Directed by Richard Brooks • 1967 • United States
Starring Robert Blake, Scott Wilson, John Forsythe
Truman Capote’s best seller, a breakthrough narrative account of real-life crime and punishment, became an equally chilling film in the hands of writer-director Richard Brooks. Cast for their unsettling resemblances to the killers they play, Robert Blake and Scott Wilson give authentic, unshowy performances as Perry Smith and Dick Hickock, who in 1959 murdered a family of four in Kansas during a botched robbery. Brooks brings a detached, documentary-like starkness to this uncompromising view of an American tragedy and its aftermath; at the same time, stylistically IN COLD BLOOD is a filmmaking master class, with clinically precise editing, chiaroscuro black-and-white cinematography by the great Conrad Hall, and a menacing jazz score by Quincy Jones.