In Cold Blood


In Cold Blood

Critics Consensus

In Cold Blood is a classic docudrama with a fictional thriller's grip -- and a pair of terrific lead performances from Robert Blake and Scott Wilson.



Total Count: 37


Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,621
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Movie Info

This docudrama recreates a real life crime in which an entire family was brutally murdered by wandering gunmen.


John Forsythe
as Alvin Dewey
Jeff Corey
as Hickock's Father
John Gallaudet
as Roy Church
James Flavin
as Clarence Duntz
Charles McGraw
as Smith's Father
James Lantz
as Officer Rohleder
Jim Lantz
as Off. Rohleder
Will Geer
as Prosecuting Attorney
John McLiam
as Herbert Clutter
Ruth Storey
as Bonnie Clutter
Brenda Currin
as Nancy Clutter
Paul Hough
as Kenyon Clutter
Vaughan Taylor
as "Good Samaritan"
Duke Hobbie
as Young Reporter
Sheldon Allman
as Rev. Post
Sammy Thurman
as Mr. Smith
Sadie Truitt
as Herself
Myrtle Clare
as Herself
Ted Eccles
as Young Hitchhiker
Teddy Eccles
as Young Hitchhiker
Raymond Hatton
as Elderly Hitchhiker
Mary-Linda Rapelye
as Susan Kidwell
Ronda Fultz
as Nancy's Friend
Al Christy
as Sheriff
Don Sollars
as Store Salesman
Harriet Levitt
as Mrs. Hartman
Stan Levitt
as Insurance Man
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News & Interviews for In Cold Blood

Critic Reviews for In Cold Blood

All Critics (37) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (31) | Rotten (6)

  • Blake and Wilson give wonderfully natural performances: eerie in their casual attitude to murder but endearing in their open natures. In Cold Blood doesn't judge them but doesn't excuse them.

    Sep 11, 2015 | Rating: 4/5
  • Truman Capote's non-fiction masterwork gets the film noir treatment from director Richard Brooks, with a slow dissection of "a crime that shocked a nation."

    Sep 10, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Kate Muir

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Capote's non-fiction novel brooded on the sheer pointless nightmare, and so does the film, to some extent; the killers' casual excitement at the prospect of murderous violence is still chilling.

    Sep 10, 2015 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • A probing, sensitive, tasteful, balanced and suspenseful documentary-drama.

    Apr 8, 2008 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Top Critic
  • Hall's bleak vision, his gift for working with darkness and rain, rivals classic film noir of the 1940s and '50s in its visual mastery.

    Mar 2, 2006 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…
  • In contrast to Capote, whose obsessive documentation of the pair's every act betrays his fear than he (and his readers) could well do something similar, Brooks explains and sympathises away their act as being unique to them.

    Feb 9, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for In Cold Blood

  • Aug 25, 2016
    If the filmmakers kept the focus on Blake and Wilson (both perfectly cast), instead of forcing a number of unnecessary supporting players into the narrative, this might have been a masterpiece, As it stands, the movie has stretches of utter genius that are brought to a grinding halt whenever the cops and reporters start blabbering to one another.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 25, 2013
    In Cold Blood is ground breaking for the emotions that well up when seeing it. The black and white filming makes it it should be. Gorgeous to look at.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 17, 2013
    The greatest thing that Richard Brooks, In Cold Blood, holds for itself, is the stunning black and white shots. The cinematography by Conrad L Hall, who's done a lot of great things like American Beauty and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, does another superb job with this work. The picture quality was crisp, and the fade outs just blended so perfectly. This film is deep into the realism sphere. While the movie isn't wholesome, the family scenes were, and reminded me of The Young Savages. The music wasn't fitting, and this movie could've been shorter, but it was a classy film. 3.5 stars-
    Daniel D Super Reviewer
  • Apr 04, 2012
    A stark, realistic portrayal of cold-blooded violence taking over a couple of young mens' senses, and how they go on the run from the police trying to track them down after brutally murdering the family of four they originally planned to rob and leave. Based on true events, director Richard Brooks patiently and disturbingly paints a picture of two characters who act stupidly and carelessly, concentrating on fulfilling their own shortsighted, selfish desires while senselessly taking away four lives. At times, Brooks seems to be over-sympathizing and romanticizing these two killers, but based on this film as well as the equally phenomenal "Capote", it seems like the Perry Smith character (in this case played by Robert Blake) had a heart and was truly sorry for his heinous act of violence. Definitely a little dated, but still a shocking study that remains gritty and arresting throughout. Blake and Scott Wilson (now of "The Walking Dead" fame) are utterly fantastic in their respected roles. A movie that definitely should be seen. The only thing that keeps it from being an all-time great is an unnecessary, unfair take on the death penalty, marring an otherwise outstanding second half of the film especially.
    Dan S Super Reviewer

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