.
This movie is for everybody that likes good film. If you are a noir fan it is a must watch. Fans of true crime stories should also love it.