In the Heat of the Night 55th Anniversary presented by TCM

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Movie Info & Cast


Fathom Events, Turner Classic Movies, Park Circus and MGM are bringing In the Heat of the Night to select cinemas on October 17 & 19, including exclusive insights from TCM. While traveling in the Deep South, Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier), a black Philadelphian homicide detective, becomes unwittingly embroiled in the murder investigation of a prominent businessman. Finding the killer, however, proves difficult when his efforts are constantly thwarted by the bigoted town sheriff (Rod Steiger). But neither man can solve this case alone. Putting aside their differences and prejudices, they join forces in a desperate race against time to discover the shocking truth.


  • Sidney Poitier
  • Rod Steiger
  • Warren Oates
  • Quentin Dean
  • James Patterson
  • William Schallert
  • Lee Grant
  • Scott Wilson
  • Matt Clark
  • Anthony James

Atom User Reviews

4.8 out of 5
Verified Review

Apparently I had never seen the whole movie before. Was quite surprised. Knew the song, knew some outtakes, but not the movie. Was a great film. And having grown up and lived through those times and those prejudices, was a nice reflection back on the history of my life.

Lance B
Verified Review

Excellent acting! Steiger and Poitier played their parts well, feeding the intensity of their characters and making the storyline really reflect the time in history!

Kim O


Jan 23, 2014

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.

Metacritic review by Keith Phipps
Keith Phipps
The Dissolve

Yes, it’s a thriller with a murder mystery at the heart of it. But “whodunnit” is immaterial to the film’s thrills, and the one thing I seem to forget every time I watch it anew.

Metacritic review by Roger Moore
Roger Moore
Movie Nation

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).

Metacritic review by Peter Bradshaw
Peter Bradshaw
The Guardian