7.9/10
65,304
224 user 108 critic

In the Heat of the Night (1967)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 2 August 1967 (USA)
Trailer
2:46 | Trailer
A black police detective is asked to investigate a murder in a racially hostile southern town.

Director:

Norman Jewison

Writers:

Stirling Silliphant (screenplay), John Ball (based on a novel by)
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Popularity
2,403 ( 35)
Won 5 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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
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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're going to pin something on that smart cop from Philidelphia . . . maybe a medal . . . maybe a murder! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Walter Mirisch used creative accounting to prove to United Artists that the film would make a profit even if it did not play in the South at all. See more »

Goofs

When Det. Virgil Tibbs is at the train station, and Police Chief Bill Gillespie comes back to get him, in the wide shot there is a dog slinking along the building. When they close in, the dog is gone. 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

Referenced in Vampire in Brooklyn (1995) 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 »

User Reviews

 
provocative then, still dramatic now
28 November 2010 | by mjneu59See all my reviews

It's ironic that a decades-old feature should remind us how best to conduct a murder investigation in the redneck, rural South. Without losing sight of the important peripheral issues (namely bigotry and discrimination), the film concentrates on what ought to be (but usually isn't) the primary concern of any murder mystery: the mystery itself, revealed here in a compelling series of puzzling clues. It's too bad the resolution is weakened by so many plot twists, and by the anti-climactic final unmasking of the killer (in a throwaway gesture resembling a white trash variation of "the butler did it"). But any narrative gaps are well covered by the pair of dynamic star performances. The salt-and-pepper pairing of racial opposites on the same side of the law has long since become a tired cliché, but nothing about the roles is black and white: not Rod Steiger's jaundiced perceptions, nor Sidney Poitier's obsession with solving a crime which has nothing to do with him.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 August 1967 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

In the Heat of the Night See more »

Filming Locations:

Belleville, Illinois, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$27,669
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Sound)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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