In Cold Blood 1967 Movie Vs Book Essay

Comparison Essay: in Cold Blood

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Comparison Essay: “In Cold Blood” Film & Book In Cold Blood is a 1967 film directed by Richard Brooks. The film is based on the book by Truman Capote, having the same title as the film. The closeness and accuracy of events between the book and the film are tied closely together. Some of the film was actually shot on location where the fatal Clutter murders took place. While reading the book, the reader learns that Capote uses a form of writing that could be difficult to portray in a film setting.

As the storyline in “In Cold Blood” progresses, Capote shifts scenes to show the Clutter’s in their everyday routine, as well as the killers as they approach their victims. Brooks does an excellent job shifting scenes in the film, but not so much that it becomes confusing to the viewer. Although the book and film are closely related, there are a couple of differences that are quite noticeable and could in fact change a viewer/reader’s opinion of the book and or film.

The character descriptions in Capote’s book are much stronger than those of Brooks’. The two sources also have two different endings. The character descriptions by Capote are very strong. Almost the entire first half of the book is dedicated to describing the Clutter family and the two killers. By describing in such depth, Capote allows the reader to form some sort of feeling towards the character. For instance, Herb Clutter was described as a good friend, boss, husband, and father.

Capote writes, “He was, however, the community’s most widely known citizen, prominent both there and in Garden City and his name was everywhere respectfully recognized among Midwestern agriculturists, as it was in certain Washington offices” (6). He not only does this with Mr. Clutter, but he describes every family member in great detail. Nancy Clutter was widely known throughout Holcomb, and was basically the All-American child. As for Mrs. Clutter, her description was rather important.

The fact that she was not mentally stable and remained sick most of the time aided in her vulnerability at the time of the murders. The analysis of each character enables the reader to feel for the Clutter family and come to the realization that they were just like any other American family; not criminals, wrong-doers, or anything of the sort. Not only does Capote describe the Clutter family, he takes a lot of time to figure out the criminals behind the murders. Dick Hickcock and Perry Smith are very well analyzed in throughout the novel.

Basically their whole life stories and every move they made in order to reach the Clutter’s were documented in Capote’s book. In the film, on the other hand, the viewer sees slightly into the lives of the Clutter family, but the director does not describe each character individually. Without this insight, a viewer who has not read the novel may not feel the same way about the family’s tragedy. Knowing more about them would give the viewer a better understanding of what the family was like, and as to why exactly the killers went through with the awful act.

The character descriptions in both the movie and the book are in fact different and cause different reactions to each. Not only are the details different in the film and the book, they actually have different ways of ending. Capote closes his novel with a scene located at a cemetery. This scene differs from the movie in that Brooks ended his work with the hanging of Dick and Perry. This conclusion was probably done for dramatic effect, as are most films. Capote’s ending to the novel was a more emotional approach to concluding the Clutter case.

Author: Brandon Johnson

in In Cold Blood

Comparison Essay: in Cold Blood

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BOOK VS MOVIE: In Cold Blood

I've recently taken an interest in criminology. I don't know why, but I find it very fascinating.

On November 15, 1959, the peace of Holcomb, Kansas was shattered by the brutal murder of the Clutter family. The killers, Dick Hickock and Perry Smith, manage to evade the law for several months after the crime is committed. The crime would've remained unsolved had Floyd Wells, a prisoner who once celled with Dick, hadn't reported who the killers were.

Truman Capote successfully manages to create a whole level of creepy just with his writing. Richard Brooks' movie was also creepy, but not on the same level with Capote's book. There's one line uttered by Perry that scared the hell out of me:

"I thought he was a very nice gentleman. Soft-spoken. I thought so right up to the moment I cut his throat."

(shudder) Scary.

What's worth checking out?: I'd go with the book.

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