In Cold Blood

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Director and screenwriter Richard Brooks influences the viewers of In Cold Blood, to think not only certain things about the murder and murderers in the plot, which is based on a true story and nonfiction novel, but also tries to shape viewers' ideas about certain social issues. In particular, sex becomes a theme throughout the movie and given how particular characters respond to sex, shapes the viewers' sense of the character. Sex through Perry's eyes, is seen as a horrific, violent action. While the viewer gets a glimpse into why Perry is so opposed to sex and why perhaps he's so troubled, ultimately the viewer ends up with less sympathy towards Perry, seeing Perry almost replace his sexual drive with violence and murder.

Towards the middle of the film, Perry and Dick have made their way down to a whorehouse in Mexico but are about to leave. As this scene begins, Perry is pouring himself a drink and packing up his things, while Dick and a prostitute begin to undress and dance. While packing, Perry comes across pictures of his mother and father, in addition to a picture of himself as a little boy with his mother. When he turns back to where Dick and the prostitute are, he sees the prostitute in the bathroom putting on perfume. He imagines that the prostitute is his mother. The scene is intercut with images of him as a child watching his mother with a younger man, along with him as an adult in the whorehouse. The image shows the viewer that as a child, Perry watched his mother with this younger man then watched his father walk into the house and catch his mother in the adulterous act. Afterwards, he throws the man out the door he proceeds to hit Perry's mother with his hat before taking his belt off and lashing her repeatedly.

In addition to this incident, which portrays sex in an overtly violent way, the way the scene is shown also has an effect on the viewer. The scene cuts sharply from a close up of Perry, to this childhood image. Perry's face is shaking,...
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