In the Heat of the Night (film): Wikis

Advertisements
  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In the Heat of the Night

original movie poster
Directed by Norman Jewison
Produced by Walter Mirisch
Written by John Ball (novel)
Stirling Silliphant (screenplay)
Starring Sidney Poitier
Rod Steiger
Lee Grant
Music by Quincy Jones
Cinematography Haskell Wexler, ASC
Editing by Hal Ashby
Studio The Mirisch Corporation
Distributed by United Artists
Release date(s) August 2, 1967
Running time 109 min.
Country United States
Language English
Gross revenue $27,379,978
Followed by They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!

In the Heat of the Night is a 1967 film based on the John Ball novel published in 1965, which tells the story of an African-American police detective from Philadelphia who becomes involved in a murder investigation in a racist small town in Mississippi. The film won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor. It starred Sidney Poitier, Warren Oates, and Rod Steiger, and was directed by Norman Jewison.

The film was followed by two sequels, They Call Me MISTER Tibbs! in 1970, and The Organization in 1971. It also became the basis of a television series entitled In the Heat of the Night, starring Carroll O'Connor, Howard Rollins, Alan Autry, David Hart, Anne-Marie Johnson, and Hugh O'Connor.

Although the film was set in the fictional Mississippi town of Sparta (with supposedly no connection to the real Sparta, Mississippi, an unincorporated community), part of the movie was filmed in Sparta, Illinois, where many of the film's landmarks can still be seen. The quote "They call me Mister Tibbs!" was listed as #16 on the American Film Institute's AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes, a list of top film quotes.

Contents

Plot

Philip Colbert, a wealthy man from Chicago who was planning to build a factory in Sparta, Mississippi, is found murdered. Police Chief Bill Gillespie comes under pressure to quickly find his killer. African-American northerner Virgil Tibbs, passing through, is picked up at the train station with a substantial amount of cash in his wallet. Gillespie, heavily prejudiced against blacks, jumps to the conclusion he has his culprit, but is embarrassed to learn that Tibbs is a respected Philadelphia homicide detective who had been visiting his mother. After the racist treatment he receives, Tibbs wants nothing more than to leave as quickly as possible, but his captain recommends he stay and help. The victim's widow, already frustrated by the ineptitude of the local police, is impressed by Tibb's expert ability when he clears another wrongly-accused suspect Gillespie has arrested on flimsy evidence. She threatens to stop construction on the much-needed factory unless he leads the investigation. Unwilling to accept help but under orders from the town's mayor, Gillespie talks Tibbs into lending his services.

Despite the rocky start to their relationship, the two policemen come to respect each other as they are forced to work together to solve the crime. Tibbs initially suspects wealthy plantation owner Eric Endicott, who opposed the new factory. When he attempts to interrogate Endicott about Colbert, Endicott slaps him in the face. Tibbs slaps him back, which leads to Endicott sending a gang of hooligans after Tibbs. Gillespie rescues him from the fight, and orders him to leave town for his own safety. Tibbs refuses to leave until he has solved the case.

Tibbs asks Sam Wood, the officer who discovered the body, to retrace his steps the night of the murder. He and Gillespie accompany Sam on his patrol route, stopping at a diner where the counterman, Ralph Henshaw, refuses to serve Tibbs. When Tibbs notices that Sam has deliberately changed his route, Gillespie begins to suspect Sam of the crime. When he discovers that Sam made a sizable deposit into his bank account the day after the murder (which Sam claims is gambling winnings) and Lloyd Purdy, a local, files charges against Sam for getting his 16-year-old sister Delores pregnant, Gillespie arrests Sam for the murder, despite Tibbs' protests. Purdy is insulted that Tibbs, a black man, assisted his sister interrogation about her sexual encounter with Sam, and gathers a mob to get his revenge on Tibbs.

