In Cold Blood (1967) Script

Excuse me.


You all right, Pa?

You're up early. I got a big day ahead.

I wish you didn't have to go.

I promised to help this friend.

Goddamn outhouse.

One of these days soon, I'm changing all that.

Damn soon.

Now, you drive careful now.

Young man? Young man. I'm terribly sorry.

Ma'am, can I have a root beer?

Anything else to go with that? Some aspirins, please.

"Friend P. came out in August

"and after you left, I met someone.

"He put me onto something we could bring off beautiful.

"A cinch, the perfect score.

"It's a sure thing. Am depending on you.

"Love, Dick.

"P.S. Will meet your bus, November 14.

"M-day. 'M' for money, honey."

Fill her up, buddy.

You sure got a perfect day for it.

What's that? Hunting pheasants.

Yes, indeedy.

Deadeye Dick Hickock?

Them birds don't know it, but this is their last day on Earth.

Good morning, Daddy.

Well, you're up early. And I've got a furious day ahead.

'Morning, Dad.

Thought maybe I smelled smoke. Yeah.

Me, too. Could be a leaky valve.

Could be.

Peppermints before breakfast might stunt your growth.

Daddy, phone.

It's the insurance man.

This afternoon, anytime before dark.


I want to call the Kansas State Penitentiary.

Person-to-person. Rev. James Post.

Rev. James Post.

My name is...

Perry Smith. He'll be checking in sometime tomorrow.

Can I see the room, please? Ain't you working today?

Now, ain't you?



Of course, I remember you.

Kansas City?


I'm at the bus terminal.

I'm waiting for Willie Jay.

Did something hold up his parole?

I was supposed to meet him right here. Perry, think.

You've already broken parole by quitting your job.

You'll break it again if you step into Kansas.

Whatever you do, don't cross that river into Kansas.

Can you tell me where he went?

Please, Jim.

It's very important.

Maybe the most important thing in my life.

Go back. Why not see your father?

'Morning, Ma.

Daddy, you remember Jolene?

Well, I promised to teach her how to bake a cherry pie.

Sounds serious. She insists on today.

That makes it practically a catastrophe.

Because I also promised to help Roxy with her trumpet solo.

And errands for Mother in Garden City, lunch with Susan...

Suppose I take care of your mother's errands?

Thank you, Daddy.

Also provided for your convenience, at the baggage counter are identification tags.

This is your last call for Buckner, Bluffington, Lexington, Waverly, Marshall, Boonville and intermediate flights.

Now boarding at door number six.

Stick 'em up!

Hey, buddy. How long have you been standing there?

Long enough to catch your late late show.

Just between you and I. You and me.

How come you always go into a trance every time you look in the mirror?

Just like you was looking at some gorgeous piece of butt.

What in the hell is in here?


That's all my stuff. Books, letters, songs.

Souvenirs from Korea.

And our ticket to fame and fortune.

I got a secret map in here that's going to lead us straight to the sunken treasure of Captain Cortés.

$60 million in Spanish gold, off the coast of Mexico.

So, that's why that map's so frigging heavy.

Welcome back to Kansas, buddy. The heart of America.

The land of wheat, corn, bibles, and natural gas.

That map's not as heavy as yours, but it's the real thing.

And it's gonna get us $10,000 by tonight.

Four hundred miles west of here, Big Daddy Clutter's place.

That's the layout. The works.

Somewhere in that office, in one little old safe.

And inside that safe, 10 grand, maybe more.

You've seen it?

The safe!

Right after you left the zoo, a new guy moved into the cell.

Floyd Wells, serving three to five for robbery.

He once worked for Clutter. He saw it.

And that's your perfect score?

Baby, it's a cinch.

I promise you, honey, we'll blast hair all over them walls.

'Morning, Roxy. 'Morning, Mr Clutter.

I think Nancy's expecting you.

You want to watch it, boy. You'll end up an aspirin junkie.

Been one for seven years. Got the habit in the hospital.


They made a dwarf out of me.

Doctors and lawyers. What do they care?

Ever see a millionaire fry in the electric chair?

Hell, no.

There's two kinds of laws, honey.

One for the rich and one for the poor.

Look at me.

I crack up my car, wake up in a charity ward and don't even recognise myself.

I hate to count how much classy pussy that's cost me.

They left you a wonderful smile, though.

Yeah, the all-American boy.

That was stupid.

Stealing a lousy pack of razor blades, to prove what?

Everybody steals something sometime.

It's the national pastime, baby. Stealing and cheating.

If they caught every cheating wife and tax chiseller, the whole country would be behind prison walls.

Where are the black stockings? They didn't have black.

Stop someplace else. Where?

A Catholic hospital. Sure.

We'll just barge in like it was a goddamn five-and-dime.

Sister, sweetie, we gotta have some black stockings to hide our face.

Okay, forget it.

Anyway, nuns are bad luck.

Kind of sexy, though.

You wouldn't think so if you'd lived in one of those orphan homes with those black widows always at you.

Always sneaking up in the dark, spying while you sleep.

Hitting you with a flashlight for wetting the bed.

That's the first time I was saved by the yellow bird.

The what?

Sort of a parrot.

Taller than Jesus.

Brilliant yellow, like a sunflower.

It attacked those nuns like an avenging angel.

The nuns begged for mercy.

But the yellow bird slaughtered them anyway.

Then the bird folded me in its wings and lifted me up to paradise.

That's one hell of a bird to have on your side.

Anyway, that's why I have an aversion to nuns and God and religion.

Forget it. Black stockings are a waste of time.

No one's gonna remember us because we're leaving no witnesses.

How about staying at our place tonight?

Frozen stiff TV dinners on trays, spaghetti, macaroni or pizza.

Sounds irresistible. I'll tell Mom.

- Golly, Sue. C'est impossible. Pourquoi, chérie?

Bobby's coming over. I'll pick you up for church tomorrow.

9:00 sharp.

A full day's work deserves a full-course dinner.

The condemned ate a hearty meal.

I don't know what they ate, but tonight, cheeseburgers.



