In The Heat Of The Night

Superb thriller starring Rod Steiger in an Oscar-winning role as Bill Gillespie, a shrewd southern sheriff, and Sidney Poitier as Virgil Tibbs, a sensitive, intellectual detective from the big city. When a wealthy industrialist is murdered in the little town of Sparta, Mississippi, a well-dressed black stranger is arrested while waiting at the train station....read more

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Superb thriller starring Rod Steiger in an Oscar-winning role as Bill Gillespie, a shrewd southern sheriff, and Sidney Poitier as Virgil Tibbs, a sensitive, intellectual detective from the big city. When a wealthy industrialist is murdered in the little town of Sparta, Mississippi, a

well-dressed black stranger is arrested while waiting at the train station. The stranger, Tibbs, identifies himself as a Philadelphia policeman, and, under orders from his superiors up north, assists Gillespie in his investigation. Gillespie grudgingly accepts his assistance and protects him from

brutal attacks by local rednecks, and the two grow to admire each other as they confront red herrings and racism en route to identifying the killer.

IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT was carefully directed by Norman Jewison, who avoids sentimentality and all the racial cliches that could have crept into almost every scene. As a result, his film won the Academy's Best Picture Award, shocking many when it was chosen over BONNIE AND CLYDE and THE

GRADUATE. Steiger's performance is subtle, funny, sad, and fascinating, and Poitier demonstrates the same superb talent he would bring to THEY CALL ME MR. TIBBS and THE ORGANIZATION. Lee Grant is also good as the hysterical widow. The film was shot in Illinois and Tennessee, the latter standing in

for Mississippi.

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Superb thriller starring Rod Steiger in an Oscar-winning role as Bill Gillespie, a shrewd southern sheriff, and Sidney Poitier as Virgil Tibbs, a sensitive, intellectual detective from the big city. When a wealthy industrialist is murdered in the little to… (more)

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