"In writing fiction, the more fantastic the tale, the plainer the prose should be. Don't ask your readers to admire your words when you want them to believe your story." - Ben Bova [ more quotes ]

CAPOTE



Written by

Dan Futterman



Based on the book "Capote: A Biography" by Gerald Clarke



TITLE UP: "Western Kansas, 1959"

EXT. FARMHOUSE - MORNING

The CAMERA follows a SIXTEEN YEAR OLD GIRL, long hair, pretty
Sunday church dress, walking toward a peaceful farmhouse. At
the door she lifts the knocker. The door opens slightly. The
girl turns and looks past the camera at her MOTHER, sitting
in an old Plymouth idling in the driveway. Her mother shrugs,
motions for her to go inside.

INT. FARMHOUSE - CONTINUOUS

The girl walks through the downstairs rooms. In the kitchen,
the PHONE is OFF the hook. The girl looks back toward the
open front door. She turns toward the stairs, climbs them.

INT. FARMHOUSE, UPSTAIRS HALL - CONTINUOUS

She walks down the hall to a BEDROOM DOOR at the end. The
door is slightly ajar. She knocks, then enters the room.

INT. FARMHOUSE, BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS

The girl's POV: the CAMERA pans across the bedroom of a high
school coed. We see the desk, the bureau, the bed. On the
bed lies NANCY CLUTTER, her wrists and legs bound in rope,
SHOT in the head. There is blood on the wall. The sixteen
year-old girl stands immobile. Before she starts to scream,

CUT TO:

EXT. KANSAS LANDSCAPE - DAY

Trees ring the edge of a field.

CUT TO:

EXT. N.Y. CITYSCAPE, ESTABLISHING - NIGHT

Buildings lit against the night sky.

INT. NEW YORK APARTMENT BUILDING/STAIRS - NIGHT

Camera follows group of partygoers as they mount the stairs:
Truman Capote, Barbara (very tall), Rose, Christopher,
Williams.

INT. SMALL, PACKED NEW YORK APARTMENT/KITCHEN - LATER

The friends are standing in the crowded kitchen -- people
are coming in and out -- talking and drinking and laughing.

TRUMAN
So Jimmy Baldwin tells me the plot
of his book, and he says to me: the
writing's going well, but I just
want to make sure it's not one of
those problem novels. I said: Jimmy,
your novel's about a Negro homosexual
who's in love with a Jew -- wouldn't
you call that a problem?

Laughter.

CHRISTOPHER
Susan's father had a minor heart
attack, so she's writing more erotic
poems about death and sex.

BARBARA
It's so tiresome.

WILLIAMS
Hmm. What rhymes with angina?

Laughter. We see Truman watching everyone laugh. GRAYSON
notices, leans in to him. As the rest of the group continues
talking, we come closer, hear their conversation.

GRAYSON
How's your writing?

TRUMAN
Oh, I've got a million ideas of what
to write next -- I just have to choose
one.

GRAYSON
Really?

TRUMAN
No.

Their attention is pulled back into the group as:

BARBARA
Who would I want to play me? Natalie
Wood.

ROSE
Too fat.

BARBARA
Audrey Hepburn?

ROSE
Not bad. Sort of middle-class.

TRUMAN
When a movie is made of my life I
know exactly who I want as me...
(beat)
Marilyn Monroe.

Barbara cracks up, chokes on her drink.

EXT. TRUMAN AND JACK'S HOUSE/BACK PATIO - MORNING

Truman sits with his coffee, reading the New York Times. An
article catches his eye. He sits up straight, folds the paper
over, reads it.

INT. TRUMAN AND JACK'S HOUSE, STUDY - DAY

C/U of article being snipped out of PAGE 39 of the Times,
November 16, 1959. As the page gets turned around with each
snip, we see a small PHOTO of a middle-aged man wearing
glasses, with the caption: "FOUND DEAD: Herbert W. Clutter,
a wealthy Kansas farmer..." We read the headline: "WEALTHY
FARMER, 3 OF FAMILY SLAIN. Parts of the story: "HOLCOMB,
Kan., Nov. 15 (UPI) -- ...wheat farmer, his wife... two young
children found shot today..."

INT. TRUMAN AND JACK'S HOUSE, STUDY - MOMENTS LATER

Truman on the phone.

FEMALE VOICE OVER THE PHONE
New Yorker magazine.

TRUMAN (ON PHONE)
William Shawn, please.
(he listens)
Adorable one? All of a sudden I know
what article I'm going to write for
you next.

INT. TRUMAN AND JACK'S HOUSE, STUDY/KITCHEN - MOMENTS LATER

Truman on the phone, on a long cord, travels between the
study and the kitchen as he talks to William Shawn. We hear
pieces of the conversation, and see Truman in different parts
of the room as he says each bit.

TRUMAN
...never had anything like this happen
to them before. They're used to
sleeping at night with the doors
unlatched....
(laughs)
Yes, we should buy stock in Master
Locks -- all of Kansas will be in
the hardware store tomorrow.

Jump to -

TRUMAN
They have no idea who the killer is.
But it doesn't matter who the killer
is -- what matters is who the
townspeople imagine the killer is.
That's what I want to write about.

Jump to -

TRUMAN
I'm gonna need some help... I'm
thinking about Nelle -- she can
protect me...

JACK DUNPHY (strong, Irish-American, ten years older than
Truman) -- his longtime boyfriend -- enters the front door
with a bag of groceries, stops in the hall. He sees Truman
on the phone. Truman looks at Jack, though he's still speaking
to Shawn --

TRUMAN
I want to leave tonight...

SMASH CUT TO:

EXT. TRAIN TRACKS, OUTSKIRTS OF NEW YORK CITY - NIGHT

A train barrels toward us, its headlight bright. The train
roars past, away from the city.

INT. TRAIN, MOVING - NIGHT

Truman hurries through the train, checking his ticket with
the sleeper cabins. His long SCARF trails behind. His longer
cashmere COAT practically brushes the floor.

INT. TRUMAN AND HARPER LEE'S CABIN, TRAIN - CONTINUOUS

Truman opens the door. Inside the cabin his childhood friend
from Monroeville, Alabama, NELLE HARPER LEE (yes, that Harper
Lee), is reading. She looks up, deadpan --

NELLE
I figured you'd missed it.

Nelle is a year younger than Truman, dowdy in dress, but
smart, tough, sensible. Truman smiles.

TRUMAN
God I'm glad you agreed to come.
You're the only one I know with the
qualifications to be both a research
assistant and personal bodyguard.
(then, noticing)
Oh, Nelle, you poor thing.

He tries to spruce up her limp silk scarf.

NELLE
Off. Truman. Off.
(holds his hands)
I'm happy to see you too, but I can
still whip your behind.

TWO BLACK PORTERS enter, one with an enormous TRUNK
(Truman's), the other with a sensible SUITCASE (Nelle's).

PORTER #1
(reading tags)
Mr. Truman Capote, Miss Nelle Harper
Lee. Where would you like these,
sir?

TRUMAN
That one up there and that one on
the floor.

He tips them.

NELLE
What all did you bring?

PORTER #2
Thank you greatly, sir. It's an honor
to have you with us. If you don't
mind my saying, your last book was
even better than the first --

TRUMAN
You're sweet.

PORTER #2
Just when you think they've gotten
as good as they can get.

TRUMAN
Thank you. You're very kind.

PORTER #1
(to Nelle)
Ma'am.

The PORTERS leave. Nelle is stunned. Truman fiddles with the
trunk locks, his back to Nelle. Silence, then:

NELLE
You're pathetic.

Truman doesn't answer.

NELLE
You're pathetic.

TRUMAN
What?

NELLE
You paid them to say that.

Truman won't look at her. She whacks him.

NELLE
You paid them to say that!

TRUMAN
(squealing)
How'd you know? How did you know?!

NELLE
"Just when you think they've gotten
as good as they can get."

TRUMAN
You think that was too much?
(laughter)
I thought that was a good line.

More laughter. More smacking of Truman. Then it is quiet.

NELLE
Pathetic.

INT. TRUMAN AND HARPER LEE'S CABIN, TRAIN - MORNING

Nelle's awake, but still in her bunk, looking out the window
at the Kansas plains. Truman's dressing, watching her.

CUT TO:

EXT. COUNTRYSIDE - DAY

TRAVELING SHOTS of harvested FIELDS, grazing LIVESTOCK,
solitary FARMHOUSES.

The TRAIN chugs across the Kansas flatlands.

SHOTS of SIGNS outside Garden City: "World's Largest Free
Swimpool" and "Howdy, Stranger! Welcome to Garden City. A
Friendly Place. "

EXT. GARDEN CITY RENT-A-CAR - DAY

Truman and Nelle rent a car. People stare.

I/E. RENTAL CAR - DAY

Nelle drives past the main square, Truman in the passenger
seat. Truman looks at a photo in THE GARDEN CITY TELEGRAM.

TRUMAN
Alvin Dewey, Kansas Bureau of
Investigation. KBI.

INT. LOBBY, WALKER HOTEL, GARDEN CITY - DAY

Truman and Nelle check in. People stare. Nelle notices.

EXT. FINNEY COUNTY COURTHOUSE, GARDEN CITY - CONTINUOUS

Truman and Nelle trot up the COURTHOUSE STEPS.

INT. FINNEY COUNTY COURTHOUSE, LOBBY - MOMENTS LATER

Truman approaches the GUARD DESK.

TRUMAN
Mr. Alvin Dewey, please.

GUARD
Third floor. In what used to be the
Sheriff's Office.

Truman CURTSIES.

INT. SHERIFF'S OFFICE - DAY

In the reception area, ALVIN DEWEY and the two other KBI
AGENTS assigned to the Clutter case are getting their jackets
on and straightening their ties. They've completely taken
over the office. They are: HAROLD "Brother" NYE (34); and
ROY "Curly CHURCH (60 - bald). They all smoke.

Sheriff WALTER SANDERSON -- 60's, kind, overweight -- is
office-less (though he and his wife DOROTHY still live on
the fourth floor of the Courthouse.) WALTER lurks in the
background, nowhere to go, emptying one of many FILLED
ASHTRAYS, BOTHERED by the SMOKE. Truman and Nelle enter as:

CHURCH
The wife said no more smoking in the
house. I told her, "Fine. Walter's
got a couch upstairs in his apartment.
I'll stay with him and Dorothy till
we're done here."
(to Walter)
I've got my bag and a carton of
cigarettes in the car.

WALTER looks uncomfortable. Dewey shakes his head at Church.

DEWEY
Roy.

TRUMAN
Mr. Dewey. Truman Capote from the
New Yorker.

Silence. The Agents stare at him.

TRUMAN
Hello.

Silence. Nye is looking at Truman, particularly puzzled.

TRUMAN
Bergdorf's.

NYE
Sorry?

TRUMAN
The scarf.

NYE
Oh.
(then)
Nice.

TRUMAN
Thank you.
(turns to Dewey)
I wonder when we could arrange an
interview? Some time to talk.

Dewey stubs out his cigarette.

DEWEY
About what?

TRUMAN
We're not looking for any inside
information -- I don't care one way
or another if you catch whoever did
this -- I'm writing an article not
about the Clutter killings, but how
they're affecting the town, how you
all are bearing up --

DEWEY
I care.

TRUMAN
Excuse me?

DEWEY
I care.
(puts on his hat,
pulls out another
cigarette)
I care a great deal if we catch
whoever did this.

TRUMAN
Yes --

DEWEY
As do a lot of folks around here.

TRUMAN
Of course.

Dewey walks out. Nye and Church start out after him.

NYE
(to Church)
New Yorker?

CHURCH
You have press credentials?

NYE
What's the New Yorker?

CHURCH
Magazine.

TRUMAN
Magazines don't give out --

CHURCH
You can come to the news conference
with the rest of them.
(tips his hat to Nelle)
Sears and Roebuck.

Nelle and Truman are left alone.

INT. SPARE COURTROOM - DAY

Packed with PRESS from all over the Midwest, as well as local
Finney County CITIZENS.

Dewey's leading the press conference from a FOLDING TABLE
set up in front of the Judge's bench, flanked by the two
other KBI Agents. He's got a cigarette burning in an ashtray.
Truman and Nelle stand in the back.

DEWEY
I'll talk facts but I won't speculate.
The main fact here we need to be
clear on is not one, but four people
were killed. A lot of folks say Herb
Clutter had to be the main target
because he was dealt with the most
brutally --

JOURNALIST #1
Had his throat cut.

DEWEY
(a moment)
Yes. We'd all like to know why. But
it could've been any one of the family
they were after. We just don't know --

JOURNALIST #2
You've identified the murder weapon?

DEWEY
Wounds indicate a shotgun, close-
range, but no casings were found.

JOURNALIST #1
Twelve-gauge, hunting --

DEWEY
Right.

JOURNALIST #1
They were all shot in the face?

Dewey looks at the journalist. Then, evenly:

DEWEY
No. Nancy in the back of the head.

JOURNALIST #2
Is there any evidence of, I'm sorry,
sexual molestation of the women?

DEWEY
No.

JOURNALIST #2
Anything else stolen?

DEWEY
Kenyon's radio seems to be the only...

JOURNALIST #3
The boy was sixteen?

DEWEY
Fifteen. Nancy was sixteen.

JOURNALIST #2
It's her friend that found them?

DEWEY
Laura Kinney.

JOURNALIST #2
Spell that?

DEWEY
I assume you're okay with the Laura
part. K-I-N-N-E-Y. But, please, leave
her be.

Lots of folks try to talk at once, one OLD MAN makes himself
heard above the rest:

OLD MAN
There's talk of a bunch of Mexicans,
a whole bunch of Mexicans...

DEWEY
(standing, stubs out
cigarette)
George, it's good to see you again.
I do have an opinion whether this
was the work of one man or a whole
bunch, as you said, but it doesn't
matter a whole lot whether it was
Mexicans or Methodists or Eskimos.
We're going to find whoever did this.
Four good people from our community
are dead. Let's remember that. Okay
with you?
(holds up a notice)
The West Kansas Farm Committee's
offering a thousand dollar reward
for information leading to an arrest.
Please print that.
(moving to the exit)
Thank you all for coming.

The room is immediately noisy as Dewey makes his way to the
door, pulling a pack of cigarettes from his pocket, followed
by Church and Nye. He's about to step out when Truman catches
his eye. Dewey exits.

CUT TO:

INT. RENTAL CAR - LATE AFTERNOON

Nelle drives while consulting a MAP. Truman is leaning back,
looking out at the passing farms through the window. He speaks
almost to himself.

TRUMAN
Mr. Dewey's protective of the
Clutters. I wonder how well he knew
them...

Nelle glances over at him. He doesn't notice.

TRUMAN
He was foxy with that old man.
(turns to Nelle)
Are you ever gonna let me drive?

NELLE
Truman, you're a menace. You can
barely see over the wheel.

Truman looks back out the window at the farms, leans back.

NELLE
This make you miss Alabama?

TRUMAN
(rolling window down,
shakes his head)
Not even a little bit.

He leans his head out, closes his eyes.

EXT. CLUTTER FARM - SUNSET

Nelle pulls their car to the side of the COUNTY ROAD which
fronts the CLUTTER FARM. We recognize the FARMHOUSE as the
one in which Nancy Clutter was found dead. A HIGHWAY PATROLMAN
(20 years old) sits in a CRUISER parked up the driveway.

CRIME SCENE TAPE marks the perimeter of the property. Truman
and Nelle get out of their car, stand at the foot of the
driveway, gazing at the lonely farmhouse.

FADE OUT.

EXT. HOLCOMB HIGH SCHOOL - MORNING

A gorgeous fall day. Crowds of kids arriving at school. Many
are SOMBER. As Truman and Nelle walk toward the kids, some
look warily at Truman and give him a wide berth.

TRUMAN
Hello.

Kids back away. Nelle notices. She leaves Truman, walks up
to a group of THREE GIRLS.

NELLE
Morning.

GIRL #1
Hi.

