BRLSI host an upcoming screening of 'In Cold Blood' by Truman Capote.


This year marks the centenary of the birth of the author and socialite Truman Capote. An upcoming screening of ‘In Cold Blood’, Capote’s book published in 1966, and heralded as his “non-fiction novel”, chronicles the brutal and seemingly senseless murders of a Kansas family with a novelist’s eye and ear. Director Richard Brooks cleaved to Capote’s style in a chilling film adaptation, which caught in a very visceral way the horrors of the American Justice System.

Ahead of the screening we asked Sean Connelly of Bath Film Society Five Questions on what makes ‘In Cold Blood’ such great material for film.

Is the film based on a true story?

Very much so, and it is a faithful adaptation of Truman Capote’s book of the same name, the result of countless hours of interviews, leading to 8,000 pages of notes.

Is this the same Truman Capote who wrote Breakfast at Tiffany’s and hobnobbed with New York’s high society? Interviewing Kansas police, sheriffs and ex-cons?

Capote knew that he would be an oddity in rural Kansas so he enlisted his childhood friend Harper Lee (author of To Kill a Mockingbird) to ‘open doors’ that would otherwise remain shut to him.

The film is in black and white, but it was released in 1967? Isn’t that about 30 years behind the times?

The decision to go with black and white was deliberate, emphasizing the starkness of the Kansas setting as well as the harshness of the crimes portrayed; the effect was to appear almost like a documentary, echoing the book’s fame as a ‘non-fiction novel’.

If the public anxiously awaited the film version of Capote’s book, why is it I’ve never heard of the two principal actors in the film, Robert Blake and Scott Wilson?

Columbia Pictures wanted Paul Newman and Steve McQueen to co-star, but director Richard Brooks insisted on having ‘unknowns’ take the parts, so as not to distract audiences and to stress that the real killers were equally anonymous.

What’s the unlikely connection between In Cold Blood and the early Sixties pop song “It’s My Party”?

The connection is that musical maestro Quincy Jones, produced Lesley Gore’s hit several years before composing the soundtrack for In Cold Blood. The studio wanted Leonard Bernstein to take on that job, but director Richard Brooks insisted on Jones – at a time when few African Americans had the chance to produce music for feature films.

To Book for ‘In Cold Blood’ :








BRLSI News, General News
, , ,