Fabulous Mexico. Land of the hot tamales.

Gold country.

Remember Bogart in Treasure of the Sierra Madre?

We could get us a couple of burros.

Some tools.

Slow down, honey. I don't know gold dust from diarrhoea.

Well, I do.

My old man prospected for gold in Alaska.

He taught me all the ins and outs.

Yeah. And we end up nuts.

No gold, nothing. Just like in the movie.

You never meant it about going to Mexico, did you? Did you?

Sure, baby.

Sure we're going.

But first we gotta dig up some capital. Like tonight.

5,000 bucks a piece, for one hour's work.

May I take your orders? Two cheeseburgers, please.

Getting insured is like, well, when you wash your car, it always rains.

Know what we call this in the insurance game?

The solemn moment.

I guess when a man makes out a policy or takes out his last will, it's only natural to think about mortality.

Herb, as of this minute, your life is worth $40,000.

In case of accidental death, double indemnity.

New York Life wishes you a very long and very healthy life.

And so do I. And so do I.

That waitress. Nice piece of blonde chicken.

Why'd you pick me for this job?

A perfect score needs perfect partners.

Together we're a perfect fit.

It's your score. Where do I fit in?

I got you figured for a natural-born killer.

Or did you lie about that punk in Vegas?


Why did you kill him?

No special reason. Just for the hell of it.

That's the best reason of all.

Back there, you wanted to kill me.

Just for a second, right?

It passed.

Hair-trigger temper.

Somebody crosses you, voom!

Yes, sir. You've got the gift, boy.

Remember the chaplain's clerk, Willie Jay?

The guy you painted to look like Jesus? He said the same thing.

"Unstable, explosive."

He is a flaming faggot.

He has a brilliant mind.

Then how come he got caught stealing five times?

He was the best friend I ever had. I'm the only friend you got now.

Friend to the end, for better or worse.

Till death do us part?

All we need is a ring, sugar.

Hi. Is that Bobby?

Look at that land, will you?

Oil money, gas money, wheat money.

Share the wealth, baby.



How does it feel? What?

Being a father.


Your kids, you love them? I'm their father, ain't I?

I didn't ask were you their goddamn father. I asked did you love them.

I'm crazy about 'em.

But you left them. Left their mother.

Okay. She left me.

There was this piece of tail, nothing serious.

Just a quickie in the back seat.

She blew the whistle on me. Said I knocked her up.

That's how I got to be a two-time loser.

You ditched the kids for her.

Jesus, baby. I had to do the right thing by her, didn't I?

Well? Didn't I?


'Night! See you tomorrow, Bobby.

How much longer? Seven miles.

Good evening.

Fill her up with regular.

Want some candy?


You okay?

I'm fine.


Let's go.

News from the Associated Press, NBC, and the Garden City Telegram.

Goodnight, Dad. Goodnight, Son.

Winds from the south at about 15 miles per hour.

The Garden City Sale Company reported 3,273 head of cattle at the auction yesterday.


...calves went from $26.50 to $30. However, very few reached the $30 mark.

The medium and good kinds sold as high as $26.50...

Look at that spread.

Don't tell me this guy ain't loaded.

Let's pull out of here.

Now, before it's too late.

Pa? Maybe they're still asleep.


Don't touch it.

Don't touch anything.

Been up there?

My God.

There's two more in the basement.

I just saw two ambulances going up to Clutter's.

I just wondering what's happening.

The Sheriff placed an urgent call to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

In Topeka, Logan Sanford, KBI chief, assigned four men to the Clutter case.

They are agents Dewey, Nye, Duntz, and Church.

What happened to the basketball game? It got interrupted. Terrible thing, that.

I've never been so hungry in my whole life.

Agent Alvin Dewey arrived at the Clutter house in advance of the other KBI men.

Mr Dewey, resident of Garden City, was placed in charge of the case.

Were all four tied with the same cord?

All tied with the same square knot.

Used by anybody who works with livestock.

Find any shell casings? Nope.

Which means that you can bet they didn't leave any fingerprints either.


This is the housekeeper. Thank you for coming.

Are they still... No, no, no, ma'am.

They've been taken to the funeral home.

Now, if you'll just look around with Mr Church here to see if anything is missing...

They never hurt anybody. Why them?

Al, you knew Clutter.

Did he have a safe?

Keep a lot of cash on hand?

The old Kansas myth.

Every farmer with a good spread is supposed to have a hidden black box somewhere filled with money.

No. Herb paid everything by cheque. Even a $2 haircut.

Well, then why, if they're going to shoot them all anyway, why did they first cut Clutter's throat?

Why did they first put him on a soft mattress box?

To make him comfy?

And why the pillow under the boy's head?

We keep saying "they." It could have been one man.

A madman.

This picture was taken with a time exposure.

It shows only what the eye saw.

This picture was taken with a flashbulb.

That's a different pair of shoes.


We know there were at least two of them.

You won't see it there. The flash made them stand out in the dust.

You develop those pictures yourself? Yes.

Newspaper boy's seen this? Not yet.

Keep it that way.

Hey, Al, Al, when can we see the Clutter home?

Why were the men killed in the basement?

I'll talk facts, not theories.

It happened around 2:00 a.m.

All four were apparently killed by the same weapon.

Shotgun, 12-gauge. Mr Clutter's throat was cut.

Before he was shot?


All four were tied with the same nylon sash-cord sold in most hardware stores.

And their mouths were taped.

How were they tied? What kind of knots?

Can we see police pictures?

Find the murder weapon? Not yet.

Any clues or fingerprints? Lots. All belong to the family.

They say that Nancy's boyfriend is a prime suspect.

Is that what they say? He was the last one to see them alive.

Except the killers. Then there were more than one?

Were the women sexually molested? The coroner says not.

How come the dog didn't bark? How do you know he didn't bark?

Nobody heard him. Nobody heard the gunshots either.

Was there more than one killer? What about the hired man?

Mr Dewey, in your opinion, do you think it could have been an inside job, sir?

