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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In the Heat of the Night -- While traveling in the Deep South, Virgil Tibbs, a black Philadelphia homicide detective, becomes unwittingly embroiled in the murder investigation of a prominent businessman when he is first accused of the crime and then asked to solve it! Finding the killer proves to be difficult, however, especially when his efforts are constantly thwarted by the bigoted town sheriff (Steiger). But neither man can solve this case alone. Putting aside their differences and prejudices, they join forces in a desperate race against time to discover the shocking truth


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Up 22% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Stirling Silliphant (screenplay)
John Ball (based on a novel by)
View company contact information for In the Heat of the Night on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
14 October 1967 (Japan) See more »
They call me Mister Tibbs See more »
An African American police detective is asked to investigate a murder in a racially hostile southern town. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Won 5 Oscars. Another 18 wins & 12 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
The essence of modern-day film noir See more (167 total) »


  (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 
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)
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 .... lyrics by
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

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
109 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Sound)
Argentina:13 | Australia:M | Brazil:12 | Canada:PG (Manitoba/Ontario) | Canada:A (Nova Scotia) | Canada:G (Quebec) | Finland:K-16 | France:U | Germany:12 | 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?

When Norman Jewison and his editor Hal Ashby attended a sneak preview for the film, they found that the young audience was laughing uproariously at the dialogue. Although Jewison was upset that his dramatic film was not being taken seriously, Ashby assured him that the audience was laughing in approval of the southern sheriff being put in his place by the confident and urbane Det. Virgil Tibbs. Jewison did not agree until the film got to the famous slapping scene; when the white audience was stunned at seeing an African American man physically fight back against a white man for the first time in a modern mainstream American film, Jewison was convinced the film was effective as drama.See more »
Revealing mistakes: When Virgil is in the morgue helping examine the corpse, the clock on the wall stays on the same time throughout the discussions and examinations.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 »
Movie Connections:
It Sure Is Groovy!See more »


Where was "In the Heat of the Night" filmed?
How was the final scene shot?
How does the movie end?
See more »
28 out of 35 people found the following review useful.
The essence of modern-day film noir, 4 May 2006
Author: robb_772 from United States

One of the best films of all time, a Best Picture Oscar winner, and a highly deserved one at that. After reading a plot summary, it would be easy for someone to classify Norman Jewison's IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT as a simple buddy-cop movie, but it is so much more - this is film-making at it's finest. An absolutely merciless mystery, NIGHT contains some incredibly intense scenes that might make some viewers uncomfortable (the garage confrontation comes immediately to mind).

The film is expertly put together, with the feel of heady film noir. The performances are first rate: both Poitier and Rod Steiger were nominated for Best Actor, with the Oscar actually going home to Steiger (the film won four other Oscars as well). The Poitier-Steiger pairing is one of the most potent in film history, and their slowly growing friendship is one of the most touching. is a glowing example of what happens when an excellent cast, director, and screenplay combine to make an exceptional film.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (167 total) »

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
How did the victim and Ralph get together? ematerso
Top Rod Steiger Film kag2-1
Question about Sam Wood and Delores Purdy add2718
How Did Ralph Get Back To Work? smitovsky
Endicott crying ricardito-1
homosexual overtones?? terref
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