Book Vs Movie
“In Cold Blood”
Truman Capote’s “Non-Fiction Novel” Vs the Richard Brooks Movie
The Margos tackle true crime in this episode that features Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood which was a sensation when it was first published in 1966 and started a new genre called the “non-fiction novel.” Capote first read about the Clutter family murders in early December 1959 in a small section of the New York Times. Based on that one clip, he decided to go to Holcomb, Kansas (along with lifelong friend Harper “Nell” Lee as his assistant) on behalf of The New Yorker to get the story about how a small town handles a horrific crime.
It never occurred to Capote that though he himself comes from a small town (Monroeville, AL) his years of celebrity as a New York City writer and novelist would enchant even the most grounded folks in Holcomb. With Lee’s help, Truman spent years getting to know the residents of Holcomb along with dozens of members of the police and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation to get close to the killers Perry Edward Smith and Richard Eugene “Dick” Hickock.
Capote became a millionaire after its publication but his friendship with Lee faltered and he was said to be haunted by the executions of Smith and Hickock for the rest of his life. In Cold Blood is now the second best-selling true crime book of all time behind Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi.
In this ep the Margos discuss :
- The incredible life and sad decline of Truman Capote
- The true story of the Clutters and how disappointed their friends and family were by Truman’s limited view of them
- How Truman Capote created a sexier image of Smith and Hickock by using photos from celebrated photographer Richard Avedon
- The way In Cold Blood introduced true crime to the masses
- Movie trivia and the incredible use of “real” people and locations to give it a “cinema verite” look and feel
- The casting of Robert Blake (Perry Smith,) Scott Wilson (Dick Hickock,) John Forsythe (Al Dewey) and Brenda Currin (Nancy Clutter.)
- The truly awful remake from 1996 starring Anthony Edwards (Dick Hickock) and Eric Roberts (Perry Smith.)
- The excellent mini-series that features interviews.] with the descendants of Herb & Bonnie Clutter–Cold Blooded.
- The episode about the murders from the ID TV A Crime to Remember
- In Cold Blood trailer
- Truman Capote describing why he took on the Clutter murder as his first non-fiction novel (From the mini-series Cold Blooded)
- Dick Hickcock talks his way into writing a bad check
- Perry Smith talks about his abusive childhood
- Truman Capote talks about how to write about difficult topics (from the 1966 Maysles Brothers documentary “A Visit with Truman Capote“
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