4.6 11
Director: Bennett Miller

Cast: Bennett Miller, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Clifton Collins Jr.


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The creation of one of the most memorable books of the 1960s -- and the impact the writing and research would have on its author -- is explored in this drama based on a true story. In 1959, Truman Capote (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman) was a critically acclaimed novelist who had earned a small degree of celebrity for his work when he read a short newspaper item… See more details below


The creation of one of the most memorable books of the 1960s -- and the impact the writing and research would have on its author -- is explored in this drama based on a true story. In 1959, Truman Capote (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman) was a critically acclaimed novelist who had earned a small degree of celebrity for his work when he read a short newspaper item about a multiple murder in a small Kansas town. For some reason, the story fascinated Capote, and he asked William Shawn (Bob Balaban), his editor at The New Yorker, to let him write a piece about the case. Capote had long believed that in the right hands, a true story could be molded into a tale as compelling as any fiction, and he believed this event, in which the brutal and unimaginable was visited upon a community where it was least expected, could be just the right material. Capote traveled to Kansas with his close friend Harper Lee (Catherine Keener), herself becoming a major literary figure with the success of To Kill a Mockingbird, and while Capote's effete and mannered personal style stuck out like a sore thumb in Kansas, in time he gained the trust of Alvin Dewey (Chris Cooper), the Kansas Bureau of Investigation agent investigating the murder of the Clutter family, and with his help Capote's magazine piece grew into a full-length book. Capote also became familiar with the petty criminals who killed the Clutter family, Dick Hickock (Mark Pellegrino) and Perry Smith (Clifton Collins Jr.), and in Smith he found a troubling kindred spirit more like himself than he wanted to admit. After attaining a sort of friendship with Smith under the assumption that the man would be executed before the book was ever published, Capote finds himself forced to directly confront the moral implications of his actions with regards to both his role in the man's death, and the way that he would be remembered. Capote also co-stars Bruce Greenwood as Capote's longtime companion Jack Dunphy, and Amy Ryan as Mary Dewey, Alvin's wife who became a confidante of Capote's.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Philip Seymour Hoffman capped the 2006 awards season with a well-deserved Academy Award win for his remarkable portrayal of writer Truman Capote in this mesmerizing drama, one of the previous year's best movies. Set in the period during which Capote -- the celebrated author of Breakfast at Tiffany's -- researched and wrote his chilling account of a Kansas family's brutal murder by “thrill killers” Richard Hickock and Perry Smith, the film paints an unflattering picture of its subject, who for many years was an A-list party guest, raconteur, bon vivant, and darling of New York's literary set. Dan Futterman's screenplay doesn't attempt to obscure the fact that Capone ruthlessly exploited and manipulated everyone around him -- including Smith, whom he befriended and pretended to represent to the outside world -- to get the story he knew would be his crowning achievement. That even included his loyal friend Harper Lee (Catherine Keener) and his patient lover Jack Dunphy (Bruce Greenwood), who sacrificed much to help Truman achieve his goal. Although the burly Hoffman isn't at all physically suited to play the diminutive author, he so fully submerges himself into the role that he is able to convey Capote's essence with uncanny accuracy. He nails the superficial characteristics -- mincing speech, fluttery hand gestures, and a supercilious manner -- but also gets under the writer's skin, revealing the profound self-loathing and deep-rooted insecurity that compelled Capote to dismiss or reject those who cared about him most. Hoffman's performance would be a thing worth marveling at even if it appeared in a mediocre motion picture; that it further distinguishes such a spellbinding drama makes it all the more irresistible.
All Movie Guide
Capote is spellbinding and awe-striking, an almost perfect film. This accomplishment is even more remarkable when you take into account that this is director Bennett Miller's first feature, producer/writer Dan Futterman's first film, and that it's adapted from Gerald Clarke's first full-length biography. The craftsmanship apparent in Capote is clever and quick, creating scenes that are sometimes bizarre or funny, but never heavy-handed. Without plodding speeches or Oscar-bait tantrums, Capote weaves together a hauntingly realistic portrait of the charismatic and the grotesque. The movie isn't about the slaying of a family in Kansas, and it's not about Perry Smith, the convicted killer in the case -- whom Capote became so famously close to while writing his book. When it comes right down to it, Capote isn't even really about the writing of that book -- though the bizarre process of it is detailed almost completely. The story of the film is eerily captivating, but in the end, its narratives are just the pieces that eventually come together to form an almost impossibly intimate psychological portrait of Truman Capote the man. Capote sheds a gradually overwhelming light on its subject, revealing with a quiet intensity how a man of such superhuman charm and skill could in fact be so crippled by a near sociopathic narcissism. The minimal awareness portrayed in Capote's character make him all the more intriguing and compelling, even as his power over another man's life ripples distantly in his consciousness as little more than a component of his success as a writer. This heartbreakingly real performance is what makes the film such a masterpiece, and denotes perhaps the most breathtaking turn in the film -- Philip Seymour Hoffman's. While Hoffman is far from a new face and has enjoyed a highly respected career in a multitude of films, a role of this magnitude is a first for him; the kind it's instantly certain that he will be remembered for. As a profile of the character's inner life, the aforementioned production team behind Capote most certainly pursued the project with the knowledge that it would fail without such a perfect fit. As a result, even Hoffman's tremendous success can be seen as a component in the synergy that made this one of the best films in years.

