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In the Heat of the Night (1967)

Approved | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 25 October 1967 (Argentina)
An African American police detective is asked to investigate a murder in a racially hostile southern town.



(screenplay), (based on a novel by)
4,164 ( 327)

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Won 5 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
James Patterson ...
Mayor Schubert
Mama Caleba
Peter Whitney ...
Kermit Murdock ...
Larry D. Mann ...
Dr. Stuart
Quentin Dean ...


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


They're going to pin something on that smart cop from Philidelphia . . . maybe a medal . . . maybe a murder! See more »


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

25 October 1967 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Al calor de la noche  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$2,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Sound)


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Favorite film of actor Danny Glover. See more »


When Chief Gillespie keeps Virgil at his house they appear to be drinking a bottle of Wild Turkey bourbon. When the Chief gets up and walks out of the room the bottle is not on the table. This occurs just after the Chief tells Mr. Tibbs that he doesn't want his pity. See more »


[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 »


Referenced in The Directors: The Films of Norman Jewison (1999) See more »


In the Heat of the Night
Music by Quincy Jones (uncredited)
Lyrics by Alan Bergman (uncredited) and Marilyn Bergman (uncredited)
Sung by Ray Charles
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

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.

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homosexual overtones?? terref
Tibb's Chief in Philadelphia santo1967
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