In the Heat of the Night 55th Anniversary presented by TCM
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- James Patterson
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Though the film portrays the racism of the South as institutional and inescapable, it’s a little too eager to offer glimmers of hope with increasing frequency as the film nears its end and Tibbs and Gillespie come to understand each other better.
The sheer tactlessness of its racial confrontation has a forthright quality and a not entirely intentional documentary realism, especially in the scenes shot on location in Sparta, Illinois (standing in for a fictional Mississippi town).