In the Heat of the Night 55th Anniversary presented by TCM
Find Movie Theaters & Showtimesfor
Videos & Photos
Movie Info & Cast
- Sidney Poitier
- Rod Steiger
- Warren Oates
- Quentin Dean
- James Patterson
- William Schallert
- Lee Grant
- Scott Wilson
- Matt Clark
- Anthony James
Atom User Reviews
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!
Deserving of Best Picture Oscar. Perfectly cast with both Poitier and Steiger giving great performances. Screenplay is both a mystery and social commentary of a time and place. The only negative is that digital projection doesn’t do justice to resolution of the 35mm original.
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.
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.
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).