Synopsis: 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?
Director(s): Douglas McGrath
Production: Warner Independent Pictures
  3 wins & 2 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
110 min


Okay, here she is, folks. Kitty Dean.

That a girl, Kitty.

It's 38 degrees in New York this morning.

The time is 10:

Should I call and get our table for lunch?


And Big Mama? Bring lots of gossip.

Everything about him is designed to rivet:

The appearance, the demeanor,

and, of course, the voice.

The voice?

To the lucky person

who has never heard it...

...I can only say imagine what

a Brussels sprout would sound like...

...if a Brussels sprout could talk.

He's so magical... soon forget the most unforgettable

sound in the world.

Here's a word I loathe: Eccentric.

Eccentric is a word that boring people use

to describe someone I think of as interesting.

A great many people think of me

as eccentric simply because...

...when I have my shoes polished

I have the entire shoe polished..., sides and soles.

Some people think it eccentric...

...that every morning I have my maid

iron my money.

When I told Truman I had my maid iron

my money, do you know what he said?

Here's what he didn't say, "How eccentric."

Here's what he did say, "How wonderful!"

You can forgive a person a lot

who really enjoys you.

He's loads of fun wherever you go.

He's the rarest thing in the world,

a good talker who is also a good listener.

How could Leland

have been bored with you?

Even someone who doesn't speak

English can look at you.

He listened to me the way you'd listen

to announcements in a train station...

...just enough to hear

if there's an emergency.

Oh, well. He's with Pamela,

and I need to move on.

Maybe you can...

...but tout New York is dividing

into the Slim or Pamela camps.

Babe and I are the head Slimites.

Tru Heart.

Oh, have you heard about Tracy?

Yeah. Having her eyes done, I know.

Well, a little more than that.

She's gone off to have an abortion.

Oh, who's the father?

I presume not Dick.

Chas Fitzgerald.

Oh, perfect. Does Dick know?

I think she should just tell Dick it's his.

- She can't. Dick's infertile.

- What?

- Everybody knows that.

- Well, I'm sure they do now.

Did you see the paper?

Yes. There's a story that's stuck in my teeth

like a little piece of pull candy.

What is it?

Well, these well-to-do farm people

out in Kansas...

...were murdered in the middle of the night

in the most gruesome way imaginable.

- Do they have any idea who did it?

- No idea.

But that won't affect the piece

I want to write for you.

I want to explore how a crime

like this affects a town...

...where everyone trusts each other.

It may be preferable that we don't know

the identity of the killers.

Exactly. Because what I imagine everyone

is now afraid of is:

"Who among us did this horrible thing?"

It used to be you'd look at someone

and think, "There's old Mr. Busybody."

Now you think...

..."Did you do it?"

Oh, I can't bear the thought of you

going to Kansas.

Whom will I talk to?

Oh, that reminds me.

Did you hear about Tracy?

- The eyes?

- More.


Oh, I just saw her at Sotheby's.

She bought an adorable Degas.

I wanted it for the guest bath...

...but Bill wants to put the little

Giacometti man we have in the hall there.

Tell him nobody wants to go to the bathroom

and find a little man in there.

- I know it from bitter personal experience.

- T-Bone.

How did you find out about Tracy?

Slim. But I'm absolutely sworn

to secrecy.

I'm only telling you

because you're my dearest friend.

Nelle, as my oldest and dearest friend,

do you think the Kansas thing is good?

Are you joking?

That small town stuff,

that suspicion, that gossip?

That is your world as much as this,

maybe even more.

- How were they killed?

- Shotgun.

But there's a caretaker not a hundred yards

from the house.

How could he not hear four gunshots

in the dead of night?

Maybe he did it.

Did you consider that?

Maybe. Though the victims

were bound and gagged...

...which suggests at least two

in the killing party... with the gun

to make them cooperate...

...and one to tie them up

and make them sorry they cooperated.

The father and boy were shot

in the basement...

...the mother and girl in their beds.

- How do you know all this?

- I called the D.A.

May I tell him who's calling, please?

Yes, dear. This is Truman Capote.

I'm sorry. The district attorney

doesn't take calls from strange women.

And what did you say?

Who says I'm strange?

They can judge for themselves soon enough.

I'm going down there in a week.

Which of your pillbox hats

do you think they'll like best?

Why didn't Jack come tonight?

If he's your fella, he's always welcome.

Truman and I...

...had a taste for one another's company

above all others...

...but we weren't a together-wherever-we-go

couple. He's very social.

I'm not...

...especially with that crowd.

Jack didn't...

...approve of us.

He has the social graces of a syringe.

Jack is just so iron, you know,

he's so, "That's that."

Before he knew Truman...

...he was married to a darling actress

named Joan McCracken.

They were dancers together in Oklahoma!

And he was mad for her.

And then the war came,

and he went away and he came back.

And she told him that she'd had an affair.

Well, he was so humiliated...

...that not only did he end

their marriage that night...

...but he stopped sleeping with women

altogether and he switched to men.

Can you imagine?

Curing your distaste for infidelity

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Douglas McGrath

Douglas McGrath was born on February 2, 1958 in New York City, New York, USA. He is a writer and actor, known for Emma (1996), Bullets Over Broadway (1994) and Infamous (2006). He has been married to Jane Read Martin since June 3, 1995. They have one child. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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