In Cold Blood [1967]

Director: Richard Brooks
Stars: Robert Blake, Scott Wilson, John Forsythe, Paul Stewart, Gerald S. O'Loughlin
Genre: Crime, Drama, History
Rating: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Runtime: 134 minutes

Truman Capote's extraordinary nonfiction book about the course of two killers in this world--their lives, their senseless slaughter of an entire family, their executions--was faithfully adapted for the screen in this 1967 film by Richard Brooks (Deadline USA, The Blackboard Jungle). Robert Blake and Scott Wilson are remarkable as the murderers, but what has kept this film special over the decades is Brooks's blunt, clearheaded, and nonsensational approach to the story. (The term "semidocumentary" has been applied to Brooks's style on this film, and it's an entirely fair description.) The experience of watching In Cold Blood is naturally unsettling, but the director--as with Capote--leaves final judgments about justice to the beholder. --Tom Keogh

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