In the Heat of the Night. 1967. USA. Directed by Norman Jewison. Screenplay by Stirling Silliphant, based on the novel by John Ball. With Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates. DCP. 110 min.
Detective Virgil Tibbs (Poitier), reluctantly dispatched to the small town of Sparta, Mississippi, to investigate a murder, is forced to partner with Chief Gillespie (Steiger), whose views on racial matters are antiquated, to say the least. In the Heat of the Night deals with racism head-on, and however adversarial the situation becomes, Tibbs keeps cool and stands by his convictions. The film won five Academy awards, including Best Picture and a Best Actor statuette for Rod Steiger.