“I’d like to apologize, but… who to?”
Two drifters plan to rob but end up murdering a family in rural Kansas in 1959.
In Cold Blood still remains the benchmark by which all true-crime films are matched.There are no heroics or wild police chases, just a realistic look at the crime, the capture, and the executions which inspired the novel by Truman Capote. In Cold Blood is the stuff of nightmares, but this is no dream – these events really happened in 1959. The fact that much of the filming took place in the actual locations where the crime took place, even inside the very house where the multiple homicides occurred, add additional depth. The austerity of blue collar life in the Mid West of the 1950’s is splendidly evoked as the two criminals move through a rolling montage of cheap hotels and diners, bus stations and interstates. Richard Brooks’ restrained direction, Conrad Hall’s exquisite black and white cinematography, Peter Zinner’s stark yet poetic editing and Quincy Jones’s atmospheric jazz score produce a truly dark and compelling atmosphere. Stella performances from the two leads, Robert Blake and Scott Wilson, complete a profound character study of the killers. Curiously, Robert Blake, the actor playing the condemned killer Perry, was the child actor who played the street urchin who accosts Humphrey Bogart in the beginning of The Treasure of Sierra Madre – that film is referenced several times in In Cold Blood. Furthermore In 2004, a much darker coincidence occurred when Robert Blake was ordered to stand trial for the real life murder of his wife.