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In The Heat of the Night (1967)

In The Heat of the Night (1967)


Sidney Poitier
Rod Steiger
Warren Oates

Directed by Norman Jewison

I don’t know why I just heard about this movie, it is one movie that I sure liked so much that I’m going to tell everybody I know to go see it.

They call me Mister Tibbs! Is the memorable phrase in this movie, and then there is the groundbreaking scene in the movie that got a huge support from black people, the scene where Sidney Poitier slapped a white man for daring to strike him. I had to rewind and watch that scene like twice before I was satisfied.

Sidney Poitier was just too much in this movie and I felt that he was denied the Academy Award for Best Actor, which went to Rod Steiger (a white man) instead, I guess after Poitier had won the Best Actor award in 1963 for Lilies of the Field, and also being the first black man to do so they didn’t want him to win it a second time.
You just need to see this movie and ask yourself, “why will the supporting actor win the best actor award?” It is just ridiculous.

No matter, it didn’t hold this movie down in any way; the movie is a masterpiece I just could not believe how it turned out from the way it started, while watching you have to bear in mind the limitations of being black in the 60s, and how one man’s tenacious spirit to bring a white man down, led him to solving a murder and getting two innocent people off murder charges.

In the Heat of the Night is based on a 1965 book of the same name by John Ball, and it tells the story of Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier) a black police detective from Philadelphia who was passing through a small town called Sparta in Mississippi.

While there, a man was killed and a patrol man who was just driving around saw him at the train station and arrested him as the suspect, all because he was black.
In the police station, the Police Chief (Rod Steiger) also believed he was the culprit because Tibbs had a huge amount of money on him, and he was not known in the town.

But the chief was embarrassed when he found out that Tibbs was a police detective and was rated the best homicide detective in Philadelphia. The Police Chief in Philadelphia commanded Tibbs to stay behind and help, which Tibbs didn’t want to and the Sparta Police Chief didn’t want him to either. But Tibbs stayed, and boy did he make the local police in Sparta look like a bunch of school kids.

The movie was both a critical and a commercial success and I tell you, you have to see this movie it is one of the best films that there is out there. There is no slack in the story nor is there any slack in the acting, it was pure and true.


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