Why didn't Mr Clutter resist? Mr Dewey, just a moment, Mr Dewey.

Was there more than one killer? What about the hired man?

His cheque was made out for $1,707.

Mr Clutter's first premium on a straight life policy worth $40,000.

Double indemnity makes it $80,000.

And that makes it a strange coincidence.

And that's all it is, a coincidence.

I didn't catch your name.

Bill Jensen, Weekly magazine.

If you're not here to write news, what is your interest?

Fairly basic.

What's basic about a stupid, senseless crime?

A violent, unknown force destroys a decent, ordinary family.

No clues. No logic.

Makes us all feel frightened. Vulnerable.

Murder's no mystery. Only the motive.

Got one?

I smoke too much.

How'd they enter the house? A key? Force a window?

Probably just walked in.

Don't people around here lock doors? They will tonight.

I know something's wrong here.

I feel it.

I don't know what it is, but...

Mr Clutter never allowed smoking in the house.




But of course.

The radio!

Kenyon always listened to the news and weather before he went to bed.

But where's his radio?

Since the night of horror, two days ago, few people are seen on the streets of Garden City after dark.

To date, no clues have been uncovered.

No clues whatever.

It was generally known that Clutter never had large sums of cash on hand.

No expensive jewels.

Nor even a steel safe in which to...

Perry, baby, if you don't want that burger...

You and your hotshot prison buddy Floyd Wells.

Big, fat safe in the wall.

$10,000. "A cinch."

Okay, Floyd's a jerk. But we scored, didn't we?


You call an 800-mile drive and the rest of it, for 43 lousy dollars, you call that perfect?

And that!

You don't believe that con about no clues, do you?

You worry too much.

How are them cowboys gonna connect us? Remember?

No witnesses.

I know one.

You. You're a witness.

Jesus, kid. For a minute, I thought you blew your cork.

You're so right.

We're the only ones that saw it, and that, honey, is our big ace.

Because if they can't split us apart, they can't get a confession.

And if they can't get a confession, they got nothing.

Next move,


Once we beat it out of the country. On what?

$43 and a smile and bullshit?

You guessed it, chief. It's the smile that does it.

Like it says in the commercials, "The family that sticks together lives forever."

Officers investigating the tragic slaying have appealed to the public for help in solving the crime.

A Kansas paper, The Hutchinson News, has offered a reward for any information leading to the capture and conviction of the person or persons, guilty of the Clutter murders.

A reward of $1,000.

What about the reward? Yeah, that's right, $1,000.

Yes, sir. Where are you calling from?

Yeah. Go ahead.


How do you know he was a foreigner?

I see. Thank you very much, sir. Another tip?

He says he saw a foreigner running.

How does a foreigner run, anyway?

Just how many people have tried to claim this reward?

Just about everybody.

A mysterious stranger did it.

Hired killers did it. A jealous neighbour did it.

Seems like the only one who didn't do it is the butler.

Any luck?

None of the Clutters had shoes with a cat's paw.

No diamond pattern, either. Insurance money goes to the family.

And this, Nancy Clutter's.

Found it hidden in the toe of her slipper.

Something must've scared her.

All of which brings us back to the motive of robbery.

I can believe one man might work up enough rage to do it.

But two?

Who would kill four people in cold blood for a radio, a pair of binoculars and $40 in cash?

These days? Take your pick on any crowded street.

You ever hang any paper?

I couldn't cash a cheque even if it was good.

Easy, baby. Casual.

Excuse me. My name's Hickock. Richie. And you're?

Sharp. Luke Sharp.

I'll bet in school they called you Look Sharp.

See that gentleman over there?

Would you believe a runt like that is getting married?

Well, maybe he ain't any Fred Astaire but he's my best friend, and I'm his best man.

My wedding present to him is going to be what you might call his trousseau.

Ideal shade for an informal ceremony, don't you think?

Perfectly ideal.

Of course, we are a tiny bit oddly proportioned.

I mean, the upper torso is so large compared to the legs.

I'm terribly sorry.

He's not ashamed of them scars.

They gave him the Bronze Star in Korea.

Luke, have you ever been to Eden Roc? In Miami Beach.

That's where the happy couple is shacking up for their honeymoon.

Two weeks all paid up. Surprise gift from the folks.

He's a very lucky man.

He deserves it.

And with these, $192.70.

Would you like to have these wrapped and taken to your car?

No hurry. Deliver them when the suit is ready.

Oh, no!

Four silly dollars.

We're awfully sorry.

We'll have to come back some other time.

I'd gladly give you a cheque.

But then you hardly know me.

Anyway, we're really grateful for your courtesy.

If it's a personal cheque, perhaps. You're sure?

Positive. I wouldn't want to inconvenience you.

Perfectly all right.

Which bank would you like?

It's immaterial, I'm sure.

Thank you.

My driver's license, identity card, insurance card, country club... Oops!

She's a private number.

Was that $192? And $0.70.

Would you care if I...

No. Never mind. No, please.

Well, I could use a little loose change.

I see.

Suppose I just make this out for $280 and $0.70, of course.

Well, I suppose.

Mr Sharp, you're a brick.

You're good. You're really good.

Smooth. No sweat. No strain.

You're an artist, boy. Right.

If you're getting married, you need a wedding ring.

Why not two of them? Why not?

Cameras, diamond rings, TV sets are the easiest things to hock or sell.

You know, there's got to be something wrong with us to do what we did.

Nobody, but nobody, ever gets away with a thing like that.

Will you shut up about it?

I can't shake this feeling that we forgot something that night.

I don't know what, something that belongs to us.

You want to go back to that house and look for whatever the hell it is?

Because that would make us not only crazy, but insane.

Any luck?

If they didn't leave any fingerprints, you can be sure they didn't leave any murder weapons.

People who used to work for Clutter, going back 15 years.

Hired men, people he used to do business with...

All right. Just keep talking. Upstairs?

Don't look up.

See something? I'm not sure.

Now you take the office side and I'll go around the kitchen side.

It's true, really true.

