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...
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