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No More Trauma

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Miles Kelly
Miles Kelly

In Cold Blood (1967)

The Las Vegas Police Department and the KBI later separately interrogate the two men about the Clutter murders. Both Smith and Hickock admit to passing bad checks, but both deny knowing anything about the murders. The KBI attempts to scare the men into confessing, claiming that they left a witness behind who can testify against them. The KBI interrogation, however, is slowed by Smith's refusal to provide answers. Next, the KBI confront the two with evidence, such as a bloody footprint matching the boots worn by Smith. Finally, Hickock relents, confessing that he was present, but that Smith carried out the murders. He begs for immunity from the death penalty. After Smith learns that Hickock has confessed, he recounts how it was in fact he, not Hickock, who wielded the knife and pulled the trigger in all four killings, but maintains that Hickock was present as an active accomplice.

In Cold Blood (1967)

In 1967 Richard Brooks brought to the big screen the adaptation of probably Truman Capote's most iconic, emblematic book, in which the author had to sit down and talk to the culprits of the cold-blooded murder of a family of four during an attempted robbery. Decades later the story would be adapted into "Capote" with the brilliant, award-winning performance of the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Sidney Poitier called Richard Brooks and strongly suggested that Scott Wilson be considered for the leading role. Wilson strongly impressed Poitier when they worked together on In the Heat of the Night (1967). Wilson said that Poitier never mentioned this to him at the time, and he only found out after he was cast in the role.

Robert Blake and Scott Wilson were not the first choices to play the cold-blooded murderers. Studio heads at Columbia Pictures originally wanted Paul Newman and Steve McQueen in the lead roles. Newman chose instead to star in Cool Hand Luke (1967) and Hombre (1967) that year; McQueen worked on The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) and Bullitt (1968).

One of the assignments consisted in analyzing the films Capote (2005) directed by Bennett Miller and In Cold Blood (1967) directed by Richard Brooks in relation to their corresponding books, Capote by Gerald Clarke and In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. We viewed the films in class, and read, both, the novel and the biography. The class then analyzed the respective books by doing word searches, analysis of specific passages, and creative approaches by the respective authors, to then evaluate those searches in relation to the films. For the films I provided montage visualizations, which are selected screen shots representative of all the scenes (figures 2 and 3).

The cold-blooded murder of the very decent Clutter family sparked a national outrage and inspired Truman Capote to write In Cold Blood (1966). With that book, he created a new type of literary work, one that blended fact and fiction, telling a true story but inventing dialogue and making up or combining characters to enhance the narrative.

In Cold Blood was a strange and different novel by the soft-spoken Truman Capote. You have a cold-blooded murder, a criminal investigation, and two murderers whose background and upbringing can be analyzed due to their behavior and actions. The movie is a tight thriller that remains strong. 041b061a72


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