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Infamous (2006)

Sigourney Weaver , Toby Jones , Douglas McGrath  |  R |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (173 customer reviews)

Price: $5.97 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Product Details

  • Actors: Sigourney Weaver, Toby Jones, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sandra Bullock, Daniel Craig
  • Directors: Douglas McGrath
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Full Screen, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 6, 2010
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (173 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000M341SC
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,907 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Infamous" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Commentary by writer/director Douglas McGrath
  • Theatrical trailer

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

"Certainly as good [as Capote] and a lot more fun. Toby Jones is so physically right, you'll think Capote is playing himself." - Jack Mathews, NEW YORK DAILY NEWS 1959 Manhattan was a party, and none of the glitterati glittered brighter than Truman Capote. Then he saw a story in The New York Times: "Wealthy Farmer, 3 of Family Slain," and the party ended for Capote. He plunged into the murder case that inspired his great "nonfiction novel" In Cold Blood and led him into a fevered relationship with one of the two doomed killers. But there's more to the story than you know. Toby Jones (as Capote) leads Sandra Bullock, Daniel Craig, Sigourney Weaver and many more stars in a witty, moving and astonishing tale of obsession. What happened to the extraordinary literary talent that burned within Truman Capote? The answer may be found in a story at once famous and Infamous.

Infamous is inevitably compared to Capote, since it also chronicles author Truman Capote's spiral into chaos while composing his masterpiece, In Cold Blood, a breakthrough non-fictional tale told as fiction. It's a shame that Capote's critical acclaim eclipsed this film's, as Toby Jones is perfectly convincing as Capote, with his small stature and eccentric manner. Infamous mimics the novel's fictionalized non-fiction, opening on "interviews" with Capote's New York friends like Diana Vreeland (Juliet Stevenson) and Babe Paley (Sigourney Weaver). The film, set in 1959, begins with Capote's discovery of the farm family murder story and his trek out to Kansas with confidant, Nelle Harper Lee (Sandra Bullock). Stressing Capote's relationships with Lee, the film justifies Capote's marginal behavior by Lee's speaking about Capote's childhood neglect, which she also wrote into To Kill A Mockingbird. Capote's own description of his rough childhood then serves as a barrier breaker between himself and Perry Smith (Daniel Craig), the half of the Perry Smith-Dick Hickock killing team who is at first unwilling to talk. Infamous makes much of the sexual tension between Capote and Smith, implying that Capote persevered through his project for Smith's love. Based on George Plimpton's oral biography, Infamous deserves a stellar place in Capote-lore, as there is ample room for both competing films. --Trinie Dalton

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
139 of 144 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The other side of the story February 17, 2007
In an incredible bit of misfortune, 'Infamous' will have to live with the stigma of being 'that other movie' about Truman Capote writing his masterpiece 'In Cold Blood'. Over time that distinction may begin to wear off, but only time will tell. The trouble with this situation is that it is impossible to see 2006's 'Infamous' without comparing it to 2005's 'Capote' -- even if you try. I promised myself that I would attempt to watch it with a fresh perspective, but within ten minutes I had decidedly broken that promise and started a list of differences and similarities in my mind. What is so unfair about this is that while 'Capote' is a very good movie, 'Infamous' is just a good one, making its faults stand out that much more by comparing it to its predecessor. Never before has being good not been good enough.

Purists undoubtedly take to 'Capote' as the superior film and lambaste 'Infamous' as a pretender to the throne, but what they are missing out on are the intriguing differences in perspective that the two films have. It is here that 'Infamous' earns its merits, but also where its defining flaw comes into play: that it is too afraid to risk making Truman an unsympathetic character. 'Capote' gets at the heart of the deviousness inherent in Truman's dealings with Perry Smith and Dick Hickock (the killers on death row whose stories, along with those of their victims, comprise 'In Cold Blood') -- how he used and abused their friendship and trust in order to write his masterpiece. Philip Seymour Hoffman's Truman Capote is an egotistical liar that sells his soul for his story, made sympathetic by Hoffman's careful portrayal and by the fact that his cruelty causes him to spiral into drink, depression, and ruin for the rest of his life.
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57 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The story of a broken heart . . . February 20, 2007
Based on interviews in George Plimpton's oral biography of Truman Capote, this well done film offers a somewhat different take on the character we'd already come to know through the previous year's "Capote," which covers the same storyline - the writing of the author's bestseller, "In Cold Blood." Toby Jones gives a notable performance that emphasizes Capote's vulnerability - reinforced by the actor's diminutive size - compared to the more arch and self-centered Oscar-winning portrayal turned in by Philip Seymour Hoffman. While both films show how Capote is overwhelmed by the stress of composing this landmark book and waiting for its publication as the two killers are held for years on death row, "Infamous" wants us to believe that Capote fell deeply in love with one of them, Perry, who returned his affection and regarded him to the end as "Friend Truman." That Capote never wrote anything of the caliber of "In Cold Blood" again and spent the rest of his years in a downward spiral of self destruction is used in the film as evidence that it was the fateful encounter with Perry that ruined him.

