MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Down 363 this week

In the Heat of the Night (1967)

8.0
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.0/10 from 39,752 users  
Reviews: 146 user | 74 critic

An African American police detective is asked to investigate a murder in a racially hostile southern town.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (based on a novel by)
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 03 Apr 2011
 
a list of 42 titles
created 09 Jul 2011
 
a list of 40 titles
created 03 Mar 2013
 
a list of 25 titles
created 6 months ago
 
a list of 36 titles
created 2 months ago
 

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: In the Heat of the Night (1967)

In the Heat of the Night (1967) on IMDb 8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of In the Heat of the Night.

User Polls

Won 5 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Mystic River (2003)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

With a childhood tragedy that overshadowed their lives, three men are reunited by circumstance when one loses a daughter.

Director: Clint Eastwood
Stars: Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Two FBI agents with wildly different styles arrive in Mississippi to investigate the disappearance of some civil rights activists.

Director: Alan Parker
Stars: Gene Hackman, Willem Dafoe, Frances McDormand
Chinatown (1974)
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

A private detective hired to expose an adulterer finds himself caught up in a web of deceit, corruption and murder.

Director: Roman Polanski
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Faye Dunaway, John Huston
Le Samouraï (1967)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Things suddenly go badly for a successful French assassin.

Director: Jean-Pierre Melville
Stars: Alain Delon, Nathalie Delon, François Périer
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A Russian teenager living in London who dies during childbirth leaves clues to a midwife in her journal that could tie her child to a rape involving a violent Russian mob family.

Director: David Cronenberg
Stars: Naomi Watts, Viggo Mortensen, Armin Mueller-Stahl
Drama | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

An intellectually nonconformist monk investigates a series of mysterious deaths in an isolated abbey.

Director: Jean-Jacques Annaud
Stars: Sean Connery, Christian Slater, Helmut Qualtinger
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Neo military lawyer Kaffee defends Marines accused of murder; they contend they were acting under orders.

Director: Rob Reiner
Stars: Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore
Insomnia (2002)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Two Los Angeles homicide detectives are dispatched to a northern town where the sun doesn't set to investigate the methodical murder of a local teen.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Al Pacino, Robin Williams, Hilary Swank
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In 1986, in the province of Gyunggi, in South Korea, a second young and beautiful woman is found dead, raped and tied and gagged with her underwear. Detective Park Doo-Man and Detective Cho... See full summary »

Director: Joon-ho Bong
Stars: Kang-ho Song, Sang-kyung Kim, Roe-ha Kim
Se7en (1995)
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Two detectives, a rookie and a veteran, hunt a serial killer who uses the seven deadly sins as his modus operandi.

Director: David Fincher
Stars: Morgan Freeman, Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

As corruption grows in 1950s LA, three policemen - the straight-laced, the brutal, and the sleazy - investigate a series of murders with their own brand of justice.

Director: Curtis Hanson
Stars: Kevin Spacey, Russell Crowe, Guy Pearce
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Harold, a prosperous English gangster, is about to close a lucrative new deal when bombs start showing up in very inconvenient places. A mysterious syndicate is trying to muscle in on his ... See full summary »

Director: John Mackenzie
Stars: Bob Hoskins, Helen Mirren, Dave King
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Mrs. Colbert
Larry Gates ...
Endicott
James Patterson ...
Mr. Purdy
...
Mayor Schubert
...
Mama Caleba
Peter Whitney ...
Courtney
Kermit Murdock ...
Henderson
Larry D. Mann ...
Watkins
...
Packy
...
Ulam
Fred Stewart ...
Dr. Stuart
Quentin Dean ...
Delores
Edit

Storyline

Detective Virgil Tibbs is caught up in the racial tension of the US South when he is arrested after the murder of a prominent businessman. Tibbs was simply waiting for his next train at the station in Sparta, Mississippi and the confusion is soon resolved but when local police chief Gillespie learns that Tibbs is the Philadelphia PD's number one homicide expert, he reluctantly asks for his assistance. The murdered man, Mr. Colbert, had come to Sparta from the North to build a new factory and his wife and business associates immediately point the finger at Endicott, the most powerful man in the county and the one who had the most to lose if a major new employer comes to the area. Tibbs' life is clearly in danger but he perseveres in a highly charged and racially explosive environment until the killer is found. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

They call me Mister Tibbs See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 October 1967 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

In the Heat of the Night  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Sound)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

George C. Scott was the first choice to play Chief Gillespie but he was unavailable due to The Flim-Flam Man (1967). See more »

Goofs

After Wood tosses Tibbs' wallet on Gillespie's desk, the pattern of the money sticking out of it changes several times between shots. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ofcr. Sam Wood: Where you keeping the pie tonight?
Ralph Henshaw, diner counterman: I ate the last piece just before you came in.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In: Episode #1.9 (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

It Sure Is Groovy!
(uncredited)
Music by Quincy Jones
Lyrics by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman
Performed by Gil Bernal
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Through The Mississippi Darkness
3 January 2008 | by (Dallas, Texas) – See all my reviews

Gritty realism and a strong performance by Rod Steiger rev up the technical quality of this taut drama about a visiting Northern Black detective named Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier) who gets nailed as a suspect, foolishly, in the murder of a local VIP, in a small town in Mississippi. Eventually, the town's White police chief, the gum chewing Gillespie (Rod Steiger), accepts Tibbs' innocence. And the two of them then work together, reluctantly, to solve the case.

Forty years after the film was made, the racial themes seem just a tad heavy-handed. Whites are always backward and racist. And Tibbs is smart, urbane, and sophisticated. But back in the 1960s, the filmmaker probably did need to be blunt. And the point is made that Blacks and Whites, working together, can accomplish worthy aims, even though old Black Joe is still pickin' cotton at the Endicott Cotton Company.

As a whodunit, the story is fairly good, convenient coincidences notwithstanding. The clue to the killer's identity is pleasantly subtle.

The film's cinematography and production design are terrific. Many scenes take place at night. And the opaque lighting makes for a moody, slightly dangerous look and feel. Loved how they photographed that train moving down the tracks in the Mississippi darkness, a metaphor related to the film's theme. And the sound of a train whistle adds to the mournful realism.

Interiors look authentic. The masking tape that covers rips in a big leather chair in Gillespie's shabby office is so true to life. A single white light bulb hangs down from the ceiling in a small neighborhood grocery store, where the shelves are filled with empty fruit jars. And that greasy spoon called Comptons reeks of 1960's Southern rural reality.

My only complaint with this film is the background music. Some of the jukebox songs are not consistent with the film's overall tone.

"In The Heat Of The Night" is a technically well made, and quite interesting, murder mystery. Yet, it will always be remembered, rightfully, as the film that offered hope of racial harmony, during a decade in which there was none. Its "Best Picture" Oscar award is thus explained.


23 of 26 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Where did Portier go after this film? kag2-1
Endicott's servant fnj2002
Rod Steiger 's performance...and TV series question frabas1974
favourite scene Stampsfightclub
What is 'Matching nickels and dimes'? kttimlin
Anybody know circumstances of Quentin Dean's Death? ltremaine
Discuss In the Heat of the Night (1967) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?