24 user 12 critic

The Organization (1971)

PG-13 | | Action, Crime, Drama | 19 October 1971 (USA)
In San Francisco, Police Lieutenant Virgil Tibbs helps a group of idealistic vigilantes expose a drug ring controlled by powerful businessmen.


Don Medford


James R. Webb, John Ball (character)
1 nomination. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Sidney Poitier ... Virgil Tibbs
Barbara McNair ... Valerie Tibbs
Gerald S. O'Loughlin ... Jack Pecora
Sheree North ... Mrs. Morgan
Fred Beir ... Bob Alford
Allen Garfield ... Benjy
Bernie Hamilton ... Lt. Jessop
Graham Jarvis ... William Martin
Raul Julia ... Juan Mendoza
Ron O'Neal ... Joe Peralez
James A. Watson Jr. ... Stacy Baker
Charles H. Gray ... George Morgan - Night Watchman
Jarion Monroe ... Larry French
Daniel J. Travanti ... Sgt. Chassman (as Dan Travanty)
Billy Green Bush ... Dave Thomas (as Billy 'Green' Bush)


After a group of young revolutionaries break into a corporation's headquarters and steal $5,000,000 worth of heroin to keep it off the street, they call on San Francisco Police Lieutenant Virgil Tibbs for assistance. Though sympathetic to their cause, the straight-arrow Tibbs refuses to consider it because they broke the law, but when the group is then accused of a murder it didn't commit, Tibbs finally joins them in order to ferret out the identity of the real killer, while keeping his now rogue undercover investigation a secret from his SFPD superiors. Written by Marty McKee <mmckee@wkio.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The Toughest Cop Has The Guts To Take On "THE ORGANIZATION."

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for drug related material and some violence | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


The tunnel scene is filmed in the BART tunnel which can be seen still under construction. It would begin service the following year, Sept. 1972. See more »


When Tibbs chases the "thugs" into the subway, he's being shot at. When he dives away behind some oil barrels, the trolley on which the camera is mounted shows up for a second or so. See more »


[first lines]
Juan Mendoza: This time we're gonna drop you and I'm not fooling.
See more »


Follows In the Heat of the Night (1967) See more »

User Reviews

the awesome sidney poitier does it again
12 October 2019 | by ksf-2See all my reviews

Part three of the Mister Tibbs detective chapters. Sidney Poitier in another who-dunnit, this time in san francisco. which was also the setting for his "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" ! After a huge heroin robbery, Tibbs is brought in to figure out what's going on. Graham Jarvis is the employee "Martin". he was awesome in New Leaf and What's Up Doc ? Max Gail (Barney Miller) is in here as Rudy. keep an eye out for Daniel Travanti from "Hill Street Blues." and from The Rookies, Gerald O'Loughlin. those actors will be in all kinds of cop shows. Tibbs isn't sure who to trust, so he starts keeping secrets from his own boss, and from Narcotics, when they get involved. of course, that makes it look like HE was the guilty party. it's all pretty well done. quite rare, that a third chapter could be so good. Directed by Don Medford. he did mostly television after this one. Not bad.

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Release Date:

19 October 1971 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Organization See more »


Box Office

Gross USA:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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