Sandra Bullock gives a wonderfully controlled performance as Capote's lifelong friend Harper Lee, who after the success of "To Kill a Mockingbird" never published another novel and left New York to return to her childhood home in Alabama, where fate provided a much more congenial retreat from the limelight. "Who knows what the heart wants," she remarks sadly at the end of the film, "and who can defend themselves against it?" And while the film treats its subject with a certain playfulness, reflected in a mostly cheerful and larky soundtrack, it is finally the story of a broken heart. The DVD has a very cogent and informative commentary by writer-director Douglas McGrath. Definitely worth watching, even if you've seen "Capote." Side by side, they demonstrate nicely Capote's own vision of truth as it's found in creative nonfiction.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars worth seeing first October 30, 2006
Probably the best order in which to view the films on this subject is this version first, then last year's, then the Robert Blake movie.

If CAPOTE is a sophisticatedly sec pinot grigio, INFAMOUS is a heartier, fruitier wine. The power of CAPOTE is its restraint, with the complex central character both monstrous and sympathetic in his cool-eyed pragmatism about needing the killers to die in order to complete his book successfully. INFAMOUS suggests that Capote is more emotionally torn by this conflict of interests between his attraction to Perry Smith and his ego as a writer. There's more wallop throughout the more indulgent film, but CAPOTE's refusal to provide easier emotional releases makes it the more mature work. That said, I'd be more apt to replay this version.

The opening scene, in which Gwyneth Paltrow struggles through the pain behind the lyric she's singing, sets the overall approach of this film. It is dramatically effective, it's well-played, and it telegraphs both the theme and the somewhat manipulative means this movie will rely upon. Similarly, the sexual relationship alleged in the prison sequences is carried off by excellent performances, is graphic as fantasy rather than likelihood, and distinguishes CAPOTE's restraint as probably a more honest narrative choice.

The acting and period design are excellent--making favorable comparisons to similar ambitions of the period piece on George Reeves' suicide. Audiences will appreciate INFAMOUS more if they're aware of the history of Capote's ANSWERED PRAYERS, the gossip fest that exposed the secrets of all his socialite "swans" and thus cost him their friendships.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect companion to reading In Cold Blood
Wow! Missed this the first time around. Perfect companion to reading In Cold Blood. Great performances by all, especially Toby.
Published 13 days ago by Cindy L. Moore
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
I only ordered 1
Published 15 days ago by
5.0 out of 5 stars a must have
With this cast how could anyone doubt this to be anything less then a massive success.
It truly is a great movie.
Published 23 days ago by Barbara Raak-Lamson
3.0 out of 5 stars It is a different take than the movie Capote. ...
It is a different take than the movie Capote. The characters are presented in a much more raw light. Read more
Published 1 month ago by tammy debord
5.0 out of 5 stars Awsome
Love this movie, must see capote along with this one and in cold blood
Published 1 month ago by Lakota
4.0 out of 5 stars better than the terrific enough Philip Seymour Hoffman "Capote
better than the terrific enough Philip Seymour Hoffman "Capote," considering a few factors like the excellent supporting cast and a dead-on portrayal of the private life of... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Christopher Jones
3.0 out of 5 stars Less Boring Than Capote
I wanted to see this to compare to "Capote" which I thought was very dry, so dry I knew I would never watch it again, and I donated it to the library. Read more
Published 1 month ago by TawnTawn
1.0 out of 5 stars NOT Recommended!
This movie was plain awful! Toby Jone's portrayal of Capote's flaming tendencies was so off-putting and completely over the top it ruined the movie. Read more
Published 1 month ago by taginnp
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't miss it!
Great great film.
Published 1 month ago by Mrs. C. C. Laubin
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by cheryl allen
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