8.0/10
59,267
198 user 97 critic

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.

Director:

Norman Jewison

Writers:

Stirling Silliphant (screenplay), John Ball (based on a novel by)
Reviews
Popularity
259 ( 1,669)

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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:
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 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 October 1967 (Argentina) 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)

Gross USA:

$24,379,978
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Sound)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Norman Jewison and Haskell Wexler on the DVD commentary, they originally wanted to use "Lil' Red Ridin' Hood" by Sam the Sham and The Pharaohs in the movie, and this is the song Ralph Henshaw (Anthony James) was dancing to during filming. Unable to license Sam the Sham's song, "Foul Owl on the Prowl" was substituted, composed by Quincy Jones and performed by Boomer & Travis (better known as Owens Boomer Castleman and Michael Martin Murphey). See more »

Goofs

When the sheriff is called to go and see the Mayor at his place of work, Gillespie drives through Sparta and passes an elderly black gentlemen on the sidewalk . He is dressed in a shabby suit wearing a beige V-neck sweater and a hat. You then see the car drive a few hundred yards further into town and in the next shot, a few seconds later the same man is again walking along the sidewalk. 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

Bowlegged Polly
(uncredited)
Music by Quincy Jones
Lyrics by Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman
Performed by Glen Campbell
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A True Landmark Film
22 February 2006 | by waynec50See all my reviews

1967 was a turbulent year in the U S. Civil rights marches and demonstrations, anti-war rallies, the summer of love,psychedelic music and backlash against the previously noted, 1967 had it all. And this great movie came out, about a small Mississippi town embroiled in a steaming hot summer and a sizzling murder case. The movie diverges from the book on many aspects, mostly for the better. This is a serious look at a nation and a community in turmoil. The acting is first rate, from Sidney Poitier (one of the greatest American actors of this generation, regardless of race), Rod Steiger, Lee Grant, Warren Oates and the whole passel of townsfolk. The plot has been well outlined in previous posts, so I won't belabor it. My favorite scene is when Virgil examines the deceased, looking for clues in discoloration, type of wound, etc., while the sheriff looks on with his jaw practically on the floor in amazement. You can plainly see that he wanted to pin the crime on a hitch-hiker or one of the town's less desirable inhabitants. While some may see the film as preachy or presenting Virgil as a superior to the hicks, seen in the context of its time, it really tells a lot about race relations of the time. The movie is well filmed with lots of atmospheric detail of the time and region (even though it was filmed in Illinois, some areas of Illinois and Indiana were very Southern in their feel and outlook). Great acting, a good mystery, fine cinematography and an important theme make this a must-see movie. 10 stars.


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