Today, true crime is big business. Newsagents’ shelves are full of magazines, bookstores stuffed to the seams with bestsellers and streaming services providing a platform, and funding, for countless popular series. This hasn’t always been the case though. When Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood was published in 1966 it was an instant success. Remaining one of the most popular books ever written in the genre.
Perry Smith (Robert Blake) and Dick Hickock (Scott Wilson) are two ex-convicts who meet up in order to pull off a big score. Whilst inside, word had it that there’s a house with a safe just waiting for them to rob. They travel across America making their way towards the target. Making an odd couple, both uneasy and unhappy in their own way. They shoot the breeze, setting the world to rights, with dollar signs shining in their eyes.
In Cold Blood mixes realism with social commentary to create a crime film which never judges its perpetrators. It also name shrinks from depicting the horror of their crimes. This odd sense of detachment marks Richard Brooks’ film out from the pack. That and Blake’s wide-eyed and anxious performance, which really takes the viewer through a gamut of emotions. In Cold Blood is a crime drama like no other.
- New 4K digital restoration, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack
- New interview with cinematographer John Bailey on the film’s cinematography
- New interview with film historian Bobbie O’Steen on the film’s editing
- New interview with film critic and jazz historian Gary Giddins on the film’s music by Quincy Jones
- New interview with writer Douglass Daniel on director Richard Brooks
- Interview with Brooks from 1988 from the French television series Cinéma cinemas
- Interview with actor Robert Blake from 1968 from the British television series Good Evening with Jonathan King
- With Love from Truman, a short 1966 documentary featuring novelist Truman Capote, directed by Albert and David Maysles
- Two archival NBC interviews with Capote: one following the author on a 1966 visit to Holcomb, Kansas, and the other conducted by Barbara Walters in 1967
- PLUS: An essay by critic Chris Fujiwara
In Cold Blood is released on Blu-ray as part of the Criterion Collection in the UK on 4 April.