In the Heat of the Night

In the Heat of the Night

Directed by Norman Jewison • 1967 • United States
Starring Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates

Passing through the backwoods town of Sparta, Mississippi, Philadelphia detective Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier) becomes embroiled in a murder case. He forms an uneasy alliance with the bigoted police chief (Rod Steiger), who faces mounting pressure from Sparta’s hostile citizens to catch the killer and run the African American interloper out of town. Director Norman Jewison splices incisive social commentary into this thrilling police procedural with the help of Haskell Wexler’s vivid cinematography, Quincy Jones’s eclectic score, and two indelible lead performances—a career-defining display of seething indignation and moral authority from Poitier and an Oscar-winning master class in Method acting from Steiger. Winner of five Academy Awards, including for best picture, IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT is one of the most enduring Hollywood films of the civil rights era.

In the Heat of the Night
  • In the Heat of the Night

    Directed by Norman Jewison • 1967 • United States
    Starring Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates

    Passing through the backwoods town of Sparta, Mississippi, Philadelphia detective Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier) becomes embroiled in a murder case. He forms an uneasy alliance with the bigoted po...

Extras

  • IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT Commentary

    This audio commentary, featuring director Norman Jewison, cinematographer Haskell Wexler, and actors Rod Steiger and Lee Grant, was recorded in 2008.

  • Norman Jewison on IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT

    The following interview with director Norman Jewison was recorded in Toronto in October 2018.

  • Sidney Poitier on IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT

    The following segment is from an interview with actor Sidney Poitier that was included in the American Film Institute’s “100 Years . . . 100 Cheers” television special, about the one hundred most inspiring films of all time, which originally aired on June 14, 2006.

  • Lee Grant on IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT

    The following interview with actor Lee Grant was recorded in New York in September 2018.

  • Aram Goudsouzian on IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT

    The following interview with Aram Goudsouzian, chair of the history department at the University of Memphis and author of “Sidney Poitier: Man, Actor, Icon,” was recorded in Memphis, Tennessee, in October 2018.

  • Turning Up the Heat: Movie-Making in the 60's

    This 2008 program, featuring interviews with director Norman Jewison, producer Walter Mirisch, and filmmakers John Singleton and Reginald Hudlin, provides an in-depth look at the production of IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT and its legacy.

  • Quincy Jones: Breaking New Sound

    This 2008 program on IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT’s innovative soundtrack by Quincy Jones, including its title song as performed by Ray Charles, features interviews with Jones, lyricists Alan and Marilyn Bergman, and musician Herbie Hancock.