Tibbs is able to clear Sam by finding the original murder scene and pointing out that Sam would not have been able to drive two cars at the same time to dump the body and the victim's car while continuing on his patrol. Acting on a hunch, he tracks down the local back-room abortionist, who reveals that someone has paid for Delores Purdy to have an abortion. When Delores arrives, Tibbs pursues her outside, where he is confronted by the murderer, the diner counterman Ralph Henshaw. Purdy's mob tracks down Tibbs at this moment, and he is being held at gunpoint when he proves to Purdy that it was Ralph, not Sam, who got Delores pregnant. Purdy attacks Sam, who kills him in self-defense. He is arrested, and confesses to the murder of Colbert. He had attempted to rob Colbert to gain money to pay for Delores' abortion but accidentally killed him.

His job done, Tibbs finally boards the train out of town, seen off by a more respectful Gillespie.

Cast

Production

The film contains the famous scene in which Tibbs and Gillespie visit the home of Eric Endicott to question him, following Tibbs' discovery of trace evidence in the murder victim's car. Upon discovering that Tibbs is suggesting he murdered Colbert, Endicott slaps Tibbs. Tibbs slaps him back. Tibbs' action was originally omitted from the screenplay, which stayed true to the novel with Tibbs not reacting to the slap. However when Sidney Poitier read the script he was uncomfortable with that reaction as it wasn't true to the values his parents instilled in him. He requested that the producers alter the scene to Tibbs slapping Endicott back. This was important due to the ongoing battle for civil rights, which was still raging in 1967 despite the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Also, this was one of the first times in any major motion picture where a black man reacted to provocation from a white man in such a way. Referring to the scene Poitier said: "[The scene] was almost not there. I said, 'I'll tell you what, I'll make this movie for you if you give me your absolute guarantee when he slaps me I slap him right back and you guarantee that it will play in every version of this movie.'

"I try not to do things that are against nature. I stayed away from films that didn't speak well of my values. I could only say yes to films if I passed it by my dad. I passed it by my father because I did not want ever to make a film that would not reflect positively on my father's life."

Following the slapping scene, Tibbs storms off and tells Gillespie that he is determined to get Endicott for the murder: "I can pull that fat cat down. I can bring him right off this hill!", to which the bemused police chief answers "Oh, boy. Man, you're just like the rest of us, ain't ya?"

The film contains two classic lines read by Poitier. When Gillespie sarcastically asks Tibbs what they call him in Philadelphia, he snaps, "They call me Mister Tibbs." Later, having deduced that the murderer is diner counterman Ralph Henshaw (introduced killing flies in the first scene of the film) and not police officer Sam Wood, Tibbs says, "Sam couldn't have driven two cars."

Reception

In contrast to films like The Chase and Hurry Sundown, which offered confused visions of the South, In the Heat of the Night offered a tough, edgy vision of a Southern town that seemed to hate outsiders more than itself, a theme reflecting the uncertain mood of the time as the Civil Rights Movement attemped to take hold. On this count, the film became an overnight superhit, especially with the talents of Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger in place. While he made this film, Poitier also contributed his efforts to Civil Rights functions devised by Dr. Martin Luther King. Roger Ebert gave In the Heat of the Night a positive review and placed it at number ten on his top ten list of films that year. AD Murphy of Variety magazine felt it was a good, but uneven film.[1]

Awards

In the Heat of the Night was nominated for seven Academy Awards, winning five. They are as follows:

Advertisements

Academy Award wins

Academy Award nominations

Other wins and nominations are:

Wins

Nominations

American Film Institute recognition

See also

References

  1. ^ Later, Poitier did the sequels They Call Me MISTER Tibbs and The Organization, but both films failed at the box offfice.Variety review, 1967

External links

Awards
Preceded by
A Man for All Seasons
Academy Award for Best Picture
1967
Succeeded by
Oliver!

In the Heat of the Night
Directed by Norman Jewison
Produced by Walter Mirisch
Screenplay by Stirling Silliphant
Story by John Ball (novel)
Starring Sidney Poitier
Rod Steiger
Lee Grant
Music by Quincy Jones, vocals Ray Charles
Cinematography Haskell Wexler, ASC
Editing by Hal Ashby
Studio The Mirisch Corporation
Distributed by United Artists
Release date(s) August 2, 1967 (1967-08-02)
Running time 109 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $2 million
Gross revenue $27,379,978
Followed by They Call Me MISTER Tibbs!

