In the December 23rd, 1967 issue of The New Yorker, Brendan Gill writes a brief (3 long paragraphs, approximately 2/3 of a page) review of Richard Brooks' adaptation of Truman Capote's best-seller, In Cold Blood. "Brooks...has solved his problems [adapting a book to the big screen] and achieved his style with exemplary skill." That's really a bit of an understatement.
Rewind. The year is 1959, and two small-time thugs – Perry Smith and Richard Hickock, played by Robert Blake (later to be TV's Baretta) and Scott Wilson – with slicked-back hair bust into the home of Herb Clutter, a wealthy Holcomb, Kansas farmer, tear the place apart in search of a safe that doesn't exist, and finally put a shotgun round each into Mom, Pop, Sister and Brother. Goodbye small-town Kansas family, hello high-talking, lithely gay Truman Capote, making the rounds and knocking on doors. Book comes out, is deemed miraculous, seminal work of investigative crime journalism, and Hollywood producers jump at the chance to turn it into a silver-screen blockbuster. What nobody really expected, of course, is that the film would be a successful condensation of the book and that it would become the standard by which all subsequent crime drama is measured. (Too bad about that, eh, Mr. Bochco?)