In Cold Blood First Draft
Truman Capote’s novel was remarkable and tensely exciting. Richard Brooks, the filmmaker faced great challenges to adapt this deeply emotional book to the cinema. However, he was successful in many ways. Richard Brooks was able to capture the depth of the main characters such as their sense of innocence and purely self involved attributes on film in a way that is truly spellbinding.
In In Cold Blood there are two major characters the story follows, Dick and Perry the murderers of the Clutter family. While it is natural for an outsider to think of killers to be heartless monster’s Capote attempts to show how one of the characters, Perry is actually somewhat of an innocent by displaying some of his childlike attributes. In the novel the word “Little” keeps popping up as a reference to Perry. For example on page 207 the two murderers while driving had noticed some hitchhikers that seemed to be in a bad way. Dick had wanted to move on at first but “Perry, little old big-hearted Perry, was always pestering Dick to pick up the damnedest,sorriest-looking people.” Another example of a time that Perry was referred to as “little,” and also referenced to be childlike can be found on page 108 when Capote is describing how Dick feels towards Perry, “-there was, in Dick’s opinion ‘’something wrong’’ with Little Perry. To say the least. Last spring, when they had called together at Kansas State Penitentary, he’d learned most of Perry’s lesser peculiarities: Perry could be “such a kid,” always wetting his bed and crying in his sleep “Dad, I been looking everywhere, where you been, Dad?”), and often Dick had seen him “sit for hours just sucking his thumb and poring over them phony damn treasure guides.” The constant citation of Perry’s babyish levels of maturity (calling him little and siting mature attributes such as bed wetting, crying over dreams and sucking his thumb) make the reader invitation Perry to be the opposite of an adult and perhaps therefore not accountable for his actions due to his immature nature. Another example of Perry's innocence can be found in his subconsciousness. The fact that he dares to still dream about seemingly ridiculous fantasies make his character seem even more childish. A quote from the novel displays a layer of Perry’s outlandish aspirations can be found on page 44 when Capote is describing how Perry believes Dick feels towards his desires, “he was not critical of Perry’s exotic apparitions; he was willing to listen, catch fire, share with him those visions of “guaranteed treasure” lurking in Mexican seas, Brazilian jungles.” This quote is somewhat ironic in the fact that Dick actually does not believe in any of Perry’s dreams but infact “shares” in them as to gain Perry’s trust and use him to achieve his more realistic get rich quick plans. Dick employers Perry’s impossible dreams just as a Father would if his five year old son told his dad he was going to grow up to be a pirate ship captain.
In Richard Brook’s adaptation of In Cold blood he attempts to prove Perry’s child-like innocence through numerous scenes. 3 minutes and 56 seconds into the movie the viewer completely sees Perry for the first time. The book describes his looks as tough and muscularly built up until the point where he stands up and you see that he’s actually quite short thereby less threatening. The movie does a similar thing with Perry’s physical attributes through the use of Mise En-scene. When Perry is sitting down on the Kansas City bus (00:41) all that is visible is an outline of a somewhat muscular man. However at the 3 minute and 56 second marker of the film the viewer sees Perry after he’s gotten of the bus and is wondering around the terminal. The train station scene is where the movie watcher really gets a sense of innocence from Perry’s character. During this scene there appears to be something unknowing in Perry’s eyes and his little frame seems to be wandering around the