We're on our way and never coming back, never.

And no regrets.

For you. You are leaving nothing.

What about my old man? And my mother.

They'll still be there when my cheques start bouncing.

It's nice the way you think about your folks.

Yeah. I'm a real thoughtful bastard.

'Morning, Bess. Coffee?

Hey, Alvin, that prowler at the Clutter house, get a confession out of him yet? Yep.

His confession proved he couldn't have done it. Escaped mental patient.

If he's the wrong one, why in hell don't you find the right one?

I've got a house full of women who are afraid to go to the toilet alone.

Bunch of gabby old women gassing away, scaring each other.

Somebody with a grudge done it. Somebody who hated the Clutters, if you ask me.

Nobody asked you. Nobody hated the Clutters neither.

Leastways, nobody that knew them.


If this can happen to a decent, God-fearing family, who's safe anymore?


From here? No, from Topeka. It's urgent!

Okay, Mr Sandrew.

Tell Alvin it's a prisoner. In Lansing.

Get me a rap sheet on this man, please. He mentioned the Clutter case.

He wouldn't say any more unless he was called out of the cellblock.

I have the warden on the other phone now. Might be a break.

If it is, I'll be out to Garden City tonight with the tape.

No, phone's too risky.

Hello? Yes.

"KSP 1 -4-3-2-3. Floyd Wells."

- I first met him in the penitentiary. Hickock?

Yes, sir. We shared the same cell.

Go ahead, Floyd.

Well, anyways, we swapped life stories and I told him how I once worked for a farmer named Clutter.

Did you work for him?

Yes, sir. Ten, eleven years ago.

Dick wanted to know if Mr Clutter was rich and I said, "Well, sometimes it cost him $10,000 a week to run his operation."

After that, Dick never let up. Just kept asking questions.

How many was in the family? Did Clutter keep a safe?

Dick said how he was going to rob the Clutter place, him and his buddy.

And how he was gonna kill all the witnesses.

I just never believed him. I thought it was just...

What took him so long to speak up?

Afraid of other prisoners. Issue a pickup warrant.

All-points bulletin.

We better make it for parole violation, passing bad cheques.

If they know they're wanted for murder...

Yeah. The question is why they did it.

Why did Cain kill Abel? And who cares?

They did it, and they'll swing for it.

If they did it and if we can prove it.

When we cross this bridge, we're in Mexico.

Free, clear and safe.

Fabulous Mexico.

Mr Smith?

Mr Tex Smith?

Cops? Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

Is this your son, Perry?

Yep, that's him all right.

Gets his looks from his mother.

Part Cherokee.

Will you have some coffee? When did you see him last?

Couple of years ago. In prison?

I was just fixing to make some grub. You want some eats?

He was in for three and a half years. He's been out on parole for six months.

Well, then I guess I haven't seen him for five or six years.

That's not surprising though. He's a lone wolf just like me.

You guys can rest easy on one thing sure, you won't be having any more trouble with Perry.

He's learned his lesson for sure.

When he wrote me from prison, I wrote him right back pronto.

"Boy, you take your punishment with a smile.

"I didn't raise you to steal, so don't expect me to cry

"just because you got it tough behind the bars."

Perry's no fool. He knows when he's beat.

You fellows have got him whipped forever. The law's the boss.

He knows the difference between right and wrong, you can bet on that.

Because I taught my kids a golden rule. Always tell the truth, always wash in the morning, always be sober and independent.

I showed him how.

How to prospect, how to trap fur, how to carpenter, how to bake bread, how to be his own boss.

Yes, he's a chip off the old block, all right.

I never had no trouble with my kids, not as long as Flo and me was together.

But she wanted the wild life.

So she took the kids and ran off. Turned them against me.

All but Perry.

I don't know what got into her.

She started drinking. Turned into a hopeless drunk.

Started stepping out with young men. I caught her once and I...

Anyway, she died drunk.

Choked to death on her own vomit.

So I took Perry and we started roaming to forget it all.

I took him with me everywhere.

How that boy loved me.

At night, when it was cold,

we'd sleep cuddled up.

He'd hang onto me with his little arms, so tight.

I'd tell him stories about the great adventures we was gonna have.

How we was gonna strike it rich.

Buried treasures.


In Alaska.

That's where this picture was took. Him and me in Alaska.

Mr Smith...

You just ask Perry if I wasn't a good father to him.

I always shared, always. When I eat, he eats.

You just tell Perry, when I die all my insurance goes to him.

Yes, sir.

His life is all set.

Great news!

I met this kid. He's a shoeshine boy.

He's got a cousin in Yucatán, a fisherman.

And he's got a powerboat. So?

So, we drive to Yucatán, we sell the car, buy us a load of deep-sea diving gear and "pow," we hit the Cortés jackpot.

$60 million in Spanish gold.

Of course, we'll have to cut the kid in, and his cousin, too.

But even so, Yucatán!

Hot, dry, clean, no crowd, no noise.

Doing what we came to do.

How much can we get for the car? 120 bucks.

Is that all?

Enough to pay the bills. Hotel, bar, groceries.

And with what's left over, I bought us two bus tickets as far as Barstow, California. After that, we walk.

So get rid of that ton and a half of garbage.

Ship it! Dump it! Burn it! I don't care.

Only get rid of it, by tonight. 'Cause come tomorrow, we're gone.

Back to the States. Dick, wait. Now listen.

You listen! I've had it!

You, your maps, fishing boats, buried treasure, all of it!

Everything! Stop jacking off.

There ain't any caskets of gold. No buried treasure.

And even if there was, hell, boy, you can't even swim.

You want to stick with me, okay.

You wanna split, that's okay, too.

Only make up your mind.

I'll ship our stuff back to Vegas. Good.

I got a little señorita coming over tonight.

I'll try to be finished packing before you get back.

What for? Hell, I'm not bashful, baby.

...and that, if we find the motive, we find the killer.

...and that, if we find the motive, we find the killer.


This report was written six months before the Clutters were killed.

It's called, Murder Without Apparent Motive.