NELLE
Can any of you tell me where I'd
find Laura Kinney?

GIRL #1
Oh, um...

The girl glances toward the school entrance where LAURA KINNEY
(who found Nancy Clutter's body) walks with DANNY BURKE (tall,
17).

NELLE
(gently)
Is that her? With the tall boy?

GIRL #2
Yeah. With Danny Burke.

NELLE
Danny Burke?
(Girl #2 nods)
Thank you.

As Nelle leaves, Girl #1 turns to her friend:

GIRL #2
Oh, quiet yourself, Janice.

Nelle sees Truman on his way toward Laura, calls out --

NELLE
Truman. Truman --

Truman doesn't hear. She watches Truman approach them. Laura
backs away. Danny leads her off. Nelle walks over to Truman,
looks at him for several moments.

NELLE
These folks live their lives in a
particular way. You need to consider
adapting yourself to that fact.

TRUMAN
What --

NELLE
-- I'm gonna find out where those
two kids live. Maybe you'll let me
do that alone?

Nelle leaves. On Truman, as the bell rings and the mass of
teenagers starts to enter the school.

CUT TO:

EXT. MAIN STREET, GARDEN CITY - DAY

Truman walks alone, sees the Gilbart Funeral Home. He removes
his hat, slips past the few people standing outside.

INT. GILBART FUNERAL HOME - CONTINUOUS

Warm but slightly tacky. Some people are engaged in hushed
conversation at the reception area. Truman slips past, into
the back room.

INT. BACK ROOM, GILBART FUNERAL HOME - CONTINUOUS

No people, low light. Four CLOSED CASKETS at the back of the
room. Truman walks over slowly. After a moment, he checks to
make sure he's alone. Then he LIFTS THE TOP of one of the
caskets. It's Bonnie Clutter's body, in a long-sleaved navy-
blue dress; but her head is wrapped in layers and layers of
white cotton gauze, and lacquered with a shiny substance --
like an enormous cocoon. Truman stares.

CUT TO:

INT. WALKER HOTEL, TRUMAN'S ROOM - NIGHT

Truman on the PHONE to Jack in Brooklyn. One of Truman's
trunks is open, displaying bottles of liquor, packaged and
tinned gourmet food, and stacks of unused yellow legal pads.
He drinks, standing at the window.

JACK (OVER PHONE)
I think I scared a friend of yours
this morning. He came looking for
you while I was writing.

TRUMAN
You hate my friends.

JACK
I wouldn't say hate. So long as they
don't knock on my door.

TRUMAN
I saw the bodies today.

JACK
Which?

TRUMAN
The Clutters. I looked inside the
coffins.

JACK
That's horrifying.

TRUMAN
It comforts me -- something so
horrifying it's freeing. It's a
relief. Normal life falls away.
(beat)
But, then, I was never much for normal
life --

JACK
No, you weren't.

TRUMAN
People here won't talk to me. They
want someone like you, like Nelle.
Me they hate.

JACK
I can't think of a single quality I
share with Nelle.

TRUMAN
Well --

JACK
Maybe manliness.

TRUMAN
My point exactly.

JACK
It's why I left the Midwest in the
first place. I knew I could only
find someone like you in New York
City.

On Truman, gazing at the EMPTY TOWN SQUARE below.

CUT TO:

EXT. GARDEN CITY, VARIOUS - EARLY MORNING

A SHOPKEEPER sweeps the sidewalk. There are THANKSGIVING
DECORATIONS in his shop window.

A SCHOOL BUS picks up a SMALL BOY at the intersection of a
DIRT ROAD and the paved COUNTY ROAD.

A SMALL BRIDGE over the Arkansas river. Below them, men are
sifting the riverbed with nets, moving slowly downstream.

CUT TO:

INT. WALKER HOTEL, LOBBY - EARLY MORNING

Nelle waits by the FRONT DESK. The ELEVATOR DOORS open and
Truman emerges. He is DRESSED SOBERLY -- NO LONG SCARF, NO
LONG COAT. He walks toward Nelle, then TURNS as if he's a
runway model, walks away, turns again and walks back. He
stops a few feet in front of her. Nelle refuses to smile.

NELLE
Let's go.

CUT TO:

EXT. HOLCOMB TOWN ROAD - EARLY MORNING

Danny Burke walks down the road with a bookbag over his
shoulder. Nelle approaches him, Truman keeps his distance.

NELLE
Danny?
(Danny stops)
Would you mind terribly if I walked
with you for a bit?

He shrugs. They walk together.

CUT TO:

EXT. LAURA KINNEY HOUSE - AFTERNOON

Laura opens door to Truman and Nelle.

INT. LAURA KINNEY HOUSE, KITCHEN - AFTERNOON

Nelle and Laura Kinney sit at the table. Truman stands at
the counter.

LAURA
I thought you were from the FBI with
your long coat.

TRUMAN
Is that so?

LAURA
That's why I ran off.

TRUMAN
I've been getting a lot of that
lately.

Truman smiles. Laura smiles back, amused, a bit comforted.

LAURA
It's fine talking to you all.
Practically nobody around here wants
to talk since what happened.

NELLE
Folks have been through a rough patch.
Including you.
(Laura nods)
Nancy was your best friend.

LAURA
She was my best friend.

They're quiet for a few moments.

NELLE
How has Danny been?

LAURA
Pretty shattered. Nothing terrible
ever happened to him before. Nancy
just started wearing his ring again
after this huge fight -- Mr. Clutter
was trying to get her to end it 'cause
Danny's Catholic.

NELLE
What were the Clutters?

LAURA
Methodist. Danny was the last person
at the house that night. That's why
Mr. Dewey's keeps interviewing him --
they don't think he had anything to
do with it -- just to see if he
remembers anything unusual and all.

NELLE
People in town seem to wonder if he
was involved.

LAURA
That's been real hard for Danny.

TRUMAN
Oh, it's the hardest -- when people
have a notion about you and it's
impossible to convince them otherwise.
Since I was a child folks have thought
they had me pegged because of the
way I look and the way I talk. They're
always wrong.
(looks at her)
Do you know what I mean?

Laura stares at him and nods. He's clearly struck a chord.

LAURA
I want to show you something.

She goes in the door to the GROUND FLOOR APARTMENT. They see
her through the LACE CURTAINS getting something from her
DESK, which is stacked with books. Truman whispers to Nelle:

TRUMAN
Not one person here understands her.

Laura returns. She hugs a SMALL BOOK to her chest. After a
moment, she holds it out to them.

LAURA
Maybe you'll get a better picture of
Nancy. And the family.

NELLE
What is this?

LAURA
It's her diary.

CUT TO:

INT. RENTAL CAR/EXT. NEIGHBORHOOD - AFTERNOON

Nelle and Truman walk quickly back to the hotel. Nelle has
the diary open.

NELLE
"Danny here tonight and we watched
TV. So nice just having him sit with
us. Left at eleven. P.S. -- He's the
only one I really love."

She turns the page. The rest of the book is blank.

NELLE
And that was that.

TRUMAN
The end of a life.

CUT TO:

INT. WALKER HOTEL, NELLE'S ROOM - LATE NIGHT

Nelle typing. Truman is propped up on pillows on the bed,
scrunching his eyes to remember what was said that afternoon,
then writing quickly on one of many YELLOW LEGAL PADS, handing
the pages of interview dialogue to Nelle. He's exhausted.
Nelle stops typing a moment, looks through the pages Truman
has handed her:

NELLE
"Shattered."

TRUMAN
"Pretty shattered. Nothing terrible
ever happened to him before. "

He pushes some pillows aside and lies down.

TRUMAN
I have 94 percent recall of all
conversations.

NELLE
94 percent.

TRUMAN
I've tested myself.

NELLE
(scans some of what
he's written)
I hate that you're better than me at
this.

She turns back to the typewriter. She types. Truman lies
there, looking at the ceiling for a few moments. He closes
his eyes. Nelle knows without looking --

NELLE
Don't you dare close your eyes on my
bed.

No answer. She keeps typing.

NELLE
Stand up and walk out that door. Go
to your room if you're gonna sleep.
Truman. Truman.

Nelle turns to look at him. He's asleep. She goes back to
typing. Under her breath:

NELLE
Crap.

FADE OUT.

INT. WALKER HOTEL, BREAKFAST ROOM - LATE MORNING

Truman drinks coffee alone, sleepy. He takes a SMALL BOTTLE
of HOT-PEPPER TABASCO from his jacket pocket and shakes it
over his EGGS. He replaces the bottle in his jacket. Nelle
walks into the lobby from upstairs, heads for Truman.

NELLE
What right do you have being tired?
You were snoring blissfully --

TRUMAN
I don't snore --

NELLE
-- while I lay there, hating you --

TRUMAN
You don't hate me.

NELLE
Not much.
(She sits. Truman
holds out a NOTE)
What?
(takes it, looks)
Marie Dewey?... We've got somewhere
to go for Thanksgiving supper.

TRUMAN
Apparently Detective Foxy's wife has
a better opinion of me than Detective
Foxy.

CUT TO:

EXT. DEWEY HOME - AFTERNOON

Ding Dong. We see the FRONT DOOR open. Reveal MARIE DEWEY --
pretty, 35, dressed primly -- and her two boys: ALVIN JR.
(9), and PAUL (6), lurking behind, curious. Marie smiles.

MARIE
You came.

Reverse onto Nelle... and Truman, dressed in a DARK SUIT,
hair neatly combed, like an Exeter schoolboy attending a
funeral. Nelle smiles.

NELLE
Hi.

Nelle nudges Truman, who hands over his gifts: a BOTTLE OF
J&B, and a PACKAGE of GOURMET SPICED NUTS.

TRUMAN
(soberly)
Thank you for having us.

MARIE
(mock serious)
Thank you.
(then:)
Get yourselves in here.
(turns and walks into
the house)
Alvin! Get your pants on. They're
here.

On Nelle and Truman, surprised.

INT. DEWEY HOME, LIVING ROOM - AFTERNOON

A FOOTBALL GAME plays on the television. No one's watching.
We can HEAR Alvin on the phone in his study at the back of
the house.

INT. DEWEY HOME, KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS

Truman and Marie at the stove. Nelle sits at the kitchen
table. Truman has his jacket off and an apron on, as does
Marie. They are peering into a POT OF BLACK-EYED PEAS. Marie
is shaking in drops of HOT PEPPER TABASCO.

TRUMAN
More. More.

MARIE
Alvin will hate this.

TRUMAN
Yes, but we who know the truth will
love it.

MARIE
(laughs)
I have to stop.
(then)
I cannot believe you're from New
Orleans. I miss it so much.

TRUMAN
I only lived there for a short while
but my Mama was born and bred.

MARIE
You know something -- Alvin pretends
he doesn't know who you are, but the
minute you came to town he read your
books. He had one of his men pick up
"Breakfast at Tiffany's" in Kansas
City 'cause it's banned from the
library here.

TRUMAN
What did Mr. Dewey think?

MARIE
He liked it more than he's willing
to admit.

TRUMAN
How very foxy.

Marie smiles at that word used to describe her husband.

TRUMAN
Mama would've put in half the bottle
by now.

Beat.

MARIE
Alright, one more shake.

INT. DEWEY HOME, HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS

Alvin walks toward the kitchen. He smokes. He looks exhausted.
He hears SQUEALS of laughter.

INT. DEWEY HOME, KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS

Alvin enters. They all stop laughing and look at him. nods
to Truman and Nelle.

TRUMAN
Hello.

NELLE
Hi.

Silence. Marie sips her drink.

MARIE
How you doing, foxy?

She cracks up.

INT. DEWEY HOME, DINING ROOM - LATER

The remains of dinner. The kids have left. The bottle of J&B
sits on the table, half-empty. Marie's a bit drunk. Everyone's
PLATE is clean except for Alvin's, on which sits a MOUND of
uneaten black-eyed peas. Truman is mid-story.

TRUMAN
I was writing the script as they
were filming, all that time in Italy.
I'd work like mad all day long and
then dash down to the bar around
midnight to hand in the next day's
scenes. Humphrey had just about moved
into the hotel bar --

MARIE
(whispers to Alvin)
Humphrey Bogart.

Alvin knows.

TRUMAN
-- where he and John drank every
night --

MARIE
(to Alvin)
John Huston.

Alvin knows.

TRUMAN
-- and I mean drank, like famished
water buffaloes. Well -- I'd only
just handed them the final scene
when the bellhop told me I had a
phone call. It was my stepfather,
Joe Capote, calling to say that my
mother had died. I flew home to New
York -- terribly distraught -- but
when I got to the apartment I could
see that Joe was in even worse shape
than I was. He grabbed my hands and
sat me down at the kitchen table,
and he said to me, "Talk. Talk about
anything, any subject in the world.
Don't worry whether it will interest
me or not. Just talk so I won't break
down." And I did. He couldn't bear
to be alone with his thoughts. It
was too painful.

It's quiet for a moment, then Marie looks at Alvin.

MARIE
It's been a hard couple weeks for
Alvin. He and Herb Clutter were good
friends. From church.

DEWEY
Marie --

MARIE
Oh come on, Alvin. These are good
people.

Finally, Dewey looks at Truman and Nelle.

INT. DEWEY HOME, STUDY - NIGHT

Alvin shows Truman and Nelle the CRIME SCENE PHOTOS from the
Clutter murders. We see the four corpses, BOUND and SHOT,
the bloody footprints in the Clutter basement. Truman and
Nelle stare at the photos of Nancy and Kenyon. Then, quietly --

TRUMAN
Who would put a pillow under the
boy's head just to shoot him? Why
would they tuck Nancy in?

DEWEY
(surprised by the
insight)
I want to know the same thing.

Truman hands Nelle one of the photos. She looks at it --

NELLE
Twisted notion of tenderness.

CUT TO:

EXT. DEWEY HOME - NIGHT

Truman and Nelle are leaving. Alvin and Marie stand in the
front door. Nelle kisses Marie.

NELLE
Thank you.

MARIE
So many of my friends would love to
meet you.

NELLE
That'd be fine --

TRUMAN
(to Dewey)
You don't have to worry. I'm not
going to write about this until
everything's over.

DEWEY
I'm not worried. I know what room
you're in at the hotel. And I know
where you live in Brooklyn.

Truman smiles.

CUT TO:

EXT. GARDEN CITY - VARIOUS - DAY AND NIGHT

MUSIC: "Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas..." Main
Street, CHRISTMAS LIGHTS in the TREES.

The HARDWARE STORE, with Santa Claus DECORATIONS in the window
and a "ONE WEEK LEFT TO BUY YOUR GIFTS..." sign.

CUT TO:

EXT. CLUTTER FARM - LATE AFTERNOON

Truman and Nelle walk with PETE HOLT (70, very frail) on the
Clutter property. Apples rot on the ground, the trees are
bare, signs of disrepair are beginning to weather the house.

HOLT
(re the apples)
I'd of picked them up but I haven't
been myself. Mind you, I make the
walk out here every day, check the
house, make sure the pipes don't
freeze -- that sort of item. The
least I can do for Mr. Clutter.

NELLE
How long have you worked here?

HOLT
1940 -- a lotta years. The wife too,
cleaning the house. Cooking.

NELLE
Well, she's marvelous. Lunch was
wonderful.

HOLT
(ignoring this)
She had a hard job after what all
happened. Cleaning. I burned most of
the rest -- mattresses -- too far of
a mess.
(then, looks at them)
I've asked around some -- if anyone's
looking for a strong hand.

They don't know what to say. Finally, he looks away.

HOLT
I don't think they'll be able to
sell the place till they catch the
ones that did it.
(beat)
That's what I hear anyhow.

Silence as the three of them look out over the barren fields.

INT. CLUTTER HOUSE, BONNIE'S BEDROOM - DUSK

Just the bed-frame -- the mattress is gone. Truman and Nelle
find her Bible on the bedside table, her bookmark, see the
painting of Jesus walking on water. Pete Holt stands off to
the side, waiting patiently.

