MGM/UA gives us a non-anamorphic widescreen DVD. Colors are severely dated with a lot of fading present throughout the print. Age related artifacts are everywhere and sometimes distract. Black levels are often weak. Pixelization is primarily responsible for an unstable image. The audio is mono and badly dated as well, strident and poorly balanced. There are no extras.
"In the Heat of the Night" is a classic and esstential film, that should be a part of every film library. The gripping performances by the likes of such class actors as Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates and Lee Grant, the expert direction by Norman Jewison, the camera angles and the music(Quincy Jones) will hold you hostage every second of this compelling story.
It is the mid 1960's and a murder has occured in the small town of Sparta, Mississippi.Virgil Tibbs, a black homicide investigator(Poitier),from the North, who happens to be passing through town, gets caught up in the town's rush to judgement in finding the killer. First he is automatically assumed to be the first and only suspect by the bigoted towns people, then is coerced into staying and helping out on the case when Chief of Police Gillespie(Steiger), realizes who he is.
Each with their own form of prejudices, Tibbs and Gillespie have very differnt ideas about solving the case. They find it is important to put those feelings aside and work together though. Together they fight off the town bigots, and put the pieces of the puzzle together, meeeting adversity every step of the way. The twists and turns of the story will draw you in and keep you.
It is an excellent mystery as well as character studies, and most definatley deserved all the accolades and awards it was honored with. Among the awards it took home at Oscar time were Best Picture(1967), Best Actor(Rod Steiger) and Best Screenplay among others.
I was prepared to go 5 stars on this film, and the film on it's own deserves that at least. The picture has been beautifully transfered to DVD.It is presented in the original theatrical released widescreen (1.85:1).Read more ›
AUTHOR OF "BARRY BONDS: BASEBALL'S SUPERMAN"
The film begins with Bill Gillespie (Rod Steiger) -- sheriff of the small town of Sparta, Mississippi -- investigating the scene where a powerful businessman has been murdered. Gillespie's deputies arrest a traveller named Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier) for the murder simply on the grounds that he is black, but he turns out to be a homicide detective from Philadelphia who was just passing through. After being cleared, Tibbs is anxious to leave Sparta, but Gillespie -- in need of such an expert -- convinces him to stay and help solve the case. And from there, we have our movie.
Besides the story, the main thing "In the Heat of the Night" has going for it are the performances of its lead actors. It would have been incredibly easy to portray Tibbs as a noble black crusader, forced by his innate nobility to offer his help in the face of hatred (Poitier had played this type of good-natured gentleman in many of his other films). It would have been even easier for Gillespie to come off as a mindless racist redneck. Neither description comes anywhere close to describing the characters in this film.Read more ›