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Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Mgm (Video & Dvd)
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]
Sales rank:

Special Features

Closed Caption; 2 Behind-the-scenes documentaries; Answered prayers - a documentary on Truman Capote; Philip Seymour Hoffman and director Bennett Miller commentary; Director Bennett Miller and cinematographer Adam Kimmel commentary

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Philip Seymour Hoffman Truman Capote
Catherine Keener Nelle Harper Lee
Clifton Collins Perry Smith
Chris Cooper Alvin Dewey
Bruce Greenwood Jack Dunphy
Bob Balaban William Shawn
Amy Ryan Mary Dewey
Mark Pellegrino Dick Hickock
C. Ernst Harth Lowell Lee Andrews
Allie Mickelson Laura Kinney
Marshall Bell Warden Marshall Krutch
Araby Lockhart Dorothy Sanderson
Bob Huculak New York Reporter
R.D. Reid Roy Church
Robert McLaughlin Harold Nye
Harry Nelken Sheriff Walter Sanderson
Kerr Hewitt Danny Burke
John MacLaren Judge Roland Tate
Jeremy Dangerfield Jury Foreman
Kwesi Ameyaw Porter
Jim Shepard Chaplain
John B. Destry Pete Holt
Adam Kimmel Richard Avedon

Technical Credits
Bennett Miller Director
Pamela Atheyde Makeup
Caroline Baron Producer
Ron Bochar Sound/Sound Designer
Mychael Danna Score Composer
Dan Futterman Executive Producer,Screenwriter
Jess Gonchor Production Designer
Elizabeth Greenberg Casting
Philip Seymour Hoffman Executive Producer
Kyle Irving Associate Producer
Avy Kaufman Casting
Adam Kimmel Cinematographer
Kasia Walicka Maimone Costumes/Costume Designer
Kyle Mann Associate Producer
Richard O'Brien Moran Asst. Director
Michael Ohoven Producer
Gordon Peterson Art Director
Kerry Rock Executive Producer
Danny Rosett Executive Producer
Ellen Rutter Production Manager
Christopher Tellefsen Editor
Dave Valleau Associate Producer
William Vince Producer
Emily Ziff Associate Producer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Capote
1. Start [3:27]
2. Problem Novels [4:42]
3. Alvin Dewey, KBI [3:22]
4. People Here Won't Talk to Me [3:57]
5. Pretty Shattered [3:28]
6. Just Talk [3:50]
7. 94% Recall [4:23]
8. Apprehended [4:28]
9. First Impressions [5:09]
10. Guilty [2:17]
11. Worlds Converge [4:21]
12. Unlimited Visitation [5:53]
13. Not So Different [4:08]
14. In Cold Blood [4:06]
15. One Missig Piece [4:36]
16. You've Got Your Ending [5:24]
17. Outsider [2:00]
18. 1st Public Reading [3:40]
19. What's He Got To Lose? [2:33]
20. One Singular Reason [3:36]
21. How Could I? [3:58]
22. November 14, 1959 [4:31]
23. Desperate to Be Done [3:36]
24. Torture [3:27]
25. Unable to Make It [4:14]
26. Goodbyes [4:09]
27. For the Life of Me [5:23]
28. End Credits [5:25]

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