CUT TO:

EXT. WALKER HOTEL LOBBY, GARDEN CITY - NIGHT

Through the front window we see a Christmas tree in the lobby.

INT. WALKER HOTEL, TRUMAN'S ROOM - NIGHT

Jazzy Christmas music on the RADIO. Nelle sits in the big
armchair with a drink. She laughs. We HEAR Jack on the phone:

JACK
You're celebrating.

We see Truman wearing a YELLOW SILK SHORT ROBE with white
lace, bare legs. He's on the phone and walking, for Nelle's
enjoyment, back and forth, like a runway model.

TRUMAN
Remember Nelle's manuscript she sent
me in New York?

JACK
Mockingbird. Killing a Mockingbird.
You said it was good.

TRUMAN
And I was right. She just heard
Lipincott wants to publish it.

JACK
(pause)
Well. Jesus. That's terrific. Tell
her congratulations.

TRUMAN
Congratulations.
(covers phone, mouths
to Nelle:)
Jealous.

JACK
Just promise you'll be home by
Christmas.

TRUMAN
I can't leave now Jack -- I mean it
was hard at first, but now I'm
practically the mayor.

He vamps. Nelle laughs.

JACK
Alright.

TRUMAN
I want to come home -- I do. Though
if they catch whoever did this, who
knows what -- I'll probably be here
til next Christmas.

JACK
Right. I'll let you go.

TRUMAN
Jack, we'll go away this spring to
write. Maybe Spain...

JACK
Alright, Truman.

TRUMAN
Bye.
(hangs up)
The poor boy misses me.

Goes to the mini-bar to fix a drink.

NELLE
Truman.

TRUMAN
Nelle.

NELLE
You remember when we were kids?

TRUMAN
I was never a kid. I was born fully
formed.

NELLE
I had no idea what a homosexual was.
But I knew whatever they were, you
were one of 'em.

Truman puts down his drink and marches out of the room, shuts
the door. Nelle's unsure whether she really insulted him.
From the HALL, we hear a WOMAN SHRIEK, and a MAN saying:

MAN IN HALL (O.S.)
Oh. Uh. Oh. Excuse us.

Truman runs back in, shuts door. They crack up.

CUT TO:

EXT. DEWEY HOME - NIGHT, CHRISTMAS EVE, ESTABLISHING

Tasteful Christmas lights strung on the BUSHES. A WREATH on
the FRONT DOOR.

INT. DEWEY HOME, LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Truman, Nelle, Marie and Alvin. Drinks. A FULL ASHTRAY on
the coffee table in front of Alvin. He's distracted, smoking.
Marie holds a WOMEN'S MAGAZINE, checking what Truman says
with what's written there.

TRUMAN
(quickly, as if
reciting)
-- girdle up -- no extra bulges --
if you're dressed right for him when
he gets home, the evening should be
smooth sailing. Bon voyage, gals.

MARIE
I can't believe you got this whole
page -- I only read it to you once!

TRUMAN
I've trained myself.

NELLE
...trained myself.

Truman looks at Nelle.

TRUMAN
I have 94 percent
recall.

NELLE
...94 percent recall.

TRUMAN
(laughing)
You cut that out.

Alvin stubs out his cigarette -- though it still burns. He
stands.

MARIE
You believe that Alvin?

ALVIN
Impressive.

He walks out. Silence.

MARIE
I'm sorry. He's upset.
(stubs out cigarette)
-- smoking three packs a day.
(then)
Two men did it. They know who. One
of them used to have a cellmate who
gave him up for the thousand dollar
reward. They passed through Kansas
City last week writing bad checks --
by the time Alvin's boys got up there
they'd skipped out again.

NELLE
Where to?

MARIE
They have no idea.

INT. DEWEY HOME, DINING ROOM - LATER

Christmas dinner. Truman, Nelle, Marie and Alvin have just
sat down. They wait for the Dewey boys -- Alvin Jr. and Paul.
We hear them in the living room horsing around.

DEWEY
Alvin. Paul. Now.

It's quiet for a second. Then something crashes and breaks.

DEWEY
Damnit.
(gets up, goes)
Come here.

MARIE
Alvin ...

Phone RINGS.

DEWEY (O.S.)
Alvin Jr. Get over here.

ALVIN JR. (O.S.)
Dad, the phone.

DEWEY (O.S.)
Paul. Back to the table.

Dewey returns to the dining room, pushing Paul ahead of him.

DEWEY
Sit.

Alvin Jr. enters.

ALVIN JR.
Dad?

MARIE
Tell them we're at dinner, Alvin.

ALVIN JR.
Dad?

DEWEY
Not now, Alvin.

Alvin Jr. leaves. We hear the PHONE being HUNG UP. Alvin Jr.
returns and sits. They all get ready to say grace, then:

ALVIN JR.
You need to call the Chief of Police
in Las Vegas when you have a minute.

Everyone looks at Dewey.

FADE OUT:

EXT. COURTHOUSE SQUARE, GARDEN CITY - LATE AFTERNOON

OVER BLACK SCREEN we hear the voice of a RADIO ANNOUNCER.

RADIO ANNOUNCER (V.O.)
...This is KERG radio, Garden City.
A friendly broadcast from a friendly
place. Our lead story:

Slowly, the sounds of a CROWD emerge in the background.

FADE UP ON: HIGH SCHOOL kids sitting on the hood and front
seat of a CHEW parked at the edge of a CROWD of 200 people.
Truman watches. It is COLD. A fat, shivering CO-ED reads the
headline in the Kansas City Star: "Police Fear Lynch Mob."
The CAR RADIO is on.

RADIO ANNOUNCER (V.O.)
...newsmen from six states have joined
scores of Kansans as they await the
arrival of confessed killers Perry
Smith and Richard Hickock. KBI
officers have been driving the Clutter
family's brutal killers nonstop
from...

Truman moves from the car into the large crowd. Old ladies;
ranchers; local businessmen; moms with kids; journalists
INTERVIEWING citizens; photographers lined up at the bottom
of the COURTHOUSE STEPS. We hear snippets of conversation as
we pass. A CITIZEN is being interviewed by a JOURNALIST; a
MOM WITH BABY standing with a FRIEND; a MIDDLE-AGED man in
an overcoat CRYING silently.

Truman approaches Nelle and Marie Dewey, standing together
at the curb in front of the courthouse, near the
photographers. They are talking quietly, turn to Truman --

NELLE
Hey.

We hear LOUD CROWD NOISE at the south end of the square. A
CONVOY of FOUR CARS enters the square. It pulls around to
the front of the courthouse. STATE TROOPERS spill out of the
lead and rear CARS. Nye gets out of the second car. He opens
the back door. The crowd falls SILENT. Two state troopers
get DICK HICKOCK -- handcuffed, pale -- out of the car and
lead him up the steps. FLASH. FLASH.

Dewey and Church open the third car's back door. Silence.
They retrieve PERRY SMITH. Perry is extremely SHORT, STRONG,
ODDLY BEAUTIFUL, with the dark skin and hair of his American
Indian mother, and the pug features of his Irish father. As
he stands, he has trouble straightening his stubby LEGS, as
if they are arthritic. Truman stares.

MARIE
(whispers to Truman)
Motorcycle accident. He broke them
and they never healed right.
(Truman looks at her)
Alvin told me.

Truman watches Perry, transfixed. Perry seems terrified of
the crowd, all the faces, like a child. Perry scans the crowd.
His eyes fall on Truman. FLASH. FLASH. Truman and Perry look
at each other as Perry is led slowly past. At the top of the
steps the COURTHOUSE DOORS slam shut.

FADE OUT:

EXT. SHERIFF'S RESIDENCE (4TH FLOOR OF COURTHOUSE ) -
MORNING

FADE IN: Truman knocks on the door, a NEWSPAPER, a BOOK, and
a PAPER BAG in his hand. On the door it says "SHERIFF'S
RESIDENCE - PRIVATE". Dorothy Sanderson opens the door.

DOROTHY
Truman Capote.

TRUMAN
Dorothy Sanderson. I figured you'd
be left alone this morning by that
hard-working husband of yours.
(holds up bag)
So I have breakfast.
(holds up paper)
I have news.
(book)
And I have literature. My friend
Jack mailed me the book you wanted.

He presents book. Dorothy, flattered, takes it, reads the
inscription inside.

DOROTHY
"For the maiden of the Midwest, the
priestess of the plains, the queen
of the kitchen: my first novel.
Truman."

It is "Other Voices, Other Rooms" and we see on the back of
it the INFAMOUS JACKET PHOTO of Truman at 23 draped sexily
on a couch. Truman curtsies. The PHONE RINGS.

DOROTHY
You're too much. Go on into the living
room, lemme grab that -- it's been
ringing all morning.

INT. SHERIFF'S RESIDENCE, FOYER - CONTINUOUS

Truman walks into the residence. To the left is the kitchen;
to the right is the living room. Truman looks back at Dorothy --
she's still on the phone. He heads for the kitchen.

INT. SHERIFF'S RESIDENCE, KITCHEN - CONTINUOUS

Truman walks slowly through the doorway of the large kitchen.
On the far side of the kitchen is a JAIL CELL. Inside the
cell is PERRY SMITH. (Now we know why Truman came here.)

Truman STARES. Perry doesn't see him -- he's resting his
head on a small table, the tip of his THUMB in his mouth.
The chair seems too tall for Perry. He looks like a lonely
kindergartner, told to take his afternoon nap. After several
moments, Dorothy enters, flustered:

DOROTHY
Oh. Truman. I meant in there.
(points to living
room)
I... um...

Perry sits up quickly, rubs his legs.

DOROTHY
It's the women's cell. It's hardly
ever used. But they wanted to, um,
separate... Please. Let's sit in the
living room. I'll set up in the living
room.

She gathers a tray of Truman's PASTRIES, and COFFEE CUPS.

DOROTHY
Come.

She goes -- Truman starts to follow, then lingers.

TRUMAN
They put you in the women's cell.

PERRY
Among other indignities.

Perry's voice is oddly high, whispery -- special words are
precisely enunciated.

TRUMAN
Well... she's a good cook.

PERRY
She's scared of me.

TRUMAN
I think so am I. A little bit.

PERRY
Are you?
(a moment, then:)
You have any aspirin? My legs --

Dorothy's in the doorway.

DOROTHY
Um. Truman? All set.

Truman looks at Dorothy, looks back at Perry.

TRUMAN
I'm sorry.

CUT TO:

INT. COURTROOM - DAY

Judge ROLAND TATE, white-haired, imperious, bangs his gavel.
The packed crowd quiets down. Perry and Dick sit at the
defense table chewing JUICY FRUIT GUM. Next to them: their
aged court-appointed lawyer, Franklin Weeks (70).

Dick wears a SHIRT AND TIE. Perry wears jeans rolled up at
the cuff, his SHIRT OPEN at the collar. He draws on a piece
of paper with a STUBBY PENCIL -- a rather good picture of a
LARGE PARROT. Truman sits with Nelle, watching Perry --

TRUMAN
(murmurs)
His feet don't touch the floor.

JUDGE TATE
In the matter of the State of Kansas
v. Richard Eugene Hickock and Perry
Edward Smith this Court has been
informed by counsel -- Mr. Weeks --
that defendants wish to waive their
right to Preliminary Hearing. Mr.
Hickock, is that your wish?

Hickock looks at Weeks. Weeks nods. Hickock stands.

HICKOCK
(unconvincing)
Yessir. Yes.

Hickock sits. Truman whispers to Nelle --

TRUMAN
Why are they doing that?

JUDGE TATE
Mr. Smith.

PERRY
(stands... then:)
I ask that the waiver be effectuated.

Judge Tate looks at him for a moment --

JUDGE TATE
So noted.
(bangs gavel)
We're adjourned.

Crowd gets up. Much talk. Truman watches Perry and Dick
through the forest of bodies. They are led away in handcuffs.
Franklin Weeks stands slowly, then begins gathering his things --
he's old and it takes him ages to collect his papers. Truman
watches.

CUT TO:

EXT. SHERIFF'S RESIDENCE - AFTERNOON

Truman knocks. He holds a PIE. Dorothy answers.

DOROTHY
Mr. Capote.

TRUMAN
(offers pie)
Madame Sanderson.

DOROTHY
Is that for the two of us to share?
Or for me to eat alone while you
talk to our guest?

Truman is caught. He smiles.

INT. SHERIFF'S RESIDENCE, KITCHEN - AFTERNOON

Truman sits near the bars of the cell. Perry draws on a scrap
of paper at the small table. Dorothy watches from the door
to the living room. The BOOK Truman gave to Dorothy lies on
the floor next to Perry's meticulously made bed.

TRUMAN
Was it your choice to waive the
hearing?

Perry doesn't answer. Dorothy checks her watch, leaves. Truman
takes a bottle of BAYER ASPIRIN out of his pocket.

TRUMAN
You still need some?
(Perry doesn't move)
Give me your hand.

Perry extends his hand through the bars. As Truman shakes
some aspirin into it --

PERRY
I could kill you if you got too close.

Perry puts the aspirin in his mouth, CHEWS THEM, holds out
his hand for more. Truman gives him more, which Perry puts
in his pocket for later.

TRUMAN
Would you like some water?

Perry shakes his head. Silence.

TRUMAN
Mrs. Sanderson lent you my book --

PERRY
He said we'd curry favor with the
Judge if we waived our rights.

TRUMAN
Who did?

PERRY
The lawyer.

TRUMAN
Okay.

Truman nods, not wanting to push this any further. Perry
picks up the book, holds it out through the bars.

PERRY
Your picture's undignified. People
recall first impressions.

TRUMAN
What's been your first impression?

PERRY
You want something.

TRUMAN
From you?

Dorothy pokes her head in from the living room.

DOROTHY
Truman. Walter's gonna be home soon.

TRUMAN
(to Perry)
I just want permission to talk.
(then)
Has anyone else visited?

Perry doesn't answer.

DOROTHY
Truman --

TRUMAN
Will you tell me if you need anything?
I can have whatever you want sent
from New York.
(no answer)
Will you do that?

On Perry, considering whether to trust this man.

CUT TO:

INT. NEW YORKER, WILLIAM SHAWN'S OFFICE - LATE AFTERNOON

Phone RINGS, WILLIAM SHAWN answers (50, New Yorker editor,
conservatively attired) at a desk looking onto 44th street.

SHAWN
William Shawn.

TRUMAN (OVER PHONE)
Gorgeous?

SHAWN
Truman.

INTERCUT to Truman in a PHONE BOOTH outside the COURTHOUSE.

INT. COURTHOUSE PHONEBOOTH - DAY

TRUMAN
I'm writing a book. It's too much
for a single article -- this town,
the killers most of all -- you will
be stunned by Perry Smith --

SHAWN
Why? What has he --

TRUMAN
Not much yet, but I know. I can sense
him. He's desperately lonely,
frightened... I have questions --
are you ready?

SHAWN
Would it matter --

TRUMAN
How much more money can you send me?
How quickly can you get Dick Avedon
out here to take some pictures?

INTERCUT to WILLIAM SHAWN'S OFFICE. On Shawn -- he doesn't
know how to begin to respond.

CUT TO:

INT. HICKOCK'S JAIL CELL - DAY

Perry has been placed in an adjoining cell for the afternoon.
He COMBS his greased hair in a mirror. A camera FLASHES.

Nelle and Truman sit outside the cells. Franklin Weeks dozes
off to the side. RICHARD AVEDON -- small, dark, wiry,
flamboyant -- is snapping photos of a bare-chested Hickock
in the next cell, particularly his TATTOOS, while Hickock
chatters away.

HICKOCK
Perry, honey. You look terrific...

Perry is embarrassed, glances over at Truman. FLASH.

HICKOCK
Calm yourself down, sweetheart.

Perry glances at Nelle. She MOTIONS to him that his SHIRT is
buttoned wrong. Perry fixes it, looks back at her.

Hickock notices Truman gazing at his tattoos -- the one on
his CHEST: the word PEACE, with a cross radiating rays of
light.

