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In The Heat Of The Night (1967)

They got a murder on their hands . . . they don't know what to do with it.

Original Title : In the Heat of the Night
Director : Norman Jewison
Writer : John Ball
Stirling Silliphant
Genre : Drama
Mystery
Country : USA
Language : English
Producer : Walter Mirisch
Music : Quincy Jones
Photography : Haskell Wexler
IMDB ID : 0061811
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poster for "In The Heat Of The Night" by Norman Jewison (1967)
In The Heat Of The Night (1967) - Norman Jewison
 

Starring

Sidney Poitier Det. Virgil Tibbs
Rod Steiger Police Chief Bill Gillespie
Warren Oates Off. Sam Wood
Lee Grant Mrs. Leslie Colbert
Larry Gates Eric Endicott
James Patterson Purdy (Delores' brother
William Schallert Mayor Webb Schubert
Beah Richards Mama Caleba, aka Mrs. Bellamy
Peter Whitney Off. George Courtney
Kermit Murdock H.E. Henderson (banker
Larry D. Mann Watkins
Matt Clark Packy Harrison (pool hall operator
Arthur Malet Ted Ulam (mortician
Fred Stewart Dr. Stuart
Quentin Dean Delores Purdy
Scott Wilson Harvey Oberst (murder suspect
Timothy Scott Off. 'Shagbag' Martin
William Watson Off. Harold Courtney (as William C. Watson
Eldon Quick Charlie Hawthorne (photographer
Stuart Nisbet Shuie
Khalil Bezaleel Jess (black mechanic
Peter Masterson Off. Arnold Fryer
Jester Hairston Henry (Endicott's butler
Phil Adams Tough
Nikita Knatz Tough
Sammy Reese Clerk
Anthony James Ralph Henshaw (diner counterman
Buzz Barton Conductor (uncredited
Philip Garris Engineer (uncredited
Clegg Hoyt Deputy (uncredited
Warren Kenner (uncredited
Michael LeGlaire City Councilman (uncredited
Alan Oppenheimer Ted Appleton (uncredited
David Stinehart Baggage master (uncredited
Jack Teter Philip Colbert (murder victim
 

Plot

Virgil Tibbs is a Philadelphia Homicide detective home to see his mother in the rural south. He is arrested on general principles when a rich white man is found dead, and Tibbs' being Black is enough reason. When his identity is established, his boss offers his services to the small town sheriff who has little experience with murder investigations. As the two policemen learn how to work together, they begin to make progress on the crime. After a wealthy northern factory owner is murdered, racist Mississippi cops accuse African American Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier) of the crime. Once they learn that he is a renowned Philadelphia homicide detective, they reluctantly seek his help. As Tibbs displays his skills as a detective, he begins to win the respect, protection, and ultimately friendship of the Police Chief Bill Gillepsie (Rod Steiger).
 

Comments

The Perfect American Murder Mystery Rod Steiger won best actor, deserved it, and was matched eyebrow for eyebrow by Sidney Poitier's Unforgettable Creation of Mr. Virgil Tibbs, police detective.The supporting cast is perfect, with Beah Richards, William Prince, and Scott Wilson as special standouts.The dialogue by Siliphant is crisply written, the direction by Jewison is non-pareil, and the mystery is difficult and resolves things perfectly.As an overall American mystery, I must vote for this even over the Maltese Falcon (which of course is also great).Forget the hit-and-miss TV spin-off and treat yourself to the real thing.
 
poster for "In The Heat Of The Night"
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In The Heat Of The Night (1967) - Norman Jewison
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