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In the Heat of the Night [1967 film] (1967)

by Norman Jewison (Director), Stirling Silliphant (Screenwriter)

Other authors: Hal Ashby (Film Editor), John Dudley Ball (Original novel), Alan Bergman (Lyricist), Marilyn Bergman (Lyricist), Ray Charles (Singer)16 more, Quentin Dean (Actor), Larry Gates (Actor), Lee Grant (Actor), Anthony James (Actor), Quincy Jones (Composer), Larry D. Mann (Actor), Peter Masterson (Actor), Kermit Murdock (Actor), Warren Oates (Actor), James Patterson (Actor), Sidney Poitier (Actor), Beah Richards (Actor), William Schallert (Actor), Rod Steiger (Actor), Peter Whitney (Actor), Scott Wilson (Actor)

Series: In the Heat of the Night Films (Film)

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1166183,124 (4.25)1
A small town Southern sheriff finds himself in an uneasy alliance with a big-city black homicide detective as they investigate a murder.

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English (5)  Spanish (1)  All languages (6)
Showing 5 of 5
In the Heat of the Night (1967)

Sidney Poitier – Virgil Tibbs
Rod Steiger – Bill Gillespie

Warren Oates – Sam Wood
Lee Grant – Mrs. Colbert
Larry Gates – Endicott
Scott Wilson – Harvey Oberst
James Patterson – Mr. Purdy
William Schallert – Mayor Schubert
Quentin Dean – Delores
Anthony James – Ralph
Beah Richards – Mama Caleba

Screenplay by Stirling Silliphant, based on the novel (1965) by John Ball
Directed by Norman Jewison

Colour. 110 min.


They call me Mr. Tibbs!

Mr Tibbs is a police officer in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, earning the monumental $162.39 a week. Mr Tibbs is visiting his mother in Sparta, Mississippi. Mr Tibbs becomes involved in a murder investigation while innocently waiting for his train. Mr Tibbs is cool. Mr Tibbs is black. Mr Tibbs gets into a lot trouble. This is the plot in a nutshell of this very fine, sharply written and beautifully acted, combination of murder mystery, film noir and buddy movie.

Sidney Poitier is marvellous, of course, but the movie belongs to Rod Steiger. Bill Gillespie is the King of Sparta. He is the local police chief. He evidently earns much less than $162.39 a week. He comes complete with a Southern accent, a chewing gum, tenacity and temper. He is vulgar. He is cynical. He is almost nasty. But Gillespie is rather more broadminded than the rabid racists around him, as obvious from the sturdy respect he has for Mr Tibbs from the beginning. Gillespie is also shrewd enough to see the unpleasant truth, and bold enough to blurt it. “Man, you’re just like the rest of us”, he says to Mr Tibbs at once place. And he is right. This is where the movie feels unfortunately modern: black people are just as racist as the white, if anything even more so today. They ought to learn something from the curious friendship between Virgil Tibbs and Bill Gillespie. But would they? Well, Mr Tibbs did.

Fantastic supporting cast down to the last cameo, atmospherically sinister cinematography (especially in the numerous night scenes), and a great title song with the unique voice of Ray Charles complete an almost perfect movie. It’s a bit of a slow burner, but give it some time and you’ll have a serious case of bushfire. The ending is a little contrived and rather rushed, but never mind. By the way, I always thought Smokie’s eponymous song would be an even better soundtrack, including the lyrics:

And you ask yourself: is this where you belong,
Is it right or is it wrong
Does it matter what’s right
In the heat of the night.
( )
  Waldstein | Apr 1, 2020 |
Acting: 5.0; Theme: 5.0; Content: 4.5; Language: 3.5: Overall: 5.0; Great picture about a black Philadelphia detective who is dragged into a high profile murder in the predominately white community of Sparta, Mississippi. Great acting, especially by Poitier (Virgil Tibbs) and Steiger (as Sheriff Gillispie). Unfortunately, there were at least fourteen uses of vulgarity (all of the d-word and h-word variety) and several uses of the n-word (which one might expect in this type of movie). There is also one brief scene early in the movie of a woman walking in her house in the nude, but the screen-shot cuts off most of the frontal nudity. Highly recommend with caution for the above mentioned problems with the film. ***June 25, 2018*** (Watched with Jonathan) ( )
  jntjesussaves | Jun 25, 2018 |
An African American police detective is asked to investigate a murder in a racially hostile southern town. (IMDb) ( )
  DrLed | Nov 4, 2017 |
Cinematography by Haskell Wexler, ASC. ( )
  wdjoyner | Feb 4, 2012 |
Udgivet 2. august 2011 af NTC Film 09-1884 / UPC#
  xn--7xa | Dec 3, 2011 |
Showing 5 of 5
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jewison, NormanDirectorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Silliphant, StirlingScreenwritermain authorall editionsconfirmed
Ashby, HalFilm Editorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ball, John DudleyOriginal novelsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bergman, AlanLyricistsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bergman, MarilynLyricistsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Charles, RaySingersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Dean, QuentinActorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gates, LarryActorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Grant, LeeActorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
James, AnthonyActorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jones, QuincyComposersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mann, Larry D.Actorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Masterson, PeterActorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Murdock, KermitActorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Oates, WarrenActorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Patterson, JamesActorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Poitier, SidneyActorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Richards, BeahActorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Schallert, WilliamActorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Steiger, RodActorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Whitney, PeterActorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Wilson, ScottActorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed

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They call me Mr Tibbs.
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This is the work item for the 1967 film; do not combine with any book or any of the work items for the TV series with the same title.
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A small town Southern sheriff finds himself in an uneasy alliance with a big-city black homicide detective as they investigate a murder.

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