At the Menninger Clinic, right here in Kansas, a study was made of four killers.

They all had certain things in common.

They all committed senseless murders.

They all felt physically inferior and sexually inadequate.

Their childhood was violent, or one parent was missing.

Or someone else had raised them.

They couldn't distinguish between fantasy and reality.

They didn't hate their victims, they didn't even know them.

They felt no guilt about their crime, and got nothing out of it.

And most important, they told the police or a psychiatrist that they felt the urge to kill, before they committed murder.

Their warnings were disregarded.

So, who killed the Clutters?

Someday, somebody will explain to me the motive of a newspaper.

First you scream, "Find the bastards."

Till we find them, you want to get us fired.

When we find them, you accuse us of brutality.

Before we can go into court, you give them a trial by newspaper.

When we finally get a conviction you want to save them by proving they were crazy in the first place.

All of which adds up to one thing. You've got the killers.

Off the record, have you got them?


Even if we catch them, that's all we've got.

Because without a confession, and the evidence we got so far, we couldn't even go to trial.

Unless we can place the suspects in this spot, unless we can tie the killers to that piece of rope, they'll never hang.


Was it good, baby?

Was it good?

Baby, was it really good?

All a truck gets us, is from here to there.

We want a score.

One guy with a fat wallet, in a fast car, with a back seat.

I sit beside him.

You get in the back, I feed him a few jokes.

I say, "Hey, Perry, pass me a match."

That's your signal.

Fast. Hard. Snap. I grab the wheel.

You're so good at it, you sit in the back seat.

You do it.

Look friendly, now.

You're a lucky bastard.

Don't forget, when I say, "Pass me a match."

Hop in, boys. Where are you going? Come on. Get in.

Not with you.

Thanks just the same.

Did you see them guys?

Jesus! They could've robbed us.

What of?

I'm really not supposed to pick up anybody in the company car, but...

What the hell, you only live once. That's what they say.

Comfortable back there?

I can take you as far as Iowa.

Where have you boys been?

Mexico. No future there.

That depends, my boy.

I honeymooned in Mexico.

You might say that's where I planted the seed of our first child.

I ploughed and planted a few señoritas there myself.

You know what they call a prostitute who went to college?


A whore-to-culture.

I got a riddle for you.

Ready? Shoot.

Why is a trip to the bathroom exactly like a trip to the cemetery?

Let me see. A trip to the bathroom like a trip to the cemetery...

Give up?

When you gotta go, you gotta go.

Hey, Perry, pass me a match.

Sorry, I never turn down a soldier.

This might get the boy home for Christmas.

Lucky break.

Practically a goddamn miracle.

You didn't happen to see a portable radio, Mr Hickock, about so big?

A Zenith?

Now what makes him do it?

Hit out against people?

Outstanding athlete in basketball, baseball, football, always made the first team.

He always played to win, played hard, but clean.

When he left without a word I knew he was in trouble again.

Now, Mr Nye, I thought if I... About breaking parole.

Will he have to go back to prison?

You do much hunting, Mr Hickock?

That's his gun. Dick's.

You know, when he come out of prison, you know, folks was saying how he'd turned mean.

Now how'd they know? How'd anybody know what's inside another person?

You see, I haven't got long to go, Mr Nye. I'm with cancer.

Dick knowed that.

Well, before he left, he said to me...

He said, "Pa, I'm not ever gonna do anything to hurt you."

And he meant it, too.

Now, I mean, if you'd seen him, you know, playing with his children.

Any boy that loves and respects his folks, well, you know there's good inside that boy.

I hope you find him, Mr Nye, for his own sake. Before it's too late.

You know what we are?

We're the living proof that crime pays.

Gifts in a manger.

No more money troubles.

Merry Christmas.

Kansas City, here we come.

You're crazy.

I gotta get us some money.

How far do you think we could get in a hot car? With hot cheques?

That's right. I'll go by myself.

Like hell you will. I'll meet you later.

We stick together.

First we go to Vegas. We pick up our clothes.

All the stuff I shipped from Mexico. And then we drive to the nearest port and we ship out on the first tanker leaving this country.

And this time we stay out.

I won't go.

You'll go.

What if I don't?

Well, then, "honey, baby,"

I guess I'll just have to kill you.

Yeah. But right now, we pass a lot of fast, hot cheques.

One more cheque. We can be in and out of here in an hour.

A cinch.

Stop worrying, will you?

Al, our friends are here.

How do you know?

They stole a car in lowa and bought two tyres with a bad cheque.


Right here. The salesman got worried, he wrote down the license.

The Hickock farm, is it covered?

If they go there, we're covered.

I'll be at the Hickock farm.



Did they slip through?

If it wasn't to see his folks, why would they come back to Kansas?

Maybe they're trying to be caught.

I guess they'll just have to try harder.

You're not stopping for them?

Look at that old man, he looks awful.

Suppose he dies on us? That means cops, questions.

Think, will you?

I think you're a bastard.

We sure appreciate this, mister.

Get in.

Where you headed?

California. Gramps has got a sister in Needles. He's going to stay with her.

Did you hear that, Johnny?

Hear me, Johnny?

You got any money?

Hey, kid. No, sir.

Not even $1 for gas?

Only these.

They're worth $0.03 a bottle. So?

Mister, if you was to drive real slow, we could pick us up some real change.

That's what Johnny and me have been eating off of. Refund money.

Kid, get in.

We finally found it.

The sunken treasure of Captain Cortés.

$0.03 a bottle.

Pay dirt!

The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

Hey, mister, $12.60. Fifty-fifty okay?

Kid, you're a positive genius.

Happy New Year! Likewise.

Keep digging, old-timer.

Never seen so much blonde chicken.

And all that sweet divorce money.

Yeah, sure.

Hey, chief, you a lucky crap shooter?

Deuces, treys and twelves.

Mr Snake Eyes himself.

If we put this fiver on the line and if we let it ride and if we make only 10 passes, we'd have over 5,000 bucks.

How about it, honey? I feel real lucky tonight.

