This docudrama recreates a real life crime in which an entire family was brutally murdered by wandering gunmen. While on the run, the gunmen face not only the realities of their terrible crime but also their own earthly impermanence.
In contrast to Capote, whose obsessive documentation of the pair's every act betrays his fear than he (and his readers) could well do something similar, Brooks explains and sympathises away their act as being unique to them.
Chief among the film's distinctions are the beautiful gloom of Conrad Hall's monochromatic cinematography... There are the fearless, wonderfully contrasting performances by Robert Blake and Scott Wilson as the sociopathic killers.