In Cold Blood, film review: A stylised movie that boasts remarkable performances

(15) Richard Brooks, 132 mins. Starring: Robert Blake, Scott Wilson, John Forsythe

Click to follow

Richard Brooks' 1967 adaptation of Truman Capote's book from the year before pulls in two directions. It's both a "true crime" movie and a poetic account of two young men who, by committing an act of unspeakable brutality, unleash the furies against themselves.

Brooks went to extraordinary lengths to recreate the circumstances in which two drifters (Robert Blake and Scott Wilson) massacred a Kansas farming family. At the same time, this is a stylised movie, wonderfully shot in widescreen black-and-white by Conrad Hall.

The film boasts remarkable performances from Wilson and Blake, who elicit pity as well as disgust. We feel an unlikely sympathy for them as they blunder toward the gallows.