You've got visitors.


Hey, buddy. Put in a call for that big old yellow bird.

Good afternoon.

Smith. Hickock.

Comedian. Yeah.


Are they still virgins?

What'd you charge them with? Driving a hot car.


You know why we're here, Mr Hickock? Sir, you can call me Dick.

All right, Dick.

We understand you've signed the extradition papers.

Yeah, well, what the hell.

There's no denying we broke parole and hung a mile and half of paper.

Oh, yeah, the car, it's stolen.

That's it. All of it.

Okay if I smoke? Sure, sure.

You know, in a way, I'm glad it's over.

I'll take what I've got coming. Serve my time and never, but never again.

Your parole has a special provision never to return to Kansas.

I cried my eyes out.

Must've been something important to bring you back.

I had to see my sister in Fort Scott.

To get money she was holding for me. Did you get it?

She moved away. Where?

I don't know.

How far is it from Kansas City to Fort Scott?

I don't know.

How long did it take you to drive there, one hour? Two?

Three? Four?

I can't remember.

Do you remember what day it was?


Yeah, I remember now.

We got to Fort Scott about 4:00 p.m.

We went right to the post office. Why?


To find out where Perry's sister lived.

The guy at the post office said she moved.

Left no address and left no money, either.

Must've been quite a blow. It was a haymaker.

Okay? Sure, sure.

What did you do then?

Drove back to K.C., went prowling.

Any luck?

Not much. We ended up with a couple of hustlers.


I never asked.

You spent the night with these women and you didn't ask their names?

They were just prostitutes.

Where'd you take them?

I don't remember junk like that. You'll have to ask Dick.

What did these girls look like?

Describe them.

Blonde? Dark? Big? Little?

Any scars?

Moles? Marks?

Would you like the sordid details?


Is that how you get your kicks?

She had to be a contortionist.

I guess you know why we're really here?

You know we wouldn't have come this far just to arrest a couple of two-bit cheque chisellers.

Would we, Dick?

I wasn't listening. Are you listening now?

Did you ever hear of the Clutter murder case?

Can't nobody pin any murder on me. No, sir.

The question was, did you hear about it? Read something about it, maybe.

Yeah. You made three mistakes.

Number one, you left a witness.

A living witness, who'll testify in court.

There ain't any living witness. Can't be.

Nobody can pin any murder on me.

Saturday, November 14, you drove to Fort Scott.

You went to the post office... Yes. get the address of Perry's sister. That's right.

Perry Smith has no sister in Fort Scott. Never has had.

On Saturday afternoon the post office in Fort Scott is always closed.

That is your second mistake.

Perry seems confused about that night.

I think it's about time we straightened him out.

Yes, sir. About time.

Look at me, boy.

On Saturday night, November 14, you were in Holcomb, Kansas.

You were killing the Clutter family.


I never... Never what?

I never knew anybody by that name, Clutter. We've got a living witness.

Well, Perry?

Do you have any aspirin?

They took my aspirin away.

Feeling bad?

My legs do.

By the way, you know what tomorrow is?

Nancy Clutter's birthday.

She would have been 17.

You guys have gotta be stalling.

If you had any real proof... Real proof, as in eyewitness.


As God is my witness, may I burn in hell forever if I ever killed anybody.

Careful, boy.

Got an aspirin?

How's it going?

Three hours and all we've got so far is, "No. I don't remember. Ask Dick."

We've caught that hard-nosed little punk in 50 lies and he still admits nothing.

I think our boy's about primed and ready.

I hope you're right.

Why do all you people get tattooed?

"All you people"?

What people? Convicts. You're all tattooed.

That tiger head. What does it do? Make you feel tough?

That cop's badge, what does it do? Make you feel honest?

Everybody's got a tattoo.

Only you people call them clubs.

Elks, Masons, Boy Scouts. Salute. High sign. Low sign.

Secret this and secret that. "No trespassing. Keep off the grass."

Nice, respectable, tattoo clubs.

Poker clubs, golf clubs, tennis clubs.

Clubs for gambling and clubs for drinking.

Even a real club like Daddy-O's got in that little brown bag.

What you gonna do, pappy? Club it out of me?

Something like that.

I said you made three mistakes.

First, you left a living witness.

Second, your alibi won't hold water.

And third?

Coming up.


Made in the spot where Mr Clutter was murdered.

These are the shoes that made them.


This footprint was made in Mr Clutter's blood.

Perry's shoe.

Same cat's paw. Same size. Same blood.

All right, Dick. This time the truth.

I don't want to be charged with murder one because I never pulled the trigger.

I don't even know what the goddamn hell was happening.

It was Perry. He did it.

I couldn't stop him.

He killed them all.

Are you the officer that made the arrest?

If you'd grabbed them five minutes earlier before they'd picked up that box...

Just luck, I guess.

Or something.

Hickock swears that he tried to stop you.

He was scared that you'd shoot him, too. He said you did it. All of it.

Sure. Now you'd like me to say he did it.

He's no killer, and he knows it.

That's why he picked you. He needed a trigger.

You had nothing to lose. You'd already killed a man, in Vegas.

Beat him to death with a bicycle chain.

Tough boy. Real brass boy.

I knew if we got caught, if he dropped his guts, he'd tell about that guy in Vegas.

I never killed anybody.

Not before that night.

'Cause that night,

I think...

No, I want to remember it the way it was.

We got there around midnight.

This is it.

This is it.

Let's pull out of here.

Now, before it's too late.

If you're gonna do it, you'll have to do it alone.

You don't think I got the guts to do it alone.

Okay. I'll show you who's wearing the pants.

How'd you kill that guy in Vegas, anyhow? Love him to death?

Korean War hero.


Why'd I go along with it?

When it first began...

Who knows when anything really begins?

When Dick first told me the plan it didn't even seem real.

Then, the closer we got, the more real it became.

Like the whole crazy stunt had a life of its own and nothing could stop it.

Like I was reading a story and I had to know what was gonna happen.

How it would end.


If we find the safe, do you know how to open it?