In the Heat of the Night is a 1967 film based on the John Ball novel published in 1965, which tells the story of an African-American police detective from Philadelphia who becomes involved in a murder investigation in a racist small town in Mississippi. The film won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor. It starred Sidney Poitier, Warren Oates, and Rod Steiger, and was directed by Norman Jewison.

The film was followed by two sequels, They Call Me MISTER Tibbs! in 1970, and The Organization in 1971. It also became the basis of a television series entitled In the Heat of the Night, starring Carroll O'Connor, Howard Rollins, Alan Autry, David Hart, Anne-Marie Johnson, and Hugh O'Connor.

Although the film was set in the fictional Mississippi town of Sparta (with supposedly no connection to the real Sparta, Mississippi, an unincorporated community), part of the movie was filmed in Sparta, Illinois, where many of the film's landmarks can still be seen. The quote "They call me Mister Tibbs!" was listed as #16 on the American Film Institute's AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes, a list of top film quotes.

Contents

Plot

Philip Colbert, a wealthy man from Chicago who was planning to build a factory in Sparta, Mississippi, is found murdered. Police Chief Bill Gillespie (Rod Steiger) comes under pressure to quickly find his killer. African-American northerner Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier), passing through, is picked up at the train station with a substantial amount of cash in his wallet. Gillespie, heavily prejudiced against blacks, jumps to the conclusion he has his culprit, but is embarrassed to learn that Tibbs is a respected Philadelphia homicide detective who had been visiting his mother. After the racist treatment he receives, Tibbs wants nothing more than to leave as quickly as possible, but his captain recommends he stay and help. The victim's widow, already frustrated by the ineptitude of the local police, is impressed by Tibbs' expert ability when he clears another wrongly-accused suspect Gillespie has arrested on flimsy evidence. She threatens to stop construction on the much-needed factory unless he leads the investigation. Unwilling to accept help but under orders from the town's mayor, Gillespie talks Tibbs into lending his services.

Despite the rocky start to their relationship, the two policemen come to respect each other as they are forced to work together to solve the crime. Tibbs initially suspects wealthy plantation owner Eric Endicott, who opposed the new factory. When he attempts to interrogate Endicott about Colbert, Endicott slaps him in the face. Tibbs slaps him back, which leads to Endicott sending a gang of hooligans after Tibbs. Gillespie rescues him from the fight, and orders him to leave town for his own safety. Tibbs refuses to leave until he has solved the case.

Tibbs asks Sam Wood, the officer who discovered the body, to retrace his steps the night of the murder. He and Gillespie accompany Sam on his patrol route, stopping at a diner where the counterman, Ralph Henshaw, refuses to serve Tibbs. When Tibbs notices that Sam has deliberately changed his route, Gillespie begins to suspect Sam of the crime. When he discovers that Sam made a sizable deposit into his bank account the day after the murder (which Sam claims is gambling winnings) and Lloyd Purdy, a local, files charges against Sam for getting his 16-year-old sister Delores pregnant, Gillespie arrests Sam for the murder, despite Tibbs' protests. Purdy is insulted that Tibbs, a black man, was present for his sister's interrogation about her sexual encounter with Sam, and gathers a mob to get his revenge on Tibbs.

Tibbs is able to clear Sam by finding the original murder scene and pointing out that Sam would not have been able to drive two cars at the same time to dump the body and the victim's car while continuing on his patrol. Acting on a hunch, he tracks down the local back-room abortionist, who reveals that someone has paid for Delores Purdy to have an abortion. When Delores arrives, Tibbs pursues her outside, where he is confronted by the murderer, the diner counterman Ralph Henshaw. Purdy's mob tracks down Tibbs at this moment, and he is being held at gunpoint when he proves to Purdy that it was Ralph, not Sam, who got Delores pregnant. Purdy attacks Ralph, who kills him in self-defense. He is arrested, and confesses to the murder of Colbert. He had attempted to rob Colbert to gain money to pay for Delores' abortion but accidentally killed him.

His job done, Tibbs finally boards the Gulf, Mobile & Ohio train out of town, seen off by a more respectful Gillespie.