HICKOCK
Be patient, Capote. Maybe later
they'll send you my skin.

TRUMAN
I have the perfect place for it,
over the hearth.

Hickock smiles. FLASH. Truman looks over at Perry, sitting
alone. Truman starts to remove his TIE.

PHOTOS, in quick succession: Of Hickock pulling up his sleeve
to reveal his tattoos. Of Perry combing his HAIR. FLASH. The
GRINNING CAT on Hickock's hand. FLASH. Perry looking directly
at the camera. FLASH.

CUT TO:

INT. COURTHOUSE - MORNING, ONE MONTH LATER

Series of shots in and around the courthouse:

TITLE UP: "One month later"

An officer approaches down a long hallway. A janitor cleans
the basin of the water fountain. Spectators are drawn into
the courthouse. The officer opens the courtroom doors. A
crescendo of sounds.

INT. COURTROOM - DAY

Spectators take seats. The jury files back into the box.
Perry and Dick chew gum. Perry wears TRUMAN'S TIE, and draws
on a pad with a NEW SET OF COLORED PENCILS -- another PARROT,
quite beautiful, now YELLOW. Nelle and Truman sit together.

NELLE
Where'd Perry get the art set?

Truman shrugs. Nelle raises her eyebrows. Judge Tate GAVELS
loudly, looks to the jury.

JUDGE TATE
Members of the jury. Have you reached
a verdict?

FOREMAN
(stands)
Yes sir.

JUDGE TATE
Defendants rise.

Perry and Dick stand. Judge Tate turns back to the Foreman.

JUDGE TATE
Perry Edward Smith and Richard Eugene
Hickock stand accused of four counts
of the crime of murder in the first
degree. Have you reached a unanimous
verdict?

FOREMAN
We have, your honor.

JUDGE TATE
What is your verdict?

FOREMAN
Guilty. On all counts.

JUDGE TATE
Have you unanimously reached a
sentence.

FOREMAN
We have, your honor.

JUDGE TATE
What is the sentence?

FOREMAN
Death.

Judge nods, the foreman sits. Judge turns to Perry and Dick.

JUDGE TATE
Perry Edward Smith and Richard Eugene
Hickock. You've been found guilty of
four counts of murder in the first
degree. You will be taken to the
state penitentiary at Lansing. No
later than midnight, May 13 of this
year, nineteen hundred and sixty,
each of you will be hanged by the
neck until dead. So ordered.

He GAVELS. Perry and Dick are set upon by Sheriff's Deputies
and led out. Photographers crowd them. Dick turns to Perry.

HICKOCK
Alright, partner. Least now we're
not the only killers in Kansas.

Perry looks at him, utterly lost. FLASH.

CUT TO:

INT. WALKER HOTEL, NELLE'S ROOM - JUST BEFORE DAWN

Nelle sits at the window, smoking. Truman in the armchair,
holding a drink. They've been up all night. Their bags are
packed. Also -- a few packed boxes of written -- in yellow
notepads and many typed pages. Truman glances at his watch.

TRUMAN
You think he slept at all?

Nelle looks over at him.

TRUMAN
I need to see him before we go.

CUT TO:

INT. SHERIFF'S RESIDENCE - MORNING

Truman sits next to Perry's cell. Perry lies on the bed,
staring at the ceiling.

TRUMAN
They're going to transfer you up to
Lansing today. You'll have to make
sure to put me on the visitor's list.
Otherwise I can't see you.

No response.

TRUMAN
Will you do that? I'm going to help
find you a proper lawyer. You need a
serious lawyer for an appeal.
(no response)
They took Dick last night. I need
you to get him to do the same thing --
put me on the visitor's list. Will
you do that, Perry?

Perry closes his eyes.

TRUMAN
Perry.

FADE OUT.

INT. TRUMAN AND JACK'S HOUSE, LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

FADE UP ON the sounds of a HUGE PARTY in progress. We see a
home-made BANNER reading "Return to Civilization!" The CAMERA
follows NELLE as she walks through the crowd: Gays, straights,
smoke and noise. Society women, slender and beautiful; BEN
BARON pontificating to CHRISTOPHER ISHERWOOD.

BEN BARON
Nelle. Kudos on "Kill the Bird." Is
that it?

NELLE
Close enough. Thanks.

William Shawn talks to a MUCH TALLER WOMAN.

SHAWN
He hasn't written a word yet, though
he says it's the nonfiction book of
the decade...

We HEAR Truman before we see him:

TRUMAN (O.S.)
He's little, but terrifying --

We see Truman in the corner entertaining a small group. Jack
Dunphy stands off to the side. Nelle settles next to Jack.

TRUMAN
He's as short as I am. And almost as
pretty. I'd be with him right now
but he's being given new
accommodations --

Guests laugh.

TRUMAN
Most people assume he's a monster. I
don't see him that way. The book I'm
writing will return him to the realm
of humanity -- it's the book I was
always meant to write...

Nelle and Jack stand back, watching.

JACK
Watch out. This is the start of a
great love affair.

NELLE
Oh yes. Truman in love with Truman.

INT. LE PAVILLON RESTAURANT - DAY

Truman is being interviewed over lunch.

TRUMAN
...I was in Marilyn's apartment just
last week. I had to break it to her
that, of the four Matisses hanging
on her wall, two were upside down.

The REPORTER laughs. A waiter passes. Truman taps his glass.

TRUMAN
Another.
(to reporter)
To answer your question, I'm following
"Breakfast at Tiffany's" by blazing
a different path -- by inventing an
entirely new kind of writing: the
non-fiction novel.

REPORTER
You have a subject?

Truman takes a last sip of his drink -- utterly serious now.

TRUMAN
On the night of November 14, two men
broke into a quite farmhouse in Kansas
and murdered an entire family. Why
did they do that? It's been suggested
that this subject is tawdry -- it's
not worthy of literature. I disagree.
Two worlds exist in this country --
the quiet conservative life, and the
life of those two men -- the
underbelly, the criminally violent.
Those worlds converged that bloody
night. I spent the past three months
interviewing everyone in Kansas
touched by that violence. I spent
hours talking to the killers -- and
I'll spend more.
(waiter brings his
drink)
Researching this work has changed my
life, altered my point of view about
almost everything. I think those who
read it will be similarly affected.
(he sips)
Such a book can only be written by a
journalist who has mastered the
techniques of fiction --

REPORTER
You're speaking of yourself.

TRUMAN
You're really very clever.

CUT TO:

INT. TRUMAN AND JACK'S HOUSE, BEDROOM - DAY

Truman sits in bed, writing on a yellow LEGAL PAD, surrounded
by PILES of notes. He squints his eyes, concentrating. Jack
enters, delivers a CUP OF COFFEE. Truman doesn't notice.

INT. TRUMAN AND JACK'S HOUSE, BEDROOM - LATER

Truman is rifling through the boxes, looking for particular
notes. He can't find what he needs. The phone RINGS.

CUT TO:

EXT. STREET, BROOKLYN HEIGHTS - LATE AFTERNOON

Jack and Truman walk.

TRUMAN
Perry's decided to appeal. He claims
their attorney was incompetent --
that he never raised the issue of
temporary insanity.

JACK
So you find them a new lawyer.

TRUMAN
They're facing execution in six weeks,
Jack. They need someone to argue
whether or not that's right.

JACK
Okay.

TRUMAN
I'd also like to see them alive,
yes, thank you very much. I need to
hear their story.

They walk in silence for a few moments.

TRUMAN
If you met him you'd understand.
It's as if no-one's ever asked him a
single question about himself. He's
so... damaged -- and strange --
unexplored...
(then)
I don't trust this Hickock fellow.
Perry's the only person who can
describe to me what happened that
night. I need to hear him say it.

JACK
Just be careful what you do to get
what you want.

TRUMAN
I'm finding them a lawyer.

JACK
Truman. You're finding yourself a
lawyer.

CUT TO:

INT. CAR, DRIVING, TWO-LANE KANSAS HIGHWAY - DAY

Truman drives alone, concentrating intently. He has to stretch
to see over the dashboard.

EXT. KANSAS STATE PENITENTIARY (KSP), LANSING - DAY

A turreted, Civil War-era fortress an hour's drive from Kansas
City. Truman pulls up to the GUARDHOUSE.

INT. KSP, WAITING ROOM/WARDEN'S OFFICE - DAY

Truman waits alone, looking at the lone decoration: a campaign
poster, showing a fat man in a suit grinning while holding a
shotgun. Across the bottom it reads: WALK TALL WITH KRUTCH.
A YOUNG PRISON GUARD sticks his head out of the office door.

YOUNG PRISON GUARD
Warden Krutch will see you now.

INT. KSP, WARDEN'S OFFICE - DAY

Wood-paneled walls, government-issue desk. On the wall behind
the desk is a CHART -- a racial accounting of the current
inmate population. It reads: WHITE - 1405, COLORED - 360,
MEXICANS - 12, INDIANS - 6.

WARDEN MARSHALL KRUTCH is fat, coarse, sweaty even in winter.
And it's spring. He's running for Congress -- there are
"KRUTCH FOR CONGRESS" bumper stickers laying around the
office. He's enjoying a chance at a little publicity. The
YOUNG PRISON GUARD stands quietly by the wall.

KRUTCH
We do well by our boys. Showers once
a week. Feed em good. We'll be feeding
Perry Smith in the infirmary soon if
he don't eat. Get the food in through
his arm.

TRUMAN
What are you talking about?

KRUTCH
Hasn't eaten in a month. But it's
not his right to kill himself. It's
the People's right. The People of
this State. And that's who I work
for, the People. You can write any
of this down.

TRUMAN
No one told me.

KRUTCH
Yah. Won't eat.

TRUMAN
When can I see him?

KRUTCH
(checking desk calendar)
How about you come back Thursday?

TRUMAN
No. That's no good. I need to see
them now, then whenever I want for
as long as I want.

KRUTCH
Not how we do things here.

Pause.

TRUMAN
I see.

Truman glances at the campaign stickers, the young prison
guard, then back at Krutch.

TRUMAN
I understand what a burden unlimited
visitation might be -- on this
institution, and on the People who
pay for it. I want to be clear that
I don't expect the citizens of
Leavenworth County to have to shoulder
that burden.

Truman reaches into his jacket, pulls from it an ENVELOPE
STUFFED with CASH. He lays it on the desk.

TRUMAN
To be dispensed as you see fit.

Krutch is stone-faced as he regards the money. Finally:

KRUTCH
I didn't know where to count your
boy -- being half-Indian. I did him
a favor though.
(points to race chart)
Counted him White.

TRUMAN
You're a kind and generous man.

CUT TO:

INT. KSP, DEATH ROW - DAY

The second floor of a small building in the corner of the
prison complex. Decrepit. The one hall is lit by mesh-covered
BARE BULBS in the ceiling. Twelve cells -- six on each side.
Each is 7 by 10 feet, with one small, high WINDOW covered by
bars and wire. The YOUNG PRISON GUARD opens the heavy GATE
at the end of the hall and shows Truman in.

They walk down the row of cells. In one of them we notice
Lowell Lee Andrews (20, white, spectacled, ENORMOUSLY FAT)
peering at his own face 4 inches from a mirror.

Dick is leaning against the bars of his own cell. He smiles.

HICKOCK
My hero.

TRUMAN
Hello.

HICKOCK
Thanks for your help with the lawyer.

TRUMAN
That's fine.

HICKOCK
You must be desperate for a story to
come all the way out here.

YOUNG PRISON GUARD
Mr. Capote. You're entitled to go
in. You may, um, go in. If you wish.

Truman hesitates for a second.

HICKOCK
You want to see Perry. Go ahead.

TRUMAN
Thank you.

Truman walks to the next cell.

HICKOCK
Ask me, he's just trying to prove
the insanity defense.

Truman sees Perry, gaunt, lying on his cot, almost comatose.
Perry's rather striking drawing of a LARGE YELLOW PARROT
sits propped on his table. An UNEATEN LUNCH TRAY lies on the
floor -- a cockroach runs over it. Truman watches, disturbed.

CUT TO:

INT. SUPERMARKET - NIGHT

Camera follows Truman as he walks down an aisle with a small
WICKER BASKET. He stops, looks at a shelf.

INT. SUPERMARKET - NIGHT

Truman waits in the check-out line behind a MOM paying for
her groceries. Her SON (3) stands next to her legs, wearing
a little cowboy hat and cradling a TOY GUN to his chest. He
sucks his thumb. Truman and the boy look at each other.

CUT TO:

INT. KSP, DEATH ROW, PERRY'S CELL - DAY

Truman sits on the chair, his WICKER BASKET on the table. He
has spread out a cloth napkin. A GUARD watches from outside
the cell. Perry lies completely still on the cot. Truman
takes out jars of BONNET BABY FOOD, inspects the labels.

TRUMAN
(to Perry)
I don't care what your plans are for
yourself...

He decides on the CUSTARD jar. He opens it, takes a plastic
BABY SPOON from the basket.

TRUMAN
But you're gonna wake up enough to
tell me what you did with my tie.

He spoons a bit into Perry's mouth. The GUARD walks away.
Truman leans close to Perry, whispers:

TRUMAN
It's okay. It's Truman. It's your
friend.

INT. KSP, DEATH ROW, PERRY'S CELL - LATER (LATE AFTERNOON)

Perry sleeps. Truman stands against the wall watching him.
He has cleaned up the basket of food. He walks over to Perry's
desk, sees two handwritten notebooks on it: THE PRIVATE DIARY
OF PERRY EDWARD SMITH and PERSONAL DICTIONARY. Next to them,
he sees a pencil SELF-PORTRAIT Perry drew. It's very good.
Truman touches it.

INT. KSP DEATH ROW, PERRY'S CELL - LATER (EVENING)

Perry sleeps. Truman sits on the chair watching, waiting.
Perry opens his eyes, looks at Truman.

INT. KSP, DEATH ROW, PERRY'S CELL - LATER (NIGHT)

Perry is sitting up a bit, Truman helps him sip a cup of
water. Perry lies back down. He's looking at Truman.

TRUMAN
How'd you learn to draw like that?

Perry closes his eyes.

CUT TO:

INT. CAR, DRIVING - AFTERNOON (NEXT DAY)

Truman drives through the KANSAS STATE PENITENTIARY gate,
waves to the Guard.

INT. KSP, DEATH ROW, PERRY'S CELL - EVENING

Perry sits on the bed, cleaned up, wet hair neatly combed,
looking at a few OLD SNAPSHOTS he has saved in a handkerchief.
Truman sits in the chair across from him. Perry hands him a
photo of his mother. Perry speaks quietly.

PERRY
Before she had us. Before she started
drinking.

TRUMAN
Who took care of you as a child?

PERRY
Orphanage. Me and Linda.

TRUMAN
That's your sister?

Perry nods. Truman waits for more. It doesn't come.

TRUMAN
We're not so different as you might
think. I was abandoned repeatedly as
a child. My mama'd drag me along to
some new town so she could take up
with another man she'd met. Night
after night she'd lock me in the
hotel room -- Mama'd turn the latch
and tell the staff not to let me out
no matter what. I was terrified --
I'd scream my head off -- till finally
I'd collapse on the carpet next to
the door and fall asleep. After years
of this she just left me with
relatives in Alabama.

PERRY
Who raised you up?

TRUMAN
My Aunts.
(Perry nods)
That's when I met Nelle -- she lived
next door.
(looks again at the
photo, hands it back)
Your mother was Indian?

PERRY
Cherokee.

TRUMAN
Drinking was not a good thing for
her.

PERRY
No tolerance for it.

TRUMAN
And your father?

PERRY
No tolerance for him either.

Truman's laughs, surprised by the joke, though it's unclear
whether Perry meant it as one. He stares at Perry.

TRUMAN
What I can't decide is if you
understand how fascinating you are.

Perry doesn't respond, then --

PERRY
I'm sorry about your tie. They took
it away from me because we're all on
suicide watch. It's why the lights
stay on at night.

