“In Cold Blood” Book & Movie: Differences and Similarities

From the real life story which affected the nation in November 1959, “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote became an interesting, nonfiction novel which was intended for those who study psychology, journalism and investigations. Not to mention, but determine if people should feel sorrow for the killers and their families, as well as questioning if we should keep or abolish the death penalty.  The story mainly leads up to the arrest of Dick Hickock and Perry Smith, as well as covering their trial and early execution on April 14th, 1965.

Between reading the book and watching the 1967 movie version of “In Cold Blood,” there are some similarities and differences that will be discussed within this blog post. For example,…


  • Some of the conversations from the book were used in the movie. Except, the majority of it were reworded for the script to make it short and simple for the actors and actresses.
  • The story and movie also focused on Perry Smith’s childhood years and a motorcycle accident he endured in the 1950’s.


  • Lots of details from the book were not added to the movie because it was already over two hours and the movie went from one point to the next without adding in too many unnecessary components.
  • In the 1967 film, there was no information regarding Dick Hickock’s past. For example, a car accident he had in 1950. In the book, it explained how he started off as a good person whom happened to spiral downward after the car wreck. He began to write bad checks afterwards and he divorced twice.
  • Floyd Wells was shown in the movie, but was only interviewed in prison after he heard on a radio regarding a reward for those who knew who murdered the Clutter family. The film didn’t show people testifying in court against the killers, unlike the book where you read about the trial days and whom took the stand against Smith and Hickock. Floyd Wells took the stand, but it was not mentioned in the movie.




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