I know somebody that knows.

Honey? Is that you, honey?

Who is it?

Come with us. Now! What?

Come with us.

Come on. Come.

In the office.

Now, sir.

Where do you keep that safe?

What safe? I don't have any safe.

Don't lie to me, you son of a bitch.

I know you got a safe. Right here. In this office.

I'm sorry, but there isn't any safe.

There never was a safe.

Any other phones?

One. In the kitchen.

Now, sir,

unlock this cabinet.

It's not locked.


Where is it?

Come on, move it.

All right, now. The money, dig it up.

Thirty-one lousy dollars.

A rich man like you.

You gotta have more money than this.

Not in cash. I can write you a cheque.

A cheque?

What kind of... Don't do that!

There's somebody awake upstairs. My family.

The only people upstairs are my wife, my son and daughter.

Your wife, she got any money?

Please, she's not well. Sure. Sure, pops.

Upstairs. My glasses. I can't see without my glasses.

Upstairs, upstairs.

Why do you boys want to do this?

I never harmed you.

I never saw you before.

Shut up. When we want you to talk, we'll tell you.

It's all right, sweetheart, don't be afraid.

These men, they just want some money. Money?

They believe we have money hidden in a safe.

I told them we didn't, but they don't... Didn't I tell you to shut up?

He's telling you God's truth. There isn't any safe.

I know goddamn well you got a safe. And you better tell him to find it fast!


Floyd Wells lied to you. There isn't any safe.

Tie them up.

Okay, lady. In the bathroom.

Please, don't hurt anybody.

They don't mean to hurt anyone. Isn't that right?

All they want is some money. And then they'll go away.

Please, don't hurt the children.

Good grief! What is this? Some kind of joke?

Make one move, holler once, and we'll cut their throats.

All right. You two, downstairs.

Dick! In here.

You. Over there.

What's this? A casket?

Hope chest.

It's a wedding present for my sister.

Yeah? Not her. She's too young.

They're never too young, kid.

Hey! Pops!

You better pray I find that safe.



You're cold?


If all you want is money, then why?

If you do that to my wife, she'll panic.

My mother, please be careful. Please.

That other man, I'm afraid he'll hurt someone.

Please, he can have money, anything, but, please, don't let him hurt my little girl.


Please, don't.

You ever had a man?

Please, don't.

What's eating at you?

You find the safe?


First I'm gonna bust that little girl. No.

What do you care? You can bust her, too.


Okay, honey.

Get the kid's radio.

And then go downstairs.

I despise people who can't control themselves.

You go to school?

The university next year. To study music and art.

I play the guitar.

Draw some, too.

Only got as far as the third grade.

You like horses?


My mother was a champion rider. In the rodeo.

And my father...

My father...

Okay. What's the matter?

Us. We're the matter. We're ridiculous.

You tapping the walls for a safe that isn't there.

Tap, tap, tapping like some nutty woodpecker.

And me.

Crawling around on the floor with my legs on fire.

And all to steal a kid's silver dollar.


This is stupid!

What are you sore about? We got no beef.

It's us against them.

This is between us.

It's got nothing to do with them.

Look at me, boy! Take a good look!

I'm the last living thing you're ever gonna see.

Don't. Please, don't.

It doesn't make sense.

I mean what happened.

Or why.

It had nothing to do with the Clutters.

They never hurt me, they just happened to be there.

I thought Mr Clutter was a very nice gentleman.

I thought so right up until the time I cut his throat.

Mercy for them.

The killers.

How fortunate that their admirable attorneys were not present at the Clutter home that fateful evening.

How very fortunate for them that they were not there to plead mercy for the doomed family, because otherwise, we would have found their corpses, too.

If you allow them life imprisonment, they will be eligible for parole in seven years.

That is the law.

Gentlemen, four of your neighbours were slaughtered like hogs in a pen by them.

They did not strike suddenly in the heat of passion, but for money.

They did not kill in vengeance.

They planned it for money.

And how cheaply those lives were bought.


$10 a life.

They drove 400 miles to come here, they brought their weapons with them.

This shotgun, this dagger.

This is the rope that they hogtied their victims with.

This is the blood they spilled.

Herb Clutter's.

They who had no pity, now ask for yours.

They who had no mercy, now ask for yours.

They who had no tears, now ask for yours.

If you have tears to shed, weep not for them, weep for their victims.

From the way the Holy Bible was quoted here today, you might think the word of God was written only to protect the killers.

But they didn't read you this.

Exodus 20, verse 13.

"Thou shalt not kill."

Or this.

Genesis 9, verse 12.

"Who so shedeth man's blood, "By man shall his blood be shed."

It took four hours to pick the jury.

It took the state three days to present its case.

It took the defence one hour and a half.

It took the jury

40 minutes to bring in the verdict.

They had to be crazy.

No. Maybe stupid, but perfectly sane.

How can a perfectly sane man commit an absolutely crazy act?

Calling all stations, Officer Linhard, Officer Brackin.

Please come to the desk sergeant's office.

Calling all stations, Officer Wright. Officer C. Wright.

Please call the desk sergeant.

What happens now? They wait to die.

I wonder how many others are waiting in other prisons?

About 200.

Perry and Dick began their waiting in the "S and I" building.

Security and Isolation.

The second floor is death row.

Through the window they can see the baseball field.

Beyond the outfield, over the wall is an old warehouse with a tin roof.

This warehouse got a name?

In this prison, it's called "The Corner."

On hanging day, the men say, "He's gone to 'The Corner'."

Perry and Dick have a date at "The Corner."

One minute after midnight. May, Friday 13.

According to an expert in forensic medicine, neither one of them would have done it alone.

But together, they made a third personality.

That's the one that did it.

Hey, Andy!

Does it tell anywhere in them books what happens when you make the big drop?

Well, your neck breaks and you crap your pants.

The trouble with you, Andy, you got no respect for human life, not even your own.

Doomsday, Friday 13, came and went, but no one went to "The Corner."

Perry and Dick appealed. Routine.

They were granted a stay of execution. Routine.