TRUMAN
I hope we're past that now. You had
me worried.

PERRY
Okay.

TRUMAN
I don't care about the tie. It's
just a pity because it looked so
good on you.

Perry leans in, motions toward Dick's cell, lowers his voice --

PERRY
Be careful of Ricardo. I think he
wants you all to himself.

TRUMAN
Alright --

PERRY
But he's naturally mendacious -- not
to be trusted -- if he had a hundred
dollars he'd steal a stick of chewing
gum.

TRUMAN
You wouldn't.

Perry shakes his head. Then, Truman nods toward Perry's
notebooks.

TRUMAN
I want to take your notebooks with
me -- I want to read them.

Perry hesitates.

TRUMAN
If I leave here without understanding
you, the world will always see you
as a monster. I don't want that -- I
don't see you that way.

A moment, then Perry reaches for the NOTEBOOKS, hands them
to Truman. Then he hands Truman the DRAWING he did of himself.

PERRY
I tracked my father down in Alaska.
I was 14. One day I said to him,
"Mom's dead." I could see it. A week
later we got the news. She finally
drunk herself to death.

Truman regards Perry. Then he looks at the drawing --

TRUMAN
This is remarkable.

PERRY
Sometimes you see a thing -- how it
really is.

On Truman holding the drawing, looking at Perry.

EXT. KANSAS STATE PENITENTIARY PARKING LOT - NIGHT

Truman walks quickly to his car, holding Perry's DRAWING and
NOTEBOOKS. At the car, he looks back at the dark jailhouse.

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL ROOM, KANSAS CITY - LATE NIGHT

Truman at the desk, PERRY'S TWO BOOKS next to a LEGAL PAD
already filled with notes. He's on the PHONE with Nelle,
paging through the PERSONAL DICTIONARY captivated by it.

TRUMAN
He trusts me -- that's why he gave
it to me. He's given me absolutely
everything.
(paging through Diary)
You should see his drawings, Nelle,
how good he is. He wants so badly to
be taken seriously, to be held in
some esteem.

INTERCUT with Nelle, in pajamas, sitting on the porch of her
home in Monroeville, smoking.

INT. NELLE'S LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

NELLE
Do you?

TRUMAN
Do I what?

NELLE
Hold him in esteem?

TRUMAN
Well... he's a gold mine. I mean
he's told me his entire life, and
now it's all here for me to write
down -- All of the history I need.
His entire life in this Diary. His
dead mother. A brother and sister
killed themselves.

NELLE
You tell him your mama did the same
thing?

TRUMAN
I tell him everything. We've been
talking our heads off the past month.
Sometimes, when I think how good my
book can be, I can hardly breathe.

NELLE
Huh.

TRUMAN
(finds what he wants)
Here's what I wanted to read to you:
"If Called Upon to Make a Speech:" --
this is exactly what I was talking
about -- a speech just in case he's
ever recognized for an achievement:
"If Called Upon to Make a Speech: I
can't remember what I was going to
say for the life of me. I don't think
ever before have so many people been
so directly responsible for my being
so very, very glad. It's a wonderful
moment and a rare one. Thank you!"
(beat)
There's an exclamation point on the
end of that thank you, in case you
didn't catch it...
(silence)
Where'd you go?

We hear Nelle exhale her cigarette.

NELLE
Christ. I guess it stopped being
funny.

TRUMAN
I never said it was.
(turns a page)
Listen to this...

EXT. KANSAS CITYSCAPE - VARIOUS (TWO WEEKS ELAPSE)

INT. DINER, DOWNTOWN KANSAS CITY - MORNING

Truman is eating breakfast with Alvin Dewey. A WAITRESS
refills their coffees.

DEWEY
(to waitress)
Thanks.

She leaves. An uncomfortable silence. Then:

DEWEY
You're nothing if not hard-working.

TRUMAN
You look good, healthy again.

DEWEY
Not a chance.

Dewey taps a cigarette out of his pack.

TRUMAN
I've decided on a title for my book.
I think you'll like it -- very
masculine. "In Cold Blood."

DEWEY
(lights the cigarette)
That refers to the crime or the fact
that you're still talking to the
criminals?

TRUMAN
The former, among other things.

DEWEY
I see.

They eat for a moment. Then:

TRUMAN
I've been wanting to ask if you'll
let me look at your investigation
notes.

DEWEY
That lawyer you helped find for your
friends got them a hearing at the
Kansas Supreme Court --

TRUMAN
I heard this morning.

DEWEY
-- on the issue of inadequate counsel.

TRUMAN
Alvin. Do you not want me to look at
your notes? You are permitted to say
no.

DEWEY
(rises, takes out
wallet)
I'll tell you what: if those boys
get off, I'm coming to Brooklyn to
hunt you down.

Truman can't decide whether Dewey is kidding or not. Dewey
puts money on the table.

DEWEY
I have to be in court at nine o'clock.

He walks away. Over his shoulder:

DEWEY
Call Roy Church. He'll show you what
you want to see.

CUT TO:

INT. KSP, DEATH ROW - DAY

Truman walks down the hall. He passes Dick's cell. Dick is
lying in bed. Dick rises and smiles widely at Truman.

HICKOCK
Hey, hey...

Truman smiles, puts HIS FINGERS TO HIS LIPS, continues past.
He stops outside Perry's cell. Perry (looking MUCH HEALTHIER)
is drawing at his table -- a picture of the HUGE YELLOW PARROT
swooping down from the sky. Truman watches for a few moments,
then Perry looks at him.

INT. KSP, DEATH ROW, PERRY'S CELL - MOMENTS LATER

The Guard locks Truman inside with Perry.

PERRY
Thank you.

Truman looks at the Guard -- he leaves.

TRUMAN
It was as much for me as for anyone.
I couldn't bear the thought of losing
you so soon.

PERRY
We're going to be able to use your
book for our case. You'll write we
never got to raise our insanity plea.
You wrote how terrible the lawyer
was?

TRUMAN
I haven't written a word yet.

Beat.

PERRY
What have you been doing?

TRUMAN
Research. Waiting to talk to you.

PERRY
All right.

TRUMAN
I had hoped --

PERRY
What are you calling it?

TRUMAN
The book?
(looks directly at
him)
I have no idea.

Pause.

TRUMAN
If I'm going to write about you --
if I'm going to determine how to
write about you -- you need to tell
me about that night at the Clutter
house.

Perry just looks at him.

TRUMAN
Perry.

Perry shakes his head.

TRUMAN
Why? Do you worry what I'll think?

Perry looks away. A long moment.

TRUMAN
Is that it?

Silence. Then:

PERRY
Dick says you know Elizabeth Taylor.

TRUMAN
I know a lot of people.

Truman gives up for now. Sees the PICTURE OF THE YELLOW BIRD
on the desk.

TRUMAN
What is that you keep drawing?

PERRY
You must hate having to come to this
place --

TRUMAN
Perry, I have invitations to be in
Morocco, Greece... I choose to be
here. Those people have everything,
all their prayers have been answered,
yet they're more desperate than ever.
I prefer to be here with you.

PERRY
(looks at Truman;
evenly)
I was ten, I wet the bed, the nuns
at the orphanage hated the smell.
First month one of them found me
shivering -- just trying to get
through the night. The Sister pulled
back the covers and shined her
flashlight to see what I'd did. The
sheets were wet. She hit me so many
times with that flashlight she broke
it.
(he shrugs)
That night I dreamed about the yellow
bird. Tall. Yellow like the sun. It
picked me up and it clawed the Nun's
eyes and it lifted me into the sky.

They look at each other.

EXT. BAR, DOWNTOWN K.C. - NIGHT

Truman on the street outside the club at a PAY PHONE. He
talks with Jack in Brooklyn.

TRUMAN
I'm just missing this one piece,
Jack. Be patient with me.

JACK
How long is that gonna take? Why
don't you try leaving him alone for
a while? Come to Spain. You can always
visit him later.

TRUMAN
I don't know.

JACK
Well, I'm off. I've got my own writing
to do.

TRUMAN
Do it in Brooklyn. Wait for me.

JACK
Too many people around.
(beat)
I'll leave the address on the kitchen
table. Truman, what do you do there
when you're not with him? -- It must
be awful.

Truman's watching a YOUNG GUY standing outside the bar,
looking at him.

JACK
Think about what I said. Join me
when you can.

TRUMAN
I will. I will. Bye.

Truman follows the YOUNG GUY into the bar.

INT. HOTEL ROOM, KANSAS CITY - LATE NIGHT

Truman sleeps. He OPENS HIS EYES in bed. Turns to the bedside
table to see the drawing of Perry looking at him.

CUT TO:

EXT. KANSAS CITY - DAWN

A young drifter stands alone on an empty street corner. He
checks a pay phone for a coin. It's empty.

CUT TO:

INT. KSP, DEATH ROW, PERRY'S CELL - DAY

Perry is lying on his cot reading an ADVENTURE MAGAZINE --
something to do with finding buried treasure off the coast
of Mexico -- and sucking on the tip of his thumb. After a
moment he STARTLES and looks up.

Truman stands outside his cell. He holds a stack of books:
Perry's PERSONAL DICTIONARY and DIARY, and a new WEBSTER'S
DICTIONARY and THESAURUS.

PERRY
I didn't see you. Jesus, you...
(stands, tucks in
shirt)
Come in. Where's the guard?

TRUMAN
I can't. I brought you some things,
but I have to fly back East.

PERRY
When?

TRUMAN
An hour. I'm sorry.

PERRY
You can't.

TRUMAN
I'm sorry.

PERRY
Who are you going there to see --

HICKOCK (O.S.)
(from next cell)
Capote, get it straight in your book --
we never intended on killing that
family --

PERRY
I told him that.

HICKOCK (O.S.)
No premeditation --

PERRY
I told him!

Perry searches the cell for something else to give to Truman
to keep him there. Then, he stops. He has nothing left to
give, and is unwilling to talk about that night at the
Clutters. He becomes very still. Truman speaks gently --

TRUMAN
Your writings are magnificent. I
hope these help you do more.

No response. Truman places the books on the floor just outside
Perry's cell -- Perry's writings in one stack and the new
dictionaries in another right next to it.

TRUMAN
I have so much material -- from the
trial, from our visits, your journals.
I have to organize it all, and I
have to start the process of writing.
(no response)
I'll visit soon. Perhaps this fall.
(backing away)
I miss you already. Write me every
five minutes.

He turns and goes. We stay with Perry as Truman leaves. We
hear Dick speak to Truman.

HICKOCK (O.S.)
Be good now.

Hear Truman's footsteps receding. Then, a long shot of the
hallway as the Guard lets Truman out the gate at the end of
the row. Silence.

INT. KSP, DEATH ROW, PERRY'S CELL

Perry looks down at the books sitting on the floor outside
his cell. He crouches, puts his hand through the bars and
touches the cover of the new dictionary. He's alone.

FADE OUT.

Over black -- the sound of a JET airplane -- loud, then
passing.

EXT. BEACH - DAY

FADE IN: BRIGHT WHITE SKY. Sounds of seagulls. Ocean, sand,
cottage houses in greenery set back from the beach.

EXT. RENTED COTTAGE HOUSE - DAY

The house Jack rented. Jack types on the upstairs deck. Truman
pulls up in an OLD TAXI. Jack looks out over the railing to
the street. Jack emerges on the FRONT PORCH as Truman walks
up the path with his bags. They look at each other. Then
Truman looks around at the incredible garden, the ocean in
the background, and starts to LAUGH.

FADE OUT.

Title up: "January, 1962"

Sound of a MANUAL TYPEWRITER over black.

EXT. RENTED COTTAGE HOUSE - EARLY MORNING

FADE IN on the peaceful outside of the house. Sound of TYPING.

INT. RENTED COTTAGE HOUSE - EARLY MORNING

More typing. A PHONE rings. CAMERA tracks slowly through the
pretty, tiled living room, toward a DOOR at the far end.

INT. BEDROOM, RENTED COTTAGE HOUSE - EARLY MORNING

Truman at his DESK, surrounded by piles of filled YELLOW
PADS, NOTE CARDS, an open TRUNK of random notes. He is at
the MANUAL TYPEWRITER. The phone is on the floor, ringing.
He types. The phone rings. Exasperated, he picks up.

TRUMAN
What.

SHAWN (OVER PHONE)
Truman. I was supposed to be home
for dinner with my wife three hours
ago -- I have not been able to tear
myself away from your book. It's
that good. It's not good, it's
astonishing. This first half is
astonishing. If the second half lives
up to this it, -- it -- how much is
left to do?

INTERCUT with Shawn's OFFICE at the New Yorker, NIGHT. Shawn
has a stack of manuscript pages on his desk.

INT. NEW YORKER, WILLIAM SHAWN'S OFFICE

TRUMAN
I'm already well into the third part,
but I -- I can't finish that till I
convince Perry to describe the night
of the killings to me. I was planning
to visit this fall, see --

SHAWN
I think you need to talk to him now.

TRUMAN
And we all need to see how this ends
for the final part. I can't finish
the book till I know what happens.
If Perry and Dick are executed it's
one thing -- and if not, well --

SHAWN
Truman. You got your ending --

TRUMAN
I really don't know --

SHAWN
The Kansas court denied their appeal.
It came over the wire on Friday. You
need to talk to Perry now. He'll be
dead by September. I'm sorry, I know
how much you've come to care about
him.

Truman is completely immobile.

SHAWN
Truman?

TRUMAN
Right. Yes. Right.

SHAWN
I want to set up a reading for you
in the fall, in New York. We'll build
some interest, and we'll publish in
the fall.

On Truman.

CUT TO:

INT. KITCHEN, RENTED COTTAGE HOUSE - MORNING

Truman at the stove watching his tea water heat up. Jack
enters with a HUGE BASKET of WINE and GROCERIES.

TRUMAN
Plums. Thank god. We have nothing in
the house.

He takes one from the basket. Jack starts to unpack food.

TRUMAN
Why aren't you working?

JACK
I knew you couldn't be depended on
to stock the kitchen.

Truman looks at him blankly.

JACK
What would we feed our famous guest?

TRUMAN
Oh, Jesus. I completely forgot.

He helps Jack put away the groceries. Then:

JACK
(utterly nonchalant)
Plus -- I finished my novel yesterday.

Truman looks at Jack, smiles widely.

CUT TO:

EXT. BEACH - NIGHT

Truman, Jack and Nelle. A BONFIRE, a wind-up Victrola playing
Ella Fitzgerald, bottles of wine. Jack and Nelle dance. Truman
toasts Jack drunkenly.

TRUMAN
My man, my hero, my talented... My
man...

JACK
You said that.

TRUMAN
You are the hardest worker, the most
unsung talent I know. As Nelle passes
by on her way to London to sell her
book which needs no selling, may a
little of her success rub off on
both of us.

Jack laughs.

JACK
Here, here!

Nelle tries to smack Truman but can't catch him. The song
changes to a slow one. Jack and Truman dance sweetly together.
Nelle sits on the sand and watches.

CUT TO:

EXT. UPSTAIRS DECK, RENTED COTTAGE HOUSE - MORNING

Breakfast. Truman and Nelle are sitting -- Nelle has a small
envelope in her hand. Truman is obviously uncomfortable. As
Jack delivers a platter of omelettes to the table:

NELLE
(to Truman)
When was the last time you wrote
back to him?

TRUMAN
I don't know.

JACK
What's this?

NELLE
A letter for your boyfriend I was
asked to deliver.

TRUMAN
From Perry.

JACK
Let's have it.

Jack sits. Nelle opens the letter, reads:

NELLE
"Dear Friend Truman. Where are you?
Read this item in a medical
dictionary: "Death by hanging is
caused by asphyxia, by fracture of
the cervical vertebrae, by laceration
of the trachea." Not too comforting
as we lost our appeal. Missing you --
alone and desirous of your presence.
Your amigo, Perry."

Pause.

TRUMAN
Mr. Shawn told me about the court
decision yesterday.

