MOVIEmeter
Top 5000
Up 843 this week

In the Heat of the Night (1967)

Approved  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery  |  14 October 1967 (Japan)
8.0
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.0/10 from 44,315 users  
Reviews: 165 user | 76 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...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 40 titles
created 23 Feb 2013
 
a list of 26 titles
created 21 Mar 2014
 
a list of 26 titles
created 9 months ago
 
a list of 27 titles
created 8 months ago
 
a list of 28 titles
created 4 months ago
 

Related Items

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... 

In the Heat of the Night (1988–1995)
Drama | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

In Sparta, Mississippi, a crusty Police Chief (later Sheriff) and his African American Chief Detective investigate crimes.

Stars: Carroll O'Connor, Alan Autry, David Hart
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A traveling handyman becomes the answer to the prayers of nuns who wish to build a chapel in the desert.

Director: Ralph Nelson
Stars: Sidney Poitier, Lilia Skala, Lisa Mann
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A couple's attitudes are challenged when their daughter introduces them to her African-American fiancé.

Director: Stanley Kramer
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier, Katharine Hepburn
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A naive prostitute and his sickly friend struggle to survive on the streets of New York City.

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, Sylvia Miles
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The story of Thomas More, who stood up to King Henry VIII when the King rejected the Roman Catholic Church to obtain a divorce and remarriage.

Director: Fred Zinnemann
Stars: Paul Scofield, Wendy Hiller, Robert Shaw
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

San Francisco Police Lieutenant Virgil Tibbs is called in to investigate when a liberal street preacher and political candidate is accused of murdering a prostitute. Tibbs is also battling ... See full summary »

Director: Gordon Douglas
Stars: Sidney Poitier, Martin Landau, Barbara McNair
Patton (1970)
Certificate: GP Biography | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

The World War II phase of the career of the controversial American general, George S. Patton.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
Stars: George C. Scott, Karl Malden, Stephen Young
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A pair of NYC cops in the Narcotics Bureau stumble onto a drug smuggling job with a French connection.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Gene Hackman, Roy Scheider, Fernando Rey
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Two escaped convicts chained together, white and black, must learn to get along in order to elude capture.

Director: Stanley Kramer
Stars: Tony Curtis, Sidney Poitier, Theodore Bikel
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

The accidental death of the older son of an affluent family deeply strains the relationships among the bitter mother, the good-natured father, and the guilt-ridden younger son.

Director: Robert Redford
Stars: Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, Judd Hirsch
Tom Jones (1963)
Adventure | Comedy | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

In eighteenth century England, "first cousins" Tom Jones and Master Blifil grew up together in privilege in the western countryside, but could not be more different in nature. Tom, the ... See full summary »

Director: Tony Richardson
Stars: Albert Finney, Susannah York, George Devine
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

After a group of young revolutionaries break into a corporation's headquarters and steal $5,000,000 worth of heroin to keep it off the street, they call on San Francisco Police Lieutenant ... See full summary »

Director: Don Medford
Stars: Sidney Poitier, Barbara McNair, Gerald S. O'Loughlin
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
...
Mrs. Colbert
Larry Gates ...
Endicott
James Patterson ...
...
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:

Al calor de la noche  »

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

The slapping scene between Det. Tibbs and Endicott was shot in just two takes, and the slaps the characters made to each other's faces were real, according to a detailed account Norman Jewison, provided in 2011. Jewison let Larry Gates rehearse by slapping him because Jewison wanted to be sure that Gates could slap hard enough. See more »

Goofs

Though the film takes place during a Mississippi summer, the exhaust of the patrol car can be seen briefly as condensed vapor as they drive up to Endicott's house. The only way this would be possible in the daytime is if the temperature outside was cold, which it was because the film was actually shot in Illinois during the fall. 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 »

Crazy Credits

No uppercase ("capital") letters are used in the opening and closing credits, including the film's title, cast and characters, crew and job titles, and company credits. See more »

Connections

Followed by The Organization (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

In the Heat of the Night
Music by Quincy Jones (uncredited)
Lyrics by Alan Bergman (uncredited) and Marilyn Bergman (uncredited)
Sung by Ray Charles
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
"They call me Mister Tibbs!"
7 September 2004 | by (Not Texas) – See all my reviews

Whether he likes it or not, Sidney Poitier will always be remembered first and foremost as the first black actor to continuously star alongside and above his white counterparts. Just look at the opening credits to "In the Heat of the Night" and you will see that not only does he get an above the title starring credit with method maniac Rod Steiger, but his name also appears first. Something that could have easily been switched around and overlooked considering the importance of each character. But for this socially aware thriller born of the turbulent sixties, it had to be, most definitely, a conscious choice.

For Poitier, this film, along with "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner?", marks the last of his civil rights driven roles in which his character's race is an all important plot element. From "Edge of the City" to "The Defiant Ones", Poitier excelled in bringing intelligent and commanding three dimensional characters to life. A feat he had to succeed at if his films were to gain the trust of a predominantly white audience and push for racial equality. Call him the Jackie Robinson of Hollywood.

When we first see Poitier as Virgil Tibbs, he is stepping off the train in the small Mississippi town of Sparta. Although we can only see him from the waist down, we do get a quick glimpse of his hand and from that we are aware of his race. An important fact for the audience to dwell on later when Rod Steiger as sheriff Gillespie, standing over a dead body on Main Street, and calls for his deputy to round up any strangers for questioning. From that moment on, director Norman Jewison establishes the racial tension that will only grow more and more intense as the film goes on.

Sometimes, the film is far from subtle in exploring the issue of racism. Endicott's plantation, complete with tall white pillars and a black jockey lawn ornament to guard them, is a perfect example. What starts off as a surprisingly civil conversation between Tibbs and Endicott quickly turns heated and unpredictable. From that moment on, the experience will serve to cloud Tibbs' judgment and bring his own flaws to the surface, making him almost as complex a character as Gillespie.

And it is the complexity of Gillespie that got Steiger the Best Actor Oscar over Poitier in 1968. This man has heart, but not made of gold, and his motivations are far from pure. He is simply a man who believes in doing his job, and doing it as just as possible - even if it means arresting a friend for murder. Take for an example the scene in which Tibbs is surrounded by a gang of blood thirsty locals. When Gillespie arrives to save the day, he simply gives them a warning and tells them to go home. It is only when they insult him personally that he becomes angry and takes a swing. His action is just - his motivation almost vain.

In the end, after the murder is solved and racial injustice is swept back under the rug, Tibbs and Gillespie say their farewells and continue on with their very different lives. Each one better off for knowing the other.

Rating [on a 5 star system] : 5 stars


72 of 84 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
homosexual overtones?? terref
Where did Portier go after this film? kag2-1
Endicott's servant fnj2002
Rod Steiger 's performance...and TV series question frabas1974
Lee Grant's hair vikkisings
How Did Ralph Get Back To Work? smitovsky
Discuss In the Heat of the Night (1967) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?