Cast

Production

The film contains the famous scene in which Tibbs and Gillespie visit the home of Eric Endicott to question him, following Tibbs' discovery of trace evidence in the murder victim's car. Upon discovering that Tibbs is suggesting he murdered Colbert, Endicott slaps Tibbs. Tibbs slaps him back. Tibbs' action was originally omitted from the screenplay, which stayed true to the novel with Tibbs not reacting to the slap. However when Sidney Poitier read the script he was uncomfortable with that reaction as it wasn't true to the values his parents instilled in him. He requested that the producers alter the scene to Tibbs slapping Endicott back. This was important due to the ongoing battle for civil rights, which was still raging in 1967 despite the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Also, this was one of the first times in any major motion picture where a black man reacted to provocation from a white man in such a way. Referring to the scene Poitier said: "[The scene] was almost not there. I said, 'I'll tell you what, I'll make this movie for you if you give me your absolute guarantee when he slaps me I slap him right back and you guarantee that it will play in every version of this movie.'

"I try not to do things that are against nature. I stayed away from films that didn't speak well of my values. I could only say yes to films if I passed it by my dad. I passed it by my father because I did not want ever to make a film that would not reflect positively on my father's life."

This version of the story seems to be a bit of publicity fiction, and is contradicted by Mark Harris in his meticulously researched book "Pictures at a Revolution". In the book Harris states that Stirling Silliphant's original draft contained both slaps, which is backed up by Jewison and Silliphant, and Harris states that copies of the original draft he obtained clearly contain the scene.

Following the slapping scene, Tibbs storms off and tells Gillespie that he is determined to get Endicott for the murder: "I can pull that fat cat down. I can bring him right off this hill!" to which the bemused police chief answers "Oh, boy. Man, you're just like the rest of us, ain't ya?"

The film contains two classic lines read by Poitier. When Gillespie sarcastically asks Tibbs what they call him in Philadelphia, he snaps, "They call me Mister Tibbs." Later, having deduced that the murderer is diner counterman Ralph Henshaw (introduced killing flies in the first scene of the film) and not police officer Sam Wood, Tibbs says, "Sam couldn't have driven two cars." At the very end of the film, as Poitier is boarding a train to leave the town, the last lines are read by Steiger, and sum the growth of their relationship, yet maintaining the standard of the South. He said, "You take care now, Virgil," words to give support to the budding civil rights movement, exemplifying that, with effort, racial divides are capable of being overcome.

Reception

In contrast to films like The Chase and Hurry Sundown, which offered confused visions of the South, In the Heat of the Night offered a tough, edgy vision of a Southern town that seemed to hate outsiders more than itself, a theme reflecting the uncertain mood of the time as the Civil Rights Movement attempted to take hold. On this count, the film became an overnight hit, especially with the talents of Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger in place. While he made this film, Poitier also contributed his efforts to Civil Rights functions devised by Dr. Martin Luther King. Then-freshman critic Roger Ebert gave In the Heat of the Night a positive review and placed it at number ten on his top ten list of films that year. AD Murphy of Variety magazine felt it was a good, but uneven film.[1]

Awards

In the Heat of the Night was nominated for seven Academy Awards, winning five. They are as follows:

Academy Award wins

Academy Award nominations

Other wins and nominations are:

Other Wins

Other Nominations

American Film Institute recognition

  • AFI's 100 Years…100 Movies (10th Anniversary Edition) #75
  • AFI's 100 Years…100 Cheers #21
  • AFI's 100 Years…100 Movie Quotes #16
  • AFI's 100 Years…100 Heroes and Villains
    • Virgil Tibbs, Hero #19

See also

References

  1. ^ Later, Poitier did the sequels They Call Me MISTER Tibbs and The Organization, but both films failed at the box office.Variety review, 1967

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

In the Heat of the Night is an American Academy Award winning 1967 film starring Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger, based on the John Ball novel published in 1965, which tells the story of a Northern Black police detective who becomes involved in a murder investigation in a racist small town in Mississippi.

Quotes



  • Gillespie: I got the motive which is money, and the body which is dead.

External links


Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message