JACK
I was wondering why you were in such
a good mood. Surely, I thought, it's
not because I finished my little
book.

TRUMAN
That's a terrible thing to say.

Jack looks out at the ocean.

TRUMAN
(to no one in
particular)
I used to write him all the time.
I've been so focused lately on the
book.

CUT TO:

EXT. RENTED COTTAGE HOUSE - DAY

Truman and Nelle carry her bags down the front walk toward a
waiting TAXI.

TRUMAN
Jack says I'm using Perry, but he
also thinks I fell in love with him
when I was in Kansas. How both of
those things can be true is beyond
me.

NELLE
Did you? Fall in love with him.

Silence as they load the bags into the trunk.

NELLE
Truman? --

TRUMAN
I don't know how to answer that...
It's as if Perry and I started life
in the same house. One day he stood
up and walked out the back door while
I walked out the front. With some
different choices, he's the man I
might have become.

NELLE
Are you kidding me?

Truman shrugs, doesn't answer. Nelle kisses him.

NELLE
Be nice to Jack. Sometimes I think
he's what I like about you best.

TRUMAN
(smiles)
I'll see you at the reading in New
York.

NELLE
The sixteenth.

Nelle gets in the taxi, then leans her head out the window.

NELLE
Truman. Honestly. Are you going back
to Kansas because you care about
Perry or because you need information
before he's killed?

TRUMAN
Can't it be both?

NELLE
No. I don't think it can be.

She drives away. Truman watches her go. He turns back up
toward the house, stops a moment to pick a FLOWER from the
bushes at the front gate.

CUT TO:

INT. KSP, DEATH ROW - DAY

A Guard walks down the corridor carrying a SINGLE FLOWER. He
delivers it to Perry, then walks off. Perry is confused. He
hears FOOTSTEPS approaching, but can't see who it is.

HICKOCK (O.S.)
Hey, buddy. Thanks.

More footsteps. CAMERA on Perry as the footsteps finally
arrive outside his cell. He's shocked.

REVERSE onto Truman, looking tanned, healthy, very blond. He
holds a STACK OF BOOKS with a BOW on top. He smiles.

CUT TO:

INT. KSP, DEATH ROW - LATER THAT NIGHT

LONG SHOT of dimly lit corridor, light spilling out from
each cell. A ROW GUARD walks the hall. We hear voices
murmuring.

SIX MORE GUARDS arrive at the top of the stairs. The ROW
GUARD walks over, unlocks the GATE to let them in.

INT. KSP, DEATH ROW, PERRY'S CELL - NIGHT

Perry is looking at the cover of a BOOK -- "WALDEN POND."
Other books sit next to Perry on the cot. Among them -- WILLA
CATHER's "MY ANTONIA", also "GREAT EXPECTATIONS" --

PERRY
What was he in jail for?

TRUMAN
They said it was not paying his taxes.
But really for being an outsider --
refusing to go along.

Perry nods, looks at the other books.

TRUMAN
You don't have to read any of these
if you don't want to. But I thought
you'd like something decent. You're
much too smart for adventure
magazines.

Through the bars of Perry's cell, we can see the SIX GUARDS
enter Lowell Lee Andrew's cell (diagonally across the
corridor). The ROW GUARD appears at Perry's cell.

ROW GUARD
Lock-down while Lowell goes to
solitary. Nobody in or out.
(to Truman)
You want in or out?

Truman looks at Perry, then back to the Guard.

TRUMAN
In.

INT. KSP, DEATH ROW, LOWELL LEE ANDREW'S CELL - MOMENTS
LATER

The SIX GUARDS start to pack up Andrews cell while he sits
on the cot and watches.

INT. KSP, DEATH ROW, PERRY'S CELL - LATER

Perry and Truman talk very QUIETLY. (Throughout this scene,
we see in the background, across the corridor, the mostly
obscured cell of Andrews. We see his incredibly FAT LEG being
shackled, his belongings being packed in boxes.)

PERRY
Everyone says he's a genius. I don't
think he's a genius. He's rich and
he went to college -- like any of us
would've if we got the chance. He
came home for Christmas and shot his
parents --

TRUMAN
-- in front of the television.

PERRY
You remember the story --

TRUMAN
They were watching Father Knows Best.

They look at each other and smile. Then:

PERRY
I won't be sorry to see him go. Always
correcting my grammar.

They watch Andrews being shackled in the background.

PERRY
Now -- Dick and me -- we're next in
line.

Truman regards Perry, who looks down.

TRUMAN
I'm so sorry I've been away.

PERRY
It was a long time.

TRUMAN
I know.

PERRY
I wish you could come next week,
when they take him out to the Corner,
but the whole prison shuts down.

TRUMAN
I have to be in New York anyway.

Perry nods.

PERRY
How's the book going?

TRUMAN
Very slowly.

PERRY
Will you show it to me?

TRUMAN
I've hardly written anything.

One of the six guards CLANGS Andrews' cell bars with his
stick.

GUARD #1
Ready.

The ROW GUARD opens the cell door. Andrews is led out, arms
and legs shackled, into the corridor.

HICKOCK
Keep your head high, buddy.

ANDREWS
Alright now.

HICKOCK
...or they won't be able to rope you
under your fat fucking chin.

Andrews is led past Perry's cell. He looks in at Perry.

ANDREWS
Next!

Andrews shuffles down the hall. Perry watches him go. On
Truman watching Perry. We hear the GATE slam shut.

CUT TO:

INT. THEATER - EVENING

Packed. Nelle stands with William Shawn, who receives well-
wishers. BEN BARON enters, seeing Nelle.

BEN BARON
(loudly, over the
hubbub)
Hello Hollywood. That's quite a bundle
you sold your book for.

Nelle is embarrassed, mostly for Baron, to have the issue of
money brought up publicly.

NELLE
Well...

Baron moves past, Nelle smiles politely, whispers to Shawn.

NELLE
What a gentleman.

INT. THEATER, BACKSTAGE ROOM - MOMENTS LATER

Truman sits alone. In the background, we can HEAR the noise
of the huge crowd gathering in the theater. Truman wears his
MOST STYLISH LITERARY OUTFIT: a gorgeous dark green Knize
SUIT over a black cashmere turtleneck sweater, and horn-rimmed
GLASSES (which we've never seen him wear before).

He's frozen with anticipation, nervousness. After several
moments a THEATER ASSISTANT opens the door.

YOUNG ASSISTANT
Mr. Capote. Can I get you anything?

TRUMAN
No.
(clears his throat)
Thank you.

The assistant leaves. We hear the crowd quiet down. Truman
rises slowly, walks through the door to the backstage area.
We hear William Shawn on stage.

SHAWN (O.S.)
Welcome New Yorkers...

INT. WINGS/STAGE - NIGHT

Shawn pauses briefly for a laugh that doesn't come. Truman
continues walking toward the backstage curtains.

SHAWN (O.S.)
Thank you for coming to the first
public reading, the first offering
of any kind, of Truman Capote's new
work "In Cold Blood." Our magazine --

Truman walks on stage. Loud applause. Shawn sees him, slinks
back to his seat. Truman walks over to the podium, takes in
the enormous crowd. Once it is completely quiet:

TRUMAN
Hello. My name is Truman Capote.

People laugh and applaud loudly.

CUT TO:

INT. KSP, DEATH ROW, PERRY'S CELL - SAME TIME, NIGHT

Perry, eating dinner alone at his table, looks up. We HEAR a
LOUD ENGINE revving outside.

EXT. KSP, THE CORNER WAREHOUSE - SAME TIME

A FRONT-LOADER TRACTOR drives into the warehouse. A PRISON
POLICE CAR parks outside the warehouse. Guards get the
enormous Lowell Lee Andrews, shackled, from the back seat,
walk him inside.

INT. KSP, DEATH ROW, PERRY'S CELL - NIGHT

C/U on Perry, now standing on his chair and watching out the
tiny window.

CUT TO:

INT THEATER, NYC - NIGHT

Truman on stage reading.

TRUMAN
Perry Smith's voice was both gentle
and prim -- a voice that, though
soft, manufactured each sound exactly --
ejected it like a smoke ring issuing
from a parson's mouth.

CUT TO:

INT. KSP, DEATH ROW, PERRY'S CELL - SAME TIME

Perry watches through his window. From inside the warehouse
we hear the gallows TRAP DOOR spring and CLATTER. On Perry,

CUT TO:

INT. THEATER, NYC - SAME TIME

Truman reading. Utter silence except for his voice.

TRUMAN (V.O.)
The village of Holcomb stands on the
high wheat plains of western Kansas,
a lonesome area that other Kansans
call "out there." Until one morning
in mid-November 1959, few Americans --
in fact, few Kansans -- had ever
heard of Holcomb. Like the waters of
the [Arkansas] river, like the
motorists on the highway...
exceptional happenings had never
stopped there.

EXT. KSP, DEATH ROW BUILDING - SAME TIME

We see the outside wall with Perry and Dick's faces peering
out through their tiny windows.

EXT. KSP, THE CORNER WAREHOUSE - NIGHT

The TRACTOR emerges through the warehouse doors. It carries
in its FRONT SHOVEL the enormous, dead BODY of ANDREWS covered
by a BLACK CLOTH.

INT. THEATER, NYC - SAME TIME

Truman reading. The audience completely still.

TRUMAN
The four coffins, which quite filled
the small, flower-crowded parlor,
were to be sealed at the funeral
services -- very understandably, for
the effect... was disquieting. Nancy
wore her dress of cherry-red velvet,
her brother a bright plaid shirt;
the parents were more sedately
attired, Mr. Clutter in navy-blue
flannel, his wife in navy-blue crepe;
and -- and it was this especially
that lent the scene an awful aura --
the head of each was completely
encased in cotton, a swollen cocoon
twice the size of an ordinary blown-
up balloon, and the cotton, because
it had been sprayed with a glossy
substance, twinkled like Christmas-
tree snow.

CUT TO:

EXT. KSP, THE CORNER WAREHOUSE - NIGHT

The TRACTOR rolls the body into the BED of a waiting PICK-UP
TRUCK.

EXT. KSP, DEATH ROW BUILDING - SAME TIME

Perry watches through his window.

INT. THEATER, NYC - SAME TIME

Truman reading. The audience transfixed.

TRUMAN
Imagination, of course, can open any
door -- turn the key and let terror
walk right in. [One] Tuesday, at
dawn, a carload of... strangers,
ignorant of the local disaster --
were startled by what they saw as
they crossed the prairies and passed
through Holcomb: windows ablaze,
almost every window in almost every
house, and, in the brightly lit rooms,
fully clothed people, even entire
families, who had sat the whole night
wide awake, watchful, listening. Of
what were they frightened? "It might
happen again."

He closes his manuscript. Several moments of SILENCE, then
thunderous APPLAUSE.

CUT TO:

INT. THEATER, BACKSTAGE ROOM - NIGHT

Truman's dressing room. Packed with well-wishers drinking
from bottles of CHAMPAGNE, smoking, toasting, shouting to be
heard. Truman in the corner with Christopher Isherwood, BEN
BARON others, laughing. A LITERARY ENTHUSIAST approaches,
leans in.

LITERARY ENTHUSIAST
Your portrait of those men was
terrifying. Terrifying.

TRUMAN
Thank you.

Truman and Isherwood watch him walk away.

ISHERWOOD
Your hairpiece is terrifying.

TRUMAN
I was going to say the same thing!

Truman laughs loudly. We SEE Nelle look over from across the
room at her friend having the time of his life.

CUT TO:

INT. NEW YORKER, WILLIAM SHAWN'S OFFICE - NEXT DAY

Truman is hung over but immensely gratified. He's with Shawn.

SHAWN
Everyone was there.

TRUMAN
Tennessee loved it.

SHAWN
Of course he did.

TRUMAN
Should we do more? I was terrified,
but --

SHAWN
No, Now we get to withhold while
everyone else talks. Let them do the
work.

Truman is barely able to suppress his excitement.

SHAWN
This book is going to change
everything. It'll change how people
see you as a writer. It'll change
how people write. You'll finish by
October?

TRUMAN
I think so. You know they're scheduled
for next month?

SHAWN
Hanging. Yes. I'll commit as many
issues as it takes to publish. Three.
As many as it takes.

TRUMAN
I'm flying to Kansas tomorrow. I'll
get Perry to talk --

SHAWN
Honestly, what's he got to lose?

Truman smiles at the joke, then stops himself.

TRUMAN
It really is too awful.
Institutionalized sadism.

Shawn nods.

SHAWN
You'll be able to finish now.

TRUMAN
As strange as it may sound to you,
I'm going to miss him.

FADE OUT.

Over black -- the sound of a JET airplane -- loud, then
passing.

INT. KSP, DEATH ROW, PERRY'S CELL - DAY

Truman, flushed, out of breath, stands outside Perry's cell.
He's just arrived. He holds a FOLDED-UP NEWSPAPER. Perry
sits at his table reading LEGAL DOCUMENTS.

TRUMAN
When did you hear?

Perry looks up, mistaking Truman's state for shared
enthusiasm. He smiles widely.

PERRY
Two days ago.

The Guard opens the cell for Truman. Perry holds up one of
the DOCUMENTS.

PERRY
It's what we've been waiting for. A
stay of execution to make a federal
appeal.

Truman enters. Perry goes to him and hugs him tightly.

PERRY
All thanks to you.

On Truman, shocked, being hugged.

CUT TO:

INT. KSP, DEATH ROW, PERRY'S CELL - LATER

Truman sits on the bed, his coat still on, watching Perry --
hyped up, talking, walking around the cell.

PERRY
Kansas's had it in for me for ten
years -- in prison the first time,
at that trial, here. They can't corner
me now. Not till the U.S. Government
says so --

TRUMAN
Perry, sit down. For a minute.
(Perry sits)
I need you to talk to me...

PERRY
We've got all the time in the world
to talk. About everything. I've been
thinking about Ricardo. You need to
stop sending him those trashy books.
I won't even mention the pornography.
(getting up)
I realize he might have trouble
grasping the literature you gave me,
but those books only exacerbate the
problem -- only 'heighten' or
'intensify' it. Maybe we should start
him on a program...

TRUMAN
Perry.

PERRY
Give him the simple novels first --

TRUMAN
Perry.

Perry stops.

TRUMAN
I know what exacerbate means.

PERRY
Okay. I thought in case...

TRUMAN
There is not a word, or a sentence,
or a concept, that you can illuminate
for me. There is one singular reason
that I keep coming here --

PERRY
Truman --

TRUMAN
...November 14th, 1959. Three years
ago. Three years. That's all I want
to hear from you.

Pause.

PERRY
I've asked you not to --

TRUMAN
(stands up)
This is ridiculous.
(to the Guard)
I'm ready.
(to Perry)
I have a plane to catch. I found
your sister in Tacoma. Maybe she'll
talk to me about something useful.

PERRY
Don't go out there.

The Guard lets Truman out of the cell.

PERRY
Please don't go out there.

The Guard shuts the door.

TRUMAN
This is my work, Perry. I'm working.
When you want to tell me what I need
to hear, you let me know.

He walks off down the hall. The GATE slams shut.

CUT TO:

INT. PERRY'S SISTER'S HOUSE, KITCHEN - DAY

Cheaply built ranch house. LINDA MURCHAK (30) walks in the
kitchen back door, shuts it.

MRS. MURCHAK
They'll play outside a while longer.

Mrs. Murchak looks like a female Perry, dark and small,
attractive and nervous. Through the window, we see THREE
LITTLE CHILDREN playing on a DECREPIT JUNGLE GYM in the yard.
Truman sits at the table, leafing through a PHOTO ALBUM.

MRS. MURCHAK
I don't want them to see that.

TRUMAN
They've never seen these pictures?

MRS. MURCHAK
(shakes her head)
Too many questions.

She joins Truman again at the table.

We see an OLD PHOTO of the SMITH FAMILY -- Linda at age 8,
Perry (5); their older sister, June; their brother Frank;
and the parents: Florence (American Indian) and John (Irish) --
in front of their rundown truck on a desolate road.

