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In the Heat of the Night

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Original title
In the Heat of the Night
Running time
109 min.
United States United States
Stirling Silliphant (Novel: John Ball)
Quincy Jones
Haskell Wexler
, , , , , , , ,
The Mirisch Corporation
Thriller. Mystery. Drama | Small Town Life (North-american). Southern Gothic. Racism
Synopsis / Plot
When a prominent local businessman is found murdered in the tiny southern town of Sparta, Mississippi, Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier) gets picked up at the train station as a potential suspect, having essentially three strikes against him: he’s black, he’s a stranger, and he’s carrying a good amount of cash. Nobody bothers to question him until he’s brought before the police chief, Bill Gillespie (Rod Steiger), where it is embarrassingly learned that Tibbs is a Philadelphia homicide cop. After a phone call to his boss, and for reasons never made entirely clear, Tibbs ends up working on the very murder he was accused of, alongside the very men who accused him! It’s clear from the get go that these good old southern boys haven’t had much experience in homicide cases, and Tibbs brings a scientific and logical expertise that both baffles and intimidates the white officers.
1967: 5 Academy Awards: Movie, Actor (Rod Steiger), Adapted Screenplay, Sound, Editing. 7 Nominations
1967: 3 Golden Globes, including Best Movie - Drama. 6 nominations
1967: BAFTA Awards: Best Foreign Actor (Rod Steiger). 3 Nominations
1967: New York Film Critics Circle: Best Film & Actor (Rod Steiger)
1967: Directors Guild of America (DGA): Nominated for Best Director
1967: Writers Guild of America (WGA): Nominated for Best Drama Screenplay
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