“Someday, somebody will explain to me the motive of a newspaper. First, you scream, “Find the bastards.” Till we find them, you want to get us fired. When we find them, you accuse us of brutality. Before we go into court, you give them a trial by newspaper. When we finally get a conviction, you want to save them by proving they were crazy in the first place.” – Alvin Dewey
Number of Times Seen – 1 (16 Sep 2018)
Brief Synopsis – Two ex-convicts commit a senseless murder and try to avoid the police as they are hinted across the Midwestern US.
My Take on it – This is a film that I have for some reason avoided for quite a long time and now can’t understand why.
This was one of the very first true crime stories adapted into a film and they do it so amazingly the entire time.
They manage to keep things thrilling, gripping and suspenseful the entire time and the fact that this was filmed in black and white gives it a more realistic and documentary feeling throughout.
Director Richard Brooks is able to make the story feel as chilling as it should be as we see things from various perspectives along the way.
The story is mostly told in a very non-linear fashion which gives us so much insight into everything that happens especially the true character of these two men who committed senseless acts of violence.
The idea to only show what happened in the farmhouse towards the end of the film makes the story even more chilling to watch because even though we know they are guilty of this crime right from the start, we are never 100% sure of what actually transpired until the end.
The script is excellent and helps keep things thrilling the whole time.
I liked how they keep certain things slightly ambiguous the whole time as we try and understand what is going through the minds of these men on the run.
Bottom Line – Excellent true crime story put to screen. Brooks expertly gives us a chilling story in a matter-of-fact way by showing the events leading up to a senseless murder ad how the two killers spend the next few days afterwards. Liked the non-linear way this story is told because it gives us so much insight into the true character of these men. The added choice to wait to show us what actually happened at the farmhouse until nearly the end makes this even more chilling because we know they are guilty from the start, but we are never quite sure what they did until nearly the end. Excellent script keeps things thrilling and slightly ambiguous the entire time as to what is going through the minds of these men. Highly Recommended!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The “Jenson” and “Narrator” characters are based on Truman Capote. Capote went to Kansas soon after the murders to cover the manhunt and to interview those who knew the Clutter family. After the apprehension and conviction of killers Perry Smith and Dick Hickock, Capote became a major part of the killers’ lives while they were on death row, forming a particularly close bond with Smith. Smith gave most of his belongings – drawings and books – to Capote. Capote was present at the executions and witnessed the carrying-out of Hickock’s sentence, but couldn’t bear to watch Smith die, and left the room before he was brought in. (From IMDB)
Rating – Oscar Worthy (9/10)
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