IMDb > In the Heat of the Night (1967)
In the Heat of the Night
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In the Heat of the Night (1967) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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8.0/10   42,294 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
Stirling Silliphant (screenplay)
John Ball (based on a novel by)
Contact:
View company contact information for In the Heat of the Night on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
14 October 1967 (Japan) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
They call me Mister Tibbs See more »
Plot:
An African American police detective is asked to investigate a murder in a racially hostile southern town. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won 5 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 12 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
"They call me Mister Tibbs!" See more (161 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Sidney Poitier ... Virgil Tibbs

Rod Steiger ... Gillespie

Warren Oates ... Sam Wood

Lee Grant ... Mrs. Colbert
Larry Gates ... Endicott
James Patterson ... Mr. Purdy

William Schallert ... Mayor Schubert

Beah Richards ... Mama Caleba
Peter Whitney ... Courtney
Kermit Murdock ... Henderson
Larry D. Mann ... Watkins

Matt Clark ... Packy

Arthur Malet ... Ulam
Fred Stewart ... Dr. Stuart
Quentin Dean ... Delores

Scott Wilson ... Harvey Oberst
Timothy Scott ... Shagbag
William Watson ... McNeil (as William C. Watson)
Eldon Quick ... Charles Hawthorne

Stuart Nisbet ... Shuie
Khalil Bezaleel ... Jess

Peter Masterson ... Fryer
Jester Hairston ... Butler
Phil Adams ... 1st Tough
Nikita Knatz ... 2nd Tough
Sam Reese ... Clerk
Anthony James ... Ralph
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Buzz Barton ... Conductor (uncredited)
Philip Garris ... Engineer (uncredited)
Clegg Hoyt ... Deputy (uncredited)
Warren Kenner ... Undetermined Role (uncredited)
Michael LeGlaire ... City Councilman (uncredited)

Alan Oppenheimer ... Ted Appleton (uncredited)
David Stinehart ... Baggage Master (uncredited)
Jack Teter ... Philip Colbert - Murder Victim (uncredited)

Directed by
Norman Jewison 
 
Writing credits
Stirling Silliphant (screenplay)

John Ball (based on a novel by)

Produced by
Walter Mirisch .... producer
 
Original Music by
Quincy Jones (music by)
 
Cinematography by
Haskell Wexler (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Hal Ashby (film editor)
 
Casting by
Lynn Stalmaster 
 
Art Direction by
Paul Groesse 
 
Set Decoration by
Robert Priestley 
 
Costume Design by
Alan Levine (uncredited)
 
Makeup Department
Del Armstrong .... makeup
 
Production Management
Jim Henderling .... production manager (as James E. Henderling)
Howard Joslin .... unit production manager (as J. Howard Joslin)
Allen K. Wood .... production supervisor
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Newt Arnold .... second assistant director (as Newton Arnold)
Terry Morse Jr. .... first assistant director
 
Art Department
Stephen R. Ferry .... property
Joseph Musso .... production illustrator (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Walter Goss .... sound
Clem Portman .... rerecordist
James Richard .... sound editor
Kevin F. Cleary .... sound (uncredited)
Charles Cooper .... sound (uncredited)
 
Stunts
John Moio .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Ralph Gerling .... camera operator (uncredited)
Ross A. Maehl .... gaffer (uncredited)
Morris Rosen .... key grip (uncredited)
Don Stott .... gaffer (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Alan Levine .... costumer: men
 
Editorial Department
Byron 'Buzz' Brandt .... assistant film editor (as Byron Brandt)
 
Music Department
Alan Bergman .... song lyrics
Marilyn Bergman .... song lyrics
Richard Carruth .... music editor
 
Other crew
Hal Ashby .... assistant to the producer
Murray Naidich .... titles
Meta Rebner .... script supervisor
Wayne Fitzgerald .... title designer (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
109 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Sound)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:M | Brazil:12 | Canada:PG (Manitoba/Ontario) | Canada:A (Nova Scotia) | Canada:G (Quebec) | Finland:K-16 | France:U | Iceland:16 | Netherlands:14 (orginal rating) | Norway:16 (1968) | Singapore:PG | South Africa:(Banned) | South Africa:A (re-rating) | Spain:18 | Sweden:15 | UK:12 | USA:Approved (Suggested for Mature Audiences) | USA:TV-14 (TV rating) | West Germany:12
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The movie's line "They call me Mister Tibbs!" was voted as the #76 of "The 100 Greatest Movie Lines" by Premiere in 2007.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: While inspecting the body in the morgue, Tibbs inspects the left hand and after placing the hand down the body takes a short breath of air.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 »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in "The Boondocks: Pause (#3.8)" (2010)See more »
Soundtrack:
Bowlegged PollySee more »

FAQ

What was Gillespie chewing on throughout the whole film?
How did the osmundia branch figure into the killing?
How was the final scene shot?
See more »
72 out of 84 people found the following review useful.
"They call me Mister Tibbs!", 7 September 2004
Author: CJGlowacki (cjglowacki@yahoo.com) from Not Texas

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

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for In the Heat of the Night (1967)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Rod Steiger 's performance...and TV series question frabas1974
homosexual overtones?? terref
Lee Grant's hair vikkisings
Endicott's servant fnj2002
Where did Portier go after this film? kag2-1
Sam Wood working for Gillespie. curlew-2
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