MRS. MURCHAK
June's dead. Frank shot himself. Now
Perry's did what he did. I suppose
I'm next. Some ruination will visit
me.

TRUMAN
I don't think life works that way.

MRS. MURCHAK
It does in this family.

Truman turns the page. A PICTURE of Perry (3) and Linda
HOLDING HANDS and splashing in a big mud-puddle in the rain.
Linda is smiling at Perry, who is naked, laughing.

MRS. MURCHAK
I used to love him. He was my little
doll.

He turns the page. A PICTURE of Perry (6) and Linda sitting
on the back steps of a shack, poking with a stick at something
in the dirt. After a moment, she gets up, clears coffee cups.

MRS. MURCHAK
He scares me now.

TRUMAN
When was the last time you saw him?

MRS. MURCHAK
Ten years.

She picks up the album to put it away.

TRUMAN
Do you think I could borrow one of
those pictures?

MRS. MURCHAK
(hands it to him)
Take the whole thing. I don't want'em
anymore.
(then)
Just... Perry doesn't know where I
live. He thinks we're still in
Portland. Please don't tell him we're
not.

TRUMAN
(he already has)
Alright.

MRS. MURCHAK
Don't be taken in by my brother.
He's got this sensitive side he'll
show. You believe he's gentle, so
easily hurt. But he'd just as soon
kill you as shake your hand. I believe
that.

CUT TO:

INT. KSP, DEATH ROW - NEXT DAY

Truman slows for a moment as he passes Hickock's cell.

TRUMAN
Hello handsome.

Hickock just stares at him. Truman, unnerved, moves on to
Perry's cell.

INT. KSP, DEATH ROW, PERRY'S CELL - CONTINUOUS

Perry doing pushups. He sees Truman and stops. He stands.
The Row Guard approaches.

ROW GUARD
You want to go in?

Truman regards Perry for a few moments, then:

TRUMAN
Yes

The Guard unlocks the door. Perry STARTS TO MOVE toward it.
The Guard SLAMS it shut.

PERRY
What's the name of your book?

No response. Perry can barely control his anger.

PERRY
What's the name of your book?

TRUMAN
I don't...

PERRY
What's the name of your book?

TRUMAN
I don't know what you're talking
about.

Perry picks up a cut-out ARTICLE from the NY Times from his
desk. He reads.

PERRY
"Truman Capote read last night before
a packed audience from his non-fiction
book IN COLD BLOOD."

He looks at Truman.

PERRY
More?
(reads)
"The true-crime novel tells of killers
Richard Hickock and Perry Smith, who
brutally murdered a Kansas family
three years ago."

TRUMAN
Who sent that to you?

Perry doesn't answer.

TRUMAN
Who sent that to you?

PERRY
That's not your goddamn business.

TRUMAN
It is my business, because it's not
true. The organizers of the reading
needed a title. They picked one -- a
sensational one, I admit -- to attract
a crowd.

PERRY
They picked it.

TRUMAN
Yes.

PERRY
That's not your title.

TRUMAN
I haven't chosen one yet.

Perry stares at him, not believing.

TRUMAN
How could I choose --

PERRY
You pretend to be my friend...

TRUMAN
How could I choose a title when you
still haven't told me what happened
that night? How could I? I couldn't
possibly.

Long pause. Truman reaches in his breast pocket and extracts
a PHOTO (the one of Perry and Linda splashing in the puddle.)

TRUMAN
I have something from your sister.

He hands it through the bars to Perry. Perry takes it.

TRUMAN
She misses you.

Perry looks at the photo. After a few moments, Truman turns
to the Guard.

TRUMAN
It's alright. I'll go in.

The Guard unlocks the cell. Truman enters. The Guard locks
up, walks away. Perry is still looking at the PHOTO.

TRUMAN
I'm sorry. I should have told you
what they made me call the book.
(touches Perry's arm)
I couldn't pretend to be your friend.
The truth is, I can't help wanting
to be.
(silence, then:)
You don't have to tell me anything
if you don't want to.

Perry looks at the photo of himself and his sister for a
long time.

PERRY
Look at my belly.

Perry sits on the bed. Then, almost to himself:

PERRY
There must be something wrong with
us. To do what we did.

Truman waits him out, sitting on the chair. Finally, Perry
looks at him. When Perry speaks, it is quietly, completely
matter-of-fact.

PERRY
We heard there was ten thousand
dollars in that house. Once we'd
tied up everybody and searched all
over, I knew the guy who told us
about it was wrong. There wasn't any
money. But Dick wouldn't believe it.
He went tearing through the house
again, banging on the walls, looking
for a safe. He said when he was done,
he was going to come up to Nancy's
room and have his way with her. I
wouldn't allow it. I told him that.
I sat with Nancy.

CUT TO:

INT. CLUTTER HOUSE, NANCY'S ROOM - FLASHBACK, NIGHT

Perry and Nancy. Perry sits quietly on the edge of Nancy's
bed. A SMALL BEDSIDE LAMP softly illuminates a portion of
the room. We hear Dick banging around downstairs.

PERRY (V.O.)
It was nice in there.

The scene is almost sweet, until we see that Nancy's legs
and hands are TIED and her mouth is TAPED.

INT. KSP, DEATH ROW, PERRY'S CELL - NIGHT

Perry talking to Truman.

PERRY
Dick came to get me and we turned
out the lights and went down to the
basement, where we had Mr. Clutter
and the boy. Dick kept saying "No
witnesses." I figured if I just waited
him out he'd give up and leave them
tied up there. We'd drive all night,
they'd never find us. Mr. Clutter's
wrists were tied to a pipe over his
head. He looked like he was hurt, so
I cut him down.

CUT TO:

INT. CLUTTER HOUSE, BASEMENT - FLASHBACK, NIGHT

HERBERT CLUTTER is bound and taped, his hands tied to a PIPE
on the LOW CEILING. Perry CUTS the rope with a HUNTING KNIFE,
catches hold of Herb Clutter, lowers him onto a mattress box
on the floor.

CUT TO:

INT. KSP, DEATH ROW, PERRY'S CELL - NIGHT

Perry talking to Truman.

PERRY
We put a box there on the floor so
he'd be more comfortable. He asked
if his wife and daughter were alright
and I said they were fine, they were
ready to go to sleep. I told him it
wasn't long till morning when somebody
would find them.
(beat)
He was looking at me. Just... looking
at me. Looking at my eyes. Like he
expects me to kill him -- expects me
to be the kind of person who would
kill him. I was thinking -- this
nice man, he's scared of me. I was
ashamed. I mean, I thought he was a
kind man, a good... a gentleman. I
thought so right up to the moment I
cut his throat. I didn't realize
what I'd did till I heard the sound.

CUT TO:

INT. CLUTTER HOUSE, BASEMENT - FLASHBACK, NIGHT

Herb Clutter gurgling on the floor.

PERRY (V.O.)
Like some one drowning under water.

CUT TO:

INT. KSP, DEATH ROW, PERRY'S CELL - NIGHT

Perry and Truman. Silence, then:

PERRY
I was staring at him, bleeding on
the floor. I told Dick to finish him
off, but he wouldn't do it. We
couldn't leave Mr. Clutter like that,
so I got the shotgun.

CUT TO:

INT. CLUTTER HOUSE, BASEMENT - FLASHBACK, NIGHT

Perry approaches with a SHOTGUN. He aims and SHOOTS him in
the face.

INT. CLUTTER HOUSE, ANOTHER PART OF THE BASEMENT - FLASHBACK
NIGHT

KENYON CLUTTER (15) is bound and gagged on an old sofa, a
pillow under his head. A flashlight illuminates his face. A
shotgun enters frame, FIRES. An enormous BURST of LIGHT.

INT. CLUTTER HOUSE, HERB AND BONNIE'S ROOM - FLASHBACK,
NIGHT

Bonnie Clutter (40's, small and thin) tied up on her bed.
Moonlight through the window.

PERRY (V.O.)
We went to Mrs. Clutter's room.

The DOOR opens. Perry and Dick walk in with a flashlight.
Perry points the shotgun at Bonnie's face, FIRES. A BURST of
LIGHT.

INT. CLUTTER HOUSE, NANCY'S ROOM - FLASHBACK, NIGHT

Perry and Dick enter Nancy's room, shine the flashlight on
her face. She looks at Perry. She has been crying. After a
moment, she TURNS HER FACE to the wall, as if she knows what
is coming and doesn't want to watch it. Perry AIMS the shotgun
at the back of her head. The FLASHLIGHT switches OFF. The
shotgun FIRES. A BURST of LIGHT.

CUT TO:

INT. KSP, DEATH ROW, PERRY'S CELL - NIGHT

Perry and Truman. Perry still on the bed. Truman sits, not
moving, on the chair. Silence.

PERRY
Then we drove off.

Silence. Perry looks at Truman.

PERRY
What do you think of me now?

No answer. Then:

TRUMAN
Added up, how much money did you get
from the Clutters?

Perry thinks.

PERRY
Between forty and fifty dollars.

Truman nods. They sit there for a long time.

FADE OUT:

INT. HOTEL ROOM, KANSAS CITY - DAWN, CONTINUOUS

FADE IN: Hands typing on a MANUAL TYPEWRITER.

Truman typing at the desk. He stops, removes the page from
the typewriter, places it on top of a SMALL STACK OF PAGES.
He sits back.

CUT TO:

INT. PLANE - DAY

Truman in his seat, sips a drink. He looks out the window.

CUT TO:

EXT. STREET, BROOKLYN HEIGHTS - LATE AFTERNOON

Truman walks with his TRAVEL BAG on his shoulder. He takes
out his KEYS and turns up the steps to his house.

INT. TRUMAN AND JACK'S HOUSE, FRONT HALL - CONTINUOUS

Truman opens the door.

TRUMAN
Jack.

No answer. He walks down the hall to the BEDROOM.

INT. TRUMAN AND JACK'S HOUSE, BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS

Truman enters, drops his travel bag on the bed, zips it open,
removes a SMALL STACK OF TYPED PAGES. He walks to his desk.

On the desk, we see a HUGE STACK OF TYPED PAGES with a title
page on top which reads: IN COLD BLOOD. Truman lifts the
HUGE STACK, places the SMALL STACK under it. He smooths out
the pages, then steps back from it. He calls out:

TRUMAN
Jack.

No answer. On Truman, standing in the middle of his room. He
has finished all that he can finish, and is lost as to what
to do next.

FADE OUT.

TITLE UP: "One Year Later"

OVER BLACK WE HEAR THE FOLLOWING DIALOGUE COME UP SLOWLY:

TRUMAN (V.O.)
...I want to give it to you. The
truth is, I'm desperate to be done
with it...

FADE IN:

INT. TRUMAN AND JACK'S HOUSE, KITCHEN - DAY

Truman on the PHONE, in pajamas, looking in the FRIDGE.

TRUMAN
Mr. Shawn, I... I've spent four years
of my life on this book... They got
a stay of execution yesterday...
Another, yes....

He gets out a jar of BONNET BABY FOOD CUSTARD and starts to
eat it. Truman finds a bottle of J&B on the counter and pours
a shot in his custard.

TRUMAN
Supreme Court....

He stirs the custard, eats it.

TRUMAN
...It's harrowing -- all I want is
to write the ending and there's no
fucking end in sight... No. No, I
haven't been drinking again...

INT. TRUMAN AND JACK'S HOUSE, BEDROOM - LATER

Truman sits on the bed with a glass of bourbon, staring at
the television. An empty jar of BABY CUSTARD sits on the
bedside table.

INT. TRUMAN AND JACK'S HOUSE, BEDROOM - LATER

Truman on the bed, the television still on, another drink.
We hear a DOORBELL. We hear Jack walk down the hall, answer
the door, shut the door. Jack enters with a TELEGRAM.

JACK
I don't know how you can eat that.
Perhaps if you weren't drinking so
much you wouldn't have to.

No response. Jack turns down the television, opens the
telegram.

JACK
(reads)
"Dear friend Truman. Haven't heard
from you in such a long while. Please
help find new lawyer. If not, Dick
will have to write Supreme Court
brief himself. Our last appeal. What
a pair of wretched creatures. Please
help. Your amigo? Perry."

Pause. Jack looks at Truman.

JACK
Your amigo.

Truman stares back. Finally, he turns back to the television.

TRUMAN
Put it with the others.

Jack goes to the DESK and places the telegram on top of a
LARGE PILE OF TELEGRAMS, all from Perry -- all, we should
assume, unanswered.

Jack walks out. Truman sips his drink.

INT. TRUMAN AND JACK'S HOUSE, BEDROOM - LATER, EARLY EVENING

Truman at the desk, still in PAJAMAS, typing. Jack enters
wearing a TUXEDO, reads over Truman's shoulder. We see:

"...unable to find laywer despite extensive search. So sorry.
All best, Truman."

JACK
You tried?

Truman extracts the page from the typewriter, folds it, and
puts it in an envelope. He takes a sip of his BOURBON.

JACK
(walking out)
You need to get ready.

CUT TO:

INT. LIMOUSINE, MOVING - NIGHT

Truman and Jack are driven. Both wear TUXEDOS and OVERCOATS.
Truman drinks.

INT. LIMOUSINE, MOVING - NIGHT, LATER

Driving. Truman and Jack sit in silence, then:

JACK
At least pretend for Nelle that you're
having a good time tonight.

The limo turns a corner and we see an ENORMOUS CROWD in front
of a THEATER. On the marquee it says: "Opening tonight - TO
KILL A MOCKINGBIRD"

It is COLD. Truman and Jack's limo pulls up. An USHER opens
their DOOR.

EXT. MOVIE THEATER - MOMENTS LATER

Truman, obviously drunk, preens and poses on the red carpet
for the CAMERAS. Jack watches from the side.

CUT TO:

INT. SARDI'S RESTAURANT, OPENING PARTY - NIGHT

Huge party in progress. Nelle walks through the crowd. People
turn to her saying: "Congratulations"; "Wonderful". She finds
Truman sitting at the BAR, receiving a new drink.

TRUMAN
Nelle.

She looks UNCOMFORTABLY DOLLED UP for the premiere of her
movie.

NELLE
I thought I'd find you here.

TRUMAN
(to the bartender)
Please, another.

He hands Nelle his drink, receives another. After a moment:

NELLE
How are you?

TRUMAN
Terrible.

Beat.

NELLE
I'm sorry to hear that.

TRUMAN
Well. It's torture. Torture...
(he drinks)
...what they're doing to me.

NELLE
Uh-huh.

TRUMAN
Now the Supreme Court. Can you believe
it? If they win this appeal I will
have a complete nervous breakdown. I
may never recover. Just pray things
turn my way.

NELLE
It must be hard.

TRUMAN
It's torture. They're torturing me.

NELLE
I see.

Nelle regards him for a moment.

NELLE
And how'd you like the movie, Truman.

She puts her drink down on the bar and walks away. Truman
turns back to the bartender, shrugs.

TRUMAN
I frankly don't know what the fuss
is about.

On Truman, alone at the bar.

FADE OUT.

EXT. STREET, OUTSIDE TRUMAN AND JACK'S HOUSE - EARLY MORNING

FADE UP on a PAPER BOY riding his BIKE down the street. New
buds are on the trees. It is SPRING. The BOY wears a NEW
YORK TIMES bag slung over his chest and is tossing copies of
the paper. One of them lands on Truman and Jack's stoop.

INT. TRUMAN AND JACK'S HOUSE, BEDROOM - MORNING

Phone RINGING. Truman asleep.

INT. TRUMAN AND JACK'S HOUSE, JACK'S TINY OFFICE - SAME TIME

Jack is writing, longhand, at his desk. PHONE is ringing.
Jack notices that his door is slightly ajar. He kicks it
shut. The ringing is much quieter. He keeps writing.

INT. TRUMAN AND JACK'S HOUSE, BEDROOM - SAME TIME

Truman asleep. PHONE ringing. He wakes up, groggy, answers.

