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In the Heat of the Night

  • Drama
  • Crime/detective
  • 1967
  • Norman Jewison
  • 108 mins
  • 12A

Summary

Oscar-winning crime drama starring Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger. In a small southern town a black stranger is arrested for the murder of a rich industrialist. The bigoted police chief subjects him to an interrogation, only to discover that his suspect is a top homicide cop from Philadelphia.

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Review

A star rating of 5 out of 5.

Winner of five Oscars, including best picture, this powerhouse drama about racial tension in the Deep South was released at the height of the civil rights movement and a year before the assassination of Martin Luther King. Sidney Poitier plays the immaculately dressed Philadelphia cop who is wrongly arrested for murder while changing trains in a small town in Mississippi. His situation is made worse by the fact that the police department is run by Rod Steiger's bigoted police chief. The plot is a set-up, a stacked deck, yet the atmosphere is palpably unpleasant, and Poitier and Steiger have a field day. A major movie for its time, it spawned two further films and a TV series featuring Poitier's character.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
Virgil TibbsSidney Poitier
Bill GillespieRod Steiger
Sam WoodWarren Oates
Mrs Leslie ColbertLee Grant
Harvey OberstScott Wilson
Delores PurdyQuentin Dean
Webb SchubertWilliam Schallert
Mama Caleba aka Mrs BellamyBeah Richards
Packy HarrisonMatt Clark
Ralph HenshawAnthony James
EndicottLarry Gates
PurdyJames Patterson (1)
Philip ColbertJack Teter

Crew

rolename
DirectorNorman Jewison

Details

Theatrical distributor
United Artists Corp. Ltd
Released on
1967-09-01
Languages
English
Guidance
Contains violence and swearing.
Available on
video, DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Colour
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