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In the Heat of the Night (1967)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Mystery | 25 October 1967 (Argentina)
An African American police detective is asked to investigate a murder in a racially hostile southern town.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (based on a novel by)
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Won 5 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Virgil Tibbs
... Gillespie
... Sam Wood
... Mrs. Colbert
... Endicott
... Mr. Purdy
... Mayor Schubert
... Mama Caleba
... Courtney
... Henderson
... Watkins
... Packy
... Ulam
... Dr. Stuart
... 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 got a murder on their hands . . . they don't know what to do with it. See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 October 1967 (Argentina)  »

Also Known As:

Al calor de la noche  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$24,379,978
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Sound)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

10 years earlier, Poitier and William Schallert had stared in another film about racial issues called, "Band of Angels". See more »

Goofs

In Gillespie's first scene he is trying to get the air conditioner to blow harder in his office. He reaches up and gives the knob a good sized turn, only when his hand pulls back the knob is still in it's original position. 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 The Passion: Films, Faith & Fury (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Foul Owl on the Prowl
(uncredited)
Music by Quincy Jones
Lyrics by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman
Performed by Owens Boomer Castleman and Michael Martin Murphey
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Well-Crafted Murder Mystery With A Twist
3 December 2006 | by See all my reviews

IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT is a well-crafted murder mystery with a twist. Sidney Poitier is a big city detective wrongfully arrested by a racist small police detachment after the brutal murder of the town's would-be financial savior. Once the matter is resolved and Poitier released, he finds himself aiding his former captors, including Police Chief Rod Steiger, in their quest to get to the bottom of the crime.

An Academy Award winner for Best Picture, IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT works on so many levels. It's a solid, unpredictable whodunit with beautiful cinematography and crisp direction from Norman Jewison. All the actors are on top of their games, particularly Steiger, whose not-entirely-likable chief gradually looks past his prejudices to warm up to Poitier. Poitier is his usual superb self, once again maintaining his vast dignity as the target of bigotry, much like he did in THE DEFIANT ONES.

And like THE DEFIANT ONES, a key theme in IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT is racism. In fact the racism on display here is so fierce and perverse that it's almost hard to believe (though I'm sure it didn't stretch a thing). You can't help but feel an emotional attachment to Poitier as he's subjected to taunts, attempted attacks, and off-color remarks from those who either don't realize the power of their words or don't care. Poitier proves again why he is perhaps the finest African-American actor ever to grace the screen.

IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT is one of those movies that, while not perfect, is impossible to dislike. It's classic, though still relevant, entertainment.


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