TRUMAN
Hello.

OPERATOR (OVER PHONE)
Mr. Capote?

TRUMAN
Yes?

OPERATOR
I have a call from Mr. Perry Smith
in the Kansas Correctional System.
Will you accept charges?

Pause.

OPERATOR
Mr. Truman Capote?

TRUMAN
Yes.

OPERATOR
Will you accept charges?

TRUMAN
Oh.
(no way out of this)
Uh... Yes.

OPERATOR
You'll accept charges?

TRUMAN
Yes.

OPERATOR
Mr. Smith, you're on the line.

Now Truman's awake. We hear a series of CLICKS, then:

PERRY (OVER PHONE)
Hello.

Truman can't bring himself to speak.

PERRY
Hello? I can't --
(to someone)
This doesn't seem --
(we hear Perry clicking
the cradle, then:)
Operator, I don't think you put me --

TRUMAN
I'm here.

Beat.

PERRY
Truman.

TRUMAN
Hello, Perry.

PERRY
They let me make a couple phone calls
before I go down to Holding... You
heard the Supreme Court rejected the
appeal.

TRUMAN
I didn't... I hadn't heard that.

PERRY
Yeah.

Pause.

TRUMAN
I'm sorry.

PERRY
Yeah. They let me make two phone
calls.

Truman doesn't know what to say.

PERRY
We've got a date set for the
Warehouse, Dick and me. Two weeks
and... Finito. April 14.

Beat.

PERRY
Will you visit me? Truman. Will you
come visit?

TRUMAN
I don't know if I can. I'll try.
(beat)
I don't know if I can.

We hear over the line a GUARD in the background:

GUARD IN BACKGROUND (OVER PHONE)
Time, Smith. Hang it up.

PERRY
Please visit me, Truman. Just...

GUARD IN BACKGROUND (OVER PHONE)
Time. Smith.

CLICK. Truman sits very still, the phone in his hand.

CUT TO:

INT. KSP, DEATH ROW - ONE WEEK LATER, NIGHT

Perry and Dick being shackled, their belongings packed into
boxes. One of the GUARDS in Perry's cell CLANGS the bars
with his STICK.

GUARD
Ready.

CUT TO:

INT. KSP, CONFINEMENT CELL - ONE WEEK LATER, NIGHT

Perry lies alone on his cot. The DOOR opens, KRUTCH enters
with a GUARD.

KRUTCH
Perry.

Perry sits up. Krutch sits on the one chair. The Guard stands
by the door, takes out a PAD and STUBBY PENCIL.

KRUTCH
You're allowed three names of people
you'd like to witness tomorrow. If
there's anybody you want, tell me
now.

PERRY
Truman Capote.

Krutch nods to the Guard who writes the name down. Krutch
waits, then:

KRUTCH
Anybody else?

Perry SHAKES HIS HEAD.

INT. TRUMAN AND JACK'S HOUSE, BEDROOM - LATE NIGHT

In a chair near the window, Truman sits awake in his pajamas,
unable to sleep, completely unable to decide what to do. He
watches Jack sleep. A long time -- then Truman walks to the
closet, gets out a travel bag, starts to pack.

CUT TO:

EXT. IDLEWILD AIRPORT, NEW YORK - DAY

A PLANE takes off.

INT. PLANE, FIRST CLASS SECTION - DAY

Truman sits next to William Shawn, who looks exhausted. The
STEWARDESS is approaching with the DRINKS CART. She collects
an empty BABY CUSTARD JAR from Truman's tray.

SHAWN
You want anything?

Truman shakes his head.

CUT TO:

EXT. KANSAS STATE PENITENTIARY - DUSK

OUTSIDE LIGHTS switch on as it gets dark.

INT. KSP, CONFINEMENT CELL - NIGHT

Perry sits alone. The door opens and a Guard brings in his
LAST MEAL: three hot dogs, french fries, an ice cream sundae,
a strawberry soda. The Guard sets it down on the chair.

PERRY
Thank you.
(then)
You sent the telegram to his hotel?

GUARD
Hours ago.

Perry looks at the CLOCK on the wall: it's after 8pm.

PERRY
May I make a phone call?

CUT TO:

INT. HOTEL ROOM, MUEHLEBACH HOTEL, KANSAS CITY - NIGHT

PHONE ringing. The CLOCK rads 8:55pm. Empty drinks glasses,
a custard jar. Truman lies curled in a fetal position on the
BED. Shawn walks the floor, exasperated.

SHAWN
That's him again.

Truman is immobile. Phone still rings.

SHAWN
We've never even met. It is utterly
inappropriate for me to be talking
to him.

Shawn gives up, PICKS UP the phone.

SHAWN
Yes... I'm sorry, he's out, gone
out... I'm not sure when...

CUT TO:

INT. KSP, HALLWAY - NIGHT

Krutch walks with a TELEGRAM PAGE in hand. A Guard follows.
They pass a WALL CLOCK: 9:40pm.

INT. KSP, CONFINEMENT CELL - NIGHT

Krutch and Guard enter Perry's cell. Perry hasn't touched
his meal.

KRUTCH
You got a telex.

Perry nods. Krutch reads:

KRUTCH
"Perry. Unable to visit today because
not permitted. Always your friend,
Truman."
(apologetically)
That's it.

PERRY
It's not true, is it?

Krutch hesitates a moment, then SHAKES his head.

CUT TO:

INT. NELLE'S KITCHEN, MONROEVILLE - MINUTES LATER

Nelle on the PHONE looking at a TELEGRAM. The kitchen CLOCK
reads 10:20pm. She waits a moment till the line is answered.

NELLE (ON PHONE)
Mr. Shawn? It's Nelle... I just got
this telegram, has he seen it?

INTERCUT with William Shawn on the phone in Truman's hotel
room. A TELEGRAM lies on the DESK. Truman lies on the bed.

INT. MUEHLEBACH HOTEL ROOM, KANSAS CITY - NIGHT

SHAWN (ON PHONE)
He won't look at it.

NELLE
Would you put him on please?

SHAWN
He won't talk.

NELLE
(calmly)
Mr. Shawn, if you have to hold him
down and put the phone on his ear, I
need to speak to him.

Shawn, terrifically uncomfortable, walks over to Truman and
holds the phone out to him.

SHAWN
It's Nelle.

A moment, then Truman takes the phone. On Truman's face. We
hear, through the receiver, Nelle:

NELLE (OVER PHONE)
Truman.

Truman finally breathes out.

CUT TO:

INT. KSP, HOLDING CELL - SAME TIME

Perry is led, SHACKLED, into a holding cell on the ground
floor of the Death Row Building. Dick is already there,
seated, shackled. We HEAR PERRY'S VOICE:

PERRY (V.O.)
"Miss Nelle Harper Lee and Truman
Capote: Sorry that Truman was unable
to make it here at the prison for a
brief word prior to necktie party...

The CLOCK reads 11:05pm. Through the WINDOW, we see activity
in the Gallows Warehouse across the yard.

PERRY (V.O.)
...Whatever his reason for not showing
up, I want him to know that I cannot
condemn him for it and understand...

Perry makes eye contact with the Guard, who CHEWS GUM. The
Guard checks through the SMALL WINDOW in the door, then
approaches Perry, places a STICK OF GUM in Perry's mouth.
Perry CHEWS.

PERRY (V.O.)
...Not much time left but want you
both to know that I've been sincerely
grateful for your friendship through
the years and everything else...

CUT TO:

INT. MUEHLEBACH HOTEL ROOM, KANSAS CITY - NIGHT

Truman opens the door to the other part of the suite, where
William Shawn is waiting. Truman is fully dressed and ready.
Perry's VOICE:

PERRY (V.O.)
...I'm not very good at these
things....

EXT. KANSAS STATE PENITENTIARY - NIGHT

TAXICAB pulls up to the prison gates. Perry's VOICE:

PERRY (V.O.)
I have become extremely affectionate
toward you both. But, harness time.
Adios amigos. Your friend, Perry."

INT. KSP, WAITING ROOM OUTSIDE CELLS - NIGHT

Clock reads 11:35pm. Truman sits with Shawn. Truman is looking
at the TELEGRAM from Perry. He folds it, puts it in the breast
pocket of his jacket. Krutch approaches.

KRUTCH
I didn't think I'd be seeing you
again.
(then)
You can visit for a few minutes.

Truman stands, turns to Shawn, still seated.

SHAWN
No.

TRUMAN
Come with me.

SHAWN
Truman. No.

Truman goes alone.

INT. KSP, HOLDING CELL - NIGHT

Perry, Dick, a Guard. Krutch lets Truman in.

KRUTCH
Five minutes.

He exits, closes the door. Truman doesn't know what to say.

HICKOCK
(without rancor)
He returns. Long time.

TRUMAN
I don't know what you must think of
me.

HICKOCK
You haven't been foremost on my mind
lately. As you can imagine.

Dick looks at Perry and smiles. Perry chews his gum and smiles
back, then looks to Truman who seems upset.

PERRY
You got the letter?

TRUMAN
Yes.

PERRY
It's true. I mean I understand why
you didn't want to come. I wouldn't
be here either if I didn't have to.

HICKOCK
You got that right.

Silence.

PERRY
You know Ricardo donated his eyes to
science? Next week, some blind man
will be seeing what Dick used to
see.

HICKOCK
(laughs)
He'd be better off the way he was.
What I've seen hasn't been so nice
to look at -- but I guess it's better
than nothing.
(he shrugs, to Truman)
They came around with a form.
(beat)
Hey. You'll be walking down the street
one day in Denver, wherever -- and
suddenly these eyes will be staring
at you. Wouldn't that be something?

TRUMAN
(quietly)
It would be.

Krutch opens the door.

KRUTCH
Time.

Truman looks at the clock: 11:50pm. Truman turns to Perry
and Dick. Perry stands.

PERRY
You'll be watching?

TRUMAN
I don't know. Do you want me to?

PERRY
I'd like to have a friend there.

TRUMAN
Okay. Then I will.

Truman looks down, starts to cry.

PERRY
It's alright.

TRUMAN
I did everything I could.

PERRY
Okay.

TRUMAN
I truly did.

PERRY
I know.

Truman nods, wipes his eyes.

TRUMAN
Goodbye, Perry.

PERRY
You're not rid of me yet. I'll see
you in a few minutes.

Truman goes. On Perry watching him leave.

CUT TO:

INT. CORNER WAREHOUSE - NIGHT

Huge. Dirt floor. Wooden gallows. TWENTY MEN stand around,
some smoking. Some are silent. Some whisper quietly.

Journalists. Also, Alvin Dewey and the KBI men: Church and
Nye. Krutch in front of the gallows with a CHAPLAIN. At the
foot of the gallows steps, the EXECUTIONER -- thin, older, a
too-large pin-striped suit and stained cowboy hat. Truman.
William Shawn.

HEADLIGHTS, then a PRISON CAR enters, stops. Dick is extracted
from the back seat. He stands, looks at the CROWD, then at
the GALLOWS. The Guards nudge him forward.

INT. KSP, HOLDING CELL - A FEW MINUTES LATER

CLOCK reads 12:05pm. Perry sits alone looking at his hands.
We HEAR A TRAP DOOR SPRING and CLATTER. Perry looks up.

INT. PRISON CAR - NIGHT

Light rain outside. Perry in the back seat being driven across
the yard. He looks out his window, sees a PICKUP TRUCK drive
out of the Corner Warehouse. On it: a BODY covered by a BLACK
CLOTH.

INT. CORNER WAREHOUSE - NIGHT

The PRISON CAR enters, stops. Perry is removed from the back
seat. He stands, looks at the assembled men, looks at Truman.
He's nudged forward. As he passes DEWEY, he extends his hand:

PERRY
Nice to see you.

Dewey is caught off-guard so shakes his hand. Perry is led
to the base of the gallows.

KRUTCH
Perry Edward Smith.
(reads)
"For the crime of murder in the first
degree, by order of the Court of
Finney County and the Supreme Court
of the sovereign State of Kansas,
you are sentenced to hang until you
die."
(then)
You can say something if you want.

PERRY
(quietly, to Krutch)
Is there anybody from the family
here?

KRUTCH
No.

Perry is disappointed by this information.

PERRY
Well. Tell them...
(he look out at
everyone)
I can't remember what I was going to
say for the life of me...

He stops. Several moments.

Krutch can't tell if he's done. Finally, Krutch nods to the
Guard. Perry is led up the STEPS. The Chaplain follows.

CHAPLAIN
Though I walk through the valley of
the shadow of death, I will fear no
evil, for thou art with me.

The Executioner puts the NOOSE around Perry's neck. Perry
chews his gum. Executioner opens a BLACK CLOTH SACK.

Perry looks at the Chaplain reading prayers, looks at the
crowd, at Truman.

CHAPLAIN
Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort
me.

The BLACK SACK goes over Perry's head. Truman watches. He
stands next to Alvin Dewey.

CHAPLAIN
Thou preparest a table before me in
the presence of mine enemies. Thou
annointest my head with oil.

The Executioner pulls the handle, Perry drops.

CHAPLAIN
My cup runneth over.

On Truman. Then a WIDE SHOT of the inside of the Warehouse:
twenty men watching Perry Smith hang, the Chaplain reading.

FADE OUT.

OVER BLACK:

The SOUND of a TELEPHONE RINGING, as heard through the
receiver. We HEAR the CLICK of the phone being PICKED UP,
then, after a moment, a VOICE:

NELLE
Hello.

FADE UP:

INT. HOTEL ROOM, KANSAS CITY - EARLY MORNING

Truman sits on the edge of the bed in his WET OVERCOAT, as
if he'd walked in the rain.

TRUMAN
Someday I'll tell you about it. For
the moment, I'm too shattered.

Pause.

NELLE
They're dead, Truman. You're alive.

TRUMAN
It was a terrible experience and I
will never get over it.
(then)
There wasn't anything I could have
done to save them.

We hear Nelle light a cigarette.

NELLE
Maybe not.

We hear her exhale slowly.

NELLE
But the fact is, you didn't want to.

On Truman,

FADE OUT.

FADE IN: BRIGHT WHITE. AIRPLANE NOISE. COLORS RESOLVE INTO:

INT. FIRST CLASS SECTION, AIRPLANE - DAY

Truman, seated on the aisle, next to William Shawn. After a
long silence, he extracts from his leather briefcase a PACKAGE
wrapped in BROWN PAPER. Hands it to Truman.

SHAWN
It came to the hotel this morning. I
told them I'd give it to you.

The package says KANSAS STATE PENITENTIARY and is addressed
to Truman. Truman opens it.

He takes out PERRY'S NOTEBOOKS -- the DIARY and PERSONAL
DICTIONARY. He opens the Diary. Toward the end, he finds
Perry's final entry. He READS silently. We hear Perry's VOICE:

PERRY (V.O.)
Did we not know we were to die, we
would be children. By knowing it, we
are given the opportunity to mature
in spirit...

Truman turns the page. It's BLANK. He closes the Diary.

We CONTINUE to hear Perry's VOICE as Truman takes out a
SNAPSHOT -- the one of Perry (at age 3) and Linda splashing
in the puddle.

PERRY (V.O.)
Some take that opportunity. I hope I
have...

Truman takes out a PENCIL DRAWING Perry did of him. It's
very good, though Truman looks old and weary in it.

PERRY
Life is only the father of wisdom.
Death is the mother.

Truman finds, at the bottom of the package, his TIE. He takes
it out, clutches it.

Truman grasps for William Shawn's HAND, finds it, holds on
tightly. Shawn sits stoically, hoping no one will notice.

The CAMERA pulls back, up the aisle. Truman clutches the
tie, and holds on to Shawn's hand, for dear life.

FADE TO BLACK.

TITLE UP: (each title fades up in succession)

In Cold Blood made Truman Capote the most famous writer in
America.

He never finished another book.

The epigraph he chose for his last published work reads:
"More tears are shed over answered prayers than unanswered
ones. "

He died in 1984 of complications due to alcoholism.



THE END

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