The Capote Tapes

USA, 2019
96 minutes, Color
Official website

A remarkable look at both acclaimed author Truman Capote and the particular mid-century New York City high society he chronicled and lived in, Ebs Burnough's The Capote Tapes offers surprises and insights into what commentator Lewis Lapham calls "the beginning of celebrity culture." The film draws heavily on taped interviews done by George Plimpton after Capote's death. We hear from such Capote confidantes and foes as Lauren Bacall, Norman Mailer, William F. Buckley, and Capote's longtime partner Jack Dunphy, to which Burnough adds fresh interviews with Capote's "adopted daughter," model Kate Harrington; novelist Jay McInerney; journalist Dotson Rader; and others. Even reclusive Harper Lee makes a brief appearance. Perhaps finally getting the last word are "the Swans," a bevy of ultra-rich and fashionable wives of the powerful who let Capote into their lives only to have him reveal all their secrets in his never-finished book, Answered Prayers.—Dave Nuttycombe

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