The legal machinery in capital cases usually runs a year or more. Routine.

Death row has its own routine.

Shower. One man at a time, once a week.

Shave, twice a week.

The guard locks the safety razor.

Safety first.

No radios, no movies, no TV.

No cards, no games, no exercise.

No mirrors, no bottles, no glasses.

No knives, no forks.

No suicide allowed.

They could eat, sleep, write, read, think, dream.

They could pray, if so inclined.

But mostly, they just waited.

The guy in the next cell, Andy. He's been waiting two years.

Newspapers call him "The nicest boy in Kansas."

One night he killed his sister.

Then he shot his mother six times and his father seventeen times.

Andy's a nut, but I like him.

Hey, Andy. Say hello to Mr Jensen.

He's writing the story of my life.


I told you he was a nut.

Ronnie, Jim, meet Mr Jensen.

They knocked off seven. Strangers.

Ronnie said they was better off dead.

What about Perry? Don't you get along?

Nobody can get along with him.

There's five guys waiting here for the big swing.

Little Perry's the only one yapping against capital punishment.

Don't tell me you're for it?

Hell, hanging's only getting revenge.

What's wrong with revenge?

I've been revenging myself all my life.

Sure. I'm for hanging.

Just so long as I'm not the one being hanged.

See you.

Thanks for the magazines.

Jim, you think that looks like Willie Jay?

The way you see him, yes.

That day at the bus station, when I phoned you.

If Willie Jay and I had connected, none of this would have happened.

Maybe, if you hadn't come back to Kansas. Maybe!

If they'd had a head-doctor here during my first stretch, he would've known I had a bomb ticking inside of me.

He would've known I wasn't ready for parole.

You knew. Yeah.

Why didn't you tell me?

Then I wouldn't have gotten my parole, would I, Reverend?

A few minutes after midnight, in November, one of them went to "The Corner."

The others watched him cross the ball field on his way to the gallows.

It was Andy.

"The nicest boy in Kansas."

They heard the trapdoor go.

The kept watching and waiting for 19 minutes, till Andy's heart stopped beating.

For Andy, the waiting was over.

Perry and Dick waited five years.

Three times their case went to the United States Supreme Court.

My God! That harness!

Richard, this is a warrant from the Supreme Court of the State of Kansas.

"Whereas, it was by this court ordered

"that execution of the sentence of death by hanging of Richard Eugene Hickock, "imposed by the District Court of Finney County, Kansas, "be carried out on Wednesday, April 14, 1965.

"Commanding the warden of the Kansas State Penitentiary

"to carry the sentence into execution."

Where's Smith?

"Yea, let none that wait for thee be ashamed.

"Let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.

"Show me thy ways, O Lord, teach me thy paths.

"Lead me in thy truth, and teach me, for thou art the God"


I gotta go to the toilet.

We can't remove the harness. There might not be time.


Try to control yourself.

But that's it.

When you hit the end of the rope your muscles lose control.

I'm afraid I'll mess myself.

It's nothing to be ashamed of. They all do it.

For God's sake, man!

"This is to command you, the warden of the Kansas State Penitentiary, "that on Wednesday, April 14, 1965, "between the hours of 12:01 a. m. and 2:00 a. m..."

Is he the...

How much does he get paid to hang them?

$300 a man.

Has he got a name?

"We, the people."

"...for the State of Kansas."

Anything you want to say?

Just that I hold no hard feelings.

You're sending me to a better world than this ever was.

Nice to see you.

Jim, Thoreau, on man and nature.

It's yours if you want it.

Dick gone?

Is his heart still beating?

What time is it? Take it easy, kid.

Would you like me to write your father?

I could send him one of your paintings.

Or maybe your Bronze Star.

Send him my treasure maps.

Maybe now he'll get lucky.

The Lone Wolf.

You know, there was a time once when we almost had it made.

Just the two of us.

He was in a fever about some new project up in Alaska.

A hunting lodge for tourists.

It was gonna make us a fortune better than a gold mine.

But most of all, it was gonna be something we never had before.

A real home.

We got it built, too.

Just him and me, side by side.

The day the roof was finished, he danced all over it.

I never was so happy in all my life.

It was a beautiful home.

But no tourists ever came.


We just lived there all alone in that big, empty failure,

till he couldn't stand the sight of me.

I think it happened...

I was eating a biscuit.

He started yelling what a greedy, selfish bastard I was.

Yelling and yelling till I grabbed his throat.

I couldn't stop myself.

He tore loose and got a gun.

He said, "Look at me, boy!

"Take a good look 'cause I'm the last living thing you're ever gonna see."

And he pulled the trigger.

But the gun wasn't loaded.

He began to cry.

Bawled like a kid.

I went for a long walk.

When I got back, the place was dark.

The door was locked.

All my stuff was piled outside in the snow where he threw it.

I walked away and never looked back.

I guess the only thing I'm gonna miss in this world is that poor old man and his hopeless dreams.

I'm glad you don't hate your father anymore.

But I do.

I hate him.

And I love him.

Coming? What for?

What does it add up to, anyway?

Well, four innocent and two guilty people murdered.

Three families broken.

Newspapers have sold more papers.

Politicians will make more speeches.

Police and parole boards will get more blame.

More laws will be passed.

Everybody will pass the buck.

And then, next month, next year, the same thing will happen again.

Well, maybe this will help to stop it.

Never has.

Perry, this is a warrant from the Supreme Court of the State of Kansas.

"It was by the court ordered that execution of the sentence of death by hanging

"of Perry Edward Smith

"imposed by the District Court of Finney County, Kansas, "be carried out on Wednesday, April 14, 1965."

Anything you want to say?


I think maybe

I'd like to apologise.

But who to?


"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

"He maketh me to lie down in green pastures.

"He leadeth me beside the still waters.

"He restoreth my soul.

"He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, "I will fear no evil.

"For thou art with me.

"Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.

"Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies.

"Thou anointest my head with oil."

Is God in this place, too?

"My cup runneth over.

"Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life.

"And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."