In the Heat of the Night

Both riveting murder mystery and classic fish-out-of-water yarn, Norman Jewison's Oscar-winning In the Heat of the Night represents Hollywood at its wiliest, cloaking exposé in the most entertaining trappings. Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger prove the decade's most formidable antagonists. Poitier plays Virgil Tibbs, an arrogant homicide detective waylaid in Sparta, Mississippi; Steiger, in his bravura Oscar-winning turn, is Bill Gillespie, the town's hardheaded, bigoted sheriff who first arrests Tibbs for murder and then begs for his expertise. As the clues and suspects mount, Gillespie and his deputies develop begrudging respect for the black officer. The first-rate supporting cast includes Lee Grant as the victim's angry widow, Warren Oates as a voyeuristic deputy, William Schallert as the pragmatic mayor, and, in his screen debut, Scott Wilson (In Cold Blood) as an unlucky fugitive. The brilliant widescreen cinematography is by Haskell Wexler, and the scat-music score is by Quincy Jones. Ray Charles wails the blues theme song. --Glenn Lovell

Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
Director(s): Norman Jewison
Production: MGM
  Won 5 Oscars. Another 17 wins & 14 nominations.
 
IMDB:
8.0
Metacritic:
75
Rotten Tomatoes:
96%
PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Year:
1967
109
1,782 Views

Tibbs:
I earned that money, ten hours a day, seven days a week.

Gillespie:
Colored can't earn that kind of money [a few hundred dollars], boy. Hell, that's more than I earn in a month! Now where did you earn it?!

Tibbs:
Philadelphia.

Gillespie:
Mississippi?

Tibbs:
Pennsylvania.

Gillespie:
Now just what do you do up there in little old Pennsylvania to earn that kind of money?

Tibbs:
I'm a police officer.

[After checking Tibbs' wallet, Gillespie is silent for several moments; until now he didn't know his deputies had arrested another law enforcement officer.]

Gillespie:
Wood!

Wood:
[Enters the office] Yes, sir?

Gillespie:
Did you question this man before you brought him in?

Wood:
No, sir.

Gillespie:
Would you mind takin' a look at that?

[Wood checks Tibbs' wallet and finds his police identification. He puts the wallet back down, looking embarrassed.]

Gillespie:
Yeah! Oh, YEAH! Alright, now, I'll check on this wise city boy from Philadelphia; you take 'im outside and hold 'im.

Tibbs:
May I suggest you call my chief rather than send a wire or anything, I mean, it would be quicker, and I'll pay for the call.

Gillespie:
You hear him? You hear him say he'll pay for the call? How much they pay you to do their police work?

Tibbs:
A hundred and sixty-two dollars, and thirty-nine cents per week.

Gillespie:
[Whistles] A hundred and sixty-two dollars and thirty-nine cents a week? Well, boy! Sam, you take him outside but treat him easy, because a man that makes a hundred and sixty-two dollars and thirty-nine cents a week, man, we do not want to ruffle him!

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