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They Call Me Mister Tibbs! (1970)

In San Francisco, a high-priced call girl is murdered and the case is assigned to Police Lieutenant Virgil Tibbs.

Director:

Gordon Douglas

Writers:

Alan Trustman (screenplay) (as Alan R. Trustman), James R. Webb (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Sidney Poitier ... Virgil Tibbs
Martin Landau ... Logan Sharpe
Barbara McNair ... Valerie Tibbs
Anthony Zerbe ... Rice Weedon
Edward Asner ... Woody Garfield
Jeff Corey ... Captain Marden
Norma Crane ... Marge Garfield
Juano Hernandez ... Mealie Williamson
David Sheiner ... Lieutenant Kenner
Beverly Todd ... Puff
Ted Gehring ... Sergeant Deutsch
Linda Towne Linda Towne ... Joy Sturges
Garry Walberg ... Medical Examiner
George Spell George Spell ... Andy Tibbs
Wanda Spell Wanda Spell ... Ginger Tibbs
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Storyline

San Francisco Police Lieutenant Virgil Tibbs is called in to investigate when a liberal street preacher and political candidate is accused of murdering a prostitute. Tibbs is also battling domestic woes, including a frustrated wife and a rebellious adolescent son. Written by Marty McKee <mmckee@wkio.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The last time Virgil Tibbs had a day like this was "In The Heat Of The Night"

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a violent scene with nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 July 1970 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

They Call Me MISTER Tibbs! See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$5,123,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

One of the handful of major Hollywood releases to have an entire word in upper case in the title. See more »

Goofs

The position of Joy Sturges' body and the cloth on it changes between when Mealie finds it and when the police are in the apartment. The police photographs show it as being in the same position as when Mealie found it. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Joy Sturges: Get away from me! Get away from me! Get the hell away from me! I can't even fake it anymore.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Curb Your Enthusiasm: The Larry David Sandwich (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Not so much heat in the night...
24 June 2010 | by LejinkSee all my reviews

Has to be a mistake to take the title of a sequel from the best remembered line of the originating movie - it's almost an admission that the new film can't come up with a comparable phrase. The portent is true, I fear, as Sydney Poitier reprises his Virgil Tibbs role in another would-be tough, adult, socially aware murder-thriller, but already the law of diminishing returns is applying and so "Mr Tibbs" is inferior to its predecessor in almost every way.

In fact it looks and feels like nothing more than a harder-edged TV crime show of the time, no better or worse than say "Ironside", fired as it is by a fine, occasionally quirky Quincy Jones soundtrack and replete with our man's personal problems to flesh out the character. This small-screen feel is exacerbated by the appearance of TV stalwarts Martin Landau, Ed Asner and Anthony Zerbe and it's fair to say the film never rises above the heights of a better than average TV cop-show episode.

It's biggest failing of course is the lack of dramatic tension which existed so memorably between Poitier's proud, methodical coloured detective and Rod Steiger's opinionated, redneck workaday sheriff in "...Heat of The Night". Here the film is centred entirely on Poitier and good actor as he is, his unerring instinct and judgement palls as the film progresses, whilst his relationship with friend, do-good minister but murder suspect Landau, never really takes off either. Indeed the central "whodunnit" just isn't strong enough to drive the action on, whilst Tibbs' various interludes with his family slow down the action still further, especially the ho-hum scenes with his "difficult" son.

The film is dated of course by its politics and attitudes - no crime in that - but it doggedly fails to fly and in the end stays as little in the memory as even the best remembered episode of any Kojak / Columbo episode you care to mention. Waiting in the wings, of course was a different kind of black detective who was a sex-machine to all the chicks, to take the genre further - can you dig it!


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