DICK AND PERRY DECIDE TO BREAK ON THE CLUTTER HOME TO STEAL MONEY FROM A SAFE. GOING WITH THEIR PREVIOUSLY ESTABLISHED 'NOWITNESS' POLICY, THEY STICK WITH THEIR PLAN. THIS IS THEIR STORYFROM WHEN THEIR PLAN WAS HATCHED TO ... more »WHEN THEY WERE APPREHENDED.« less
"A remake of the 1967 film of the same name, which was a fairly faithful adaptation of Truman Capote's sensational non-fiction book, this version does not disappoint the viewer. Although it does not have the gritty, quasi-documentary feel of the black and white 1967 film, which starred Robert Blake and Scott Wilson in the two lead roles, it is compelling in its own right and a fairly faithful adaptation.
The film follows the path of two losers, Dick Hickock (Anthony Edwards) and Perry Smith (Eric Roberts), as they careen towards catastrophe for themselves and for the hapless Klutter family of Holcomb, Kansas, upon whom they have set their sights. The pathology inherent in these two protagonists is chilling. It is also scary to think that a simple twist of fate would join them all in the annals of true crime.
While Hickock was incarcerated, a fellow inmate, Floyd Wells, who at one time years ago had worked for Herbert Klutter, the patriarch of the Klutter family, told Hickock that Klutter was a wealthy farmer who kept a large store of cash in a safe in the house. Given many details of the family and their house, Hickock fantasizes of making a big score, courtesy of the Klutter family.
When Hickock is released, he hooks up with his friend, Perry Smith. Smith, initially the more sympathetic of the two protagonists, is an individual with obvious psychological problems, deeply rooted in his troubled childhood, while Hickock, who seemed to have had a relatively normal childhood, is a totally amoral con man with little empathy for others. Together, these two spell trouble.
As they begin their preparations for their supposed big heist, the viewer gets a dose of the pathological psyche of these two pathetic individuals. Clearly, Hickock is the leader, with the troubled Smith seemingly reluctant to go along with Hickock's plans. It is chilling to watch them as their preparations and actions take them ever closer to their moment of reckoning with the Klutter family.
The film also tells a parallel story, that of the all-American Klutter family. The viewer sees how they lived and what their modest lives were like just shortly before theirs were to violently intersect those of Smith and Hickock on November 14, 1959. It is this poignant glimpse into their lives just before their senseless slaughter by these two strangers that makes the film so heartbreaking. Were it not for a simple twist of fate, this family might have gone on to live their lives in relative obscurity.
When Smith and Hickock finally reach the home of the Klutters that fateful night, they simply walk in through their unlocked door. Sleeping in the family home were the Clutters and their two teenage children. It would prove to be an unforgettable night for all concerned. The rest of the film focuses on the subsequent actions of Hickock and Perry, as well as on the investigation of the murders, which investigation ultimately saw this motley pair brought to justice.
Anthony Edwards gives an impressive performance as the creepy, amoral, and immature Hickock. He plays him as a big talker pumped with self-importance, a flim-flam man who cons Perry into thinking that this score will set them up for life. Eric Roberts plays Perry Smith as a sympathetic and somewhat sensitive character, who, but for the cruel twists of fate, might have had another kind of life. His portrayal makes the revelations at the end all that more surprising.
This is a remarkably good made for television film that does not try to copy the original 1967 film but, instead, forges its own path. The direction is excellent, as are the performances of the entire cast. Those who enjoy the true crime genre will find this film to be well worth watching."
In Cold Blood
Movie Fan | Arkansas | 03/07/2006
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This is a made for TV movie and not the original film. Do not waste your money on this re-make. Buy the original that was released in 1967 and starred Robert Blake."
TV DOESN'T QUITE MAKE IT WORK
Michael Butts | Martinsburg, WV USA | 01/23/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This tv miniseries from 1996 seems to be an unnecessary remake of the classic film starring Robert Blake and Scott Wilson. Although the teleplay does give us more background on the Clutter family and the killers themselves, it's done in such a turgid and lethargic style, it's hard to hold your interest. Eric Roberts and Anthony Edwards are to be commended for their passionate performances,but atempt to elicit sympathy for them demeans the horrible crime they committed. Sam Neill gamely plays the federal agent who tracks them down and there are some nice cameos from Bethel Leslie, Stella Stevens and Gwen Verdon. Kevin Tighe as Mr. Clutter, however, doesn't have the acting chops to carry off his role. All in all, it's decently done but pales in comparison to its original source and is nowhere near as good as CAPOTE."
"In Cold Blood" Freezes Interest
Pamela | Dublin, PA U.S.A. | 03/12/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"This movie is a complete waste of time. This represents the worst of film making in the 1990's: "realism" as portrayed by black-and-white traumatic flashbacks, dull plodding dialogue, and unbelievably eccentric characters, coupled with the fashionable cultural depression so glorified in the era of grunge. Sam Neill's fake, horrible American accent brings to mind the 80's epithet, "Gag me with a spoon." It seems as though the theme of the movie is a kind of historical revisionism of post-WWII American culture, showing the dark underbelly of a culture so happy on the surface, but it is blatantly overdone. Note to Eric Roberts: you are no musician, my friend, don't quit your day job."
Best Vresion of all.
W. Max Hollmann | Florida | 01/24/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There are two movies with the title In "Cold Blood" and at least three about Truman Capote. This is the best of the lot. The first, black and white version portrayed the killers as victims (becasue they were executed) and the family killed as an inconvenience. The Capote movies were more about Capote then the crime and one got the impression that he, himself, as a gay man, was victimized. This movie, treats the real crime victims as a family whose lives were needlessly snuffed out by two psychotic killers in a meaninless act of cruelity. It is also a good police drama, especially since it does not rely on cheap tricks like car chases, gun fights, big chested bimbos or obsenities every couple of words. I highly recommnend it."