While researching his book In Cold Blood, writer Truman Capote develops a close relationship with convicted murderers Dick Hickock and Perry Smith.
Release Year: 2006
Rating: 7.1/10 (8,512 voted)
Critic's Score: 68/100
Stars: Toby Jones, Daniel Craig, Sandra Bullock
Storyline On November 16, 1959, Truman Capote reads about the murder of a Kansas family. There are no suspects. With Harper Lee, he visits the town: he wants to write about their response. First he must get locals to talk, then, after arrests, he must gain access to the prisoners. One talks constantly; the other, Perry Smith, says little. Capote is implacable, wanting the story, believing this book will establish a new form of reportage: he must figure out what Perry wants. Their relationship becomes something more than writer and character: Perry killed in cold blood, the state will execute him in cold blood; does Capote get his story through cold calculation, or is there a price for him to pay?
Writers: Douglas McGrath, George Plimpton
Cast: Sigourney Weaver
Nelle Harper Lee
El Morocco Band
El Morocco Band
El Morocco Band
Frank G. Curcio
(as Frank Curcio)
Opening Weekend: $452,966
(15 October 2006)
(17 December 2006)
(Toronto International Film Festival)
Did You Know?
Trivia: Sigourney Weaver talked to Babe Paley's daughter while researching for the role. The girl told her about a habit her mother had (covered the teeth whenever she smiled) and Weaver actually did it on the movie.
Perry's letter to Capote acknowledging receipt of the pornography closes with Perry's signature and address, which includes the ZIP code for the penitentiary. The ZIP code was not officially introduced until July 1963 and not widely used until some time after that date.
Quotes: Gore Vidal:
[on Truman's voice]
To the lucky person who has never heard it, I can only say: imagine what a brussel sprout would sound like, if a brussel sprout could talk.
If Brussel Sprouts could talk
Greetings again from the darkness. What a unique film-going experience.
Having the opportunity to see two takes on the same subject matter
within a year or so is pretty rare in Hollywood. It happened most
recently with "Tombstone" and the vastly inferior "Wyatt Earp". Rarely
does it happen when both films are exceptionally well made and acted
... as is the case with last year's "Capote" and now, "Infamous".
First of all, you must understand that the films are actually based on
different books. "Infamous" is based on George Plimpton's book in which
he really tries to capture Truman Capote, the man and the genius.
Because of this, director Douglas McGrath ("Nicholas Nickleby" and
"Emma") utilizes some faux-interview segments, much like a "Biography"
segment on television. Of course, both films center around the process
of Capote researching and writing his masterpiece "In Cold Blood" based
on the brutal slaying of a Kansas family in their farmhouse. They both
also explore Capote's bizarre relationship with Perry Smith (played
brilliantly here by the next James Bond, Daniel Craig). The sexual
tension between the two is palpable, but we continue to question if
Capote is merely manipulating Smith for the story or if, in fact, there
is real substance to the attraction. We will never know if his reaction
on death row is heartbreak or guilt. The mystery adds to the power of
The cast in this film is nothing short of spectacular. From the opening
moments with Gwyneth Paltrow portraying the great Peggy Lee in a
melancholy stage moment to Sigourney Weaver, Hope Davis, Isabella
Rossellini and Juliet Stevenson doing the twist, the actresses are
terrific - as are their amazing costumes! In addition to Daniel Craig
as Perry Smith, Lee Pace (as Dick Hickcock), Jeff Daniels as the
sheriff and ("Last Picture Show" director) Peter Bogdanovich as Bennett
Cerf, the actors are also top notch.
Toby Jones as Truman Capote is much more flamboyant and colorful than
the amazing performance by Phillip Seymour Hoffman last year. Many will
try to compare, but what I say is, enjoy them both for their high level
of artistry! Now for something I never thought I would put in writing.
Sandra Bullock is extremely effective as Nelle Harper Lee (Capote's
muse and of course, the author of "To Kill a Mockingbird"). Bullock
usually flips her hair and bumbles all cutesy-like through her
performances, but not here. She plays Ms. Lee straightforward and
tough, just like the real thing. How wonderful.
Yes, the story is still heart-wrenching, but "Infamous" provides much
more levity, humor and color than the more somber "Capote". Both are
wonderful films with excellent casts. Enjoy them both as fine
film-making seems to be a rare commodity these days.