"In The Heat Of The Night" Is Released
In the Heat of the Night is a 1967 film based on the John Ball novel published in 1965, which tells the story of an African-American police detective from Philadelphia who becomes involved in a murder investigation in a racist small town in Mississippi. The film won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor.
The film was followed by two sequels, They Call Me MISTER Tibbs! in 1970, and The Organization in 1971. It also became the basis of a television series entitled In the Heat of the Night, starring Carroll O'Connor, Howard Rollins, Alan Autry, David Hart, Anne-Marie Johnson and Hugh O'Connor.
Although the film was set in the fictional Mississippi town of Sparta (no connection to the real Sparta, Mississippi, an unincorporated community), part of the movie was filmed in Sparta, Illinois, where many of the film's landmarks can still be seen.
The quote "They call me Mister Tibbs!" was listed as #16 on the American Film Institute's AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes, a list of top movie quotes.
The winner of the 1967 Oscar for Best Picture (as well as four other Oscars), In the Heat of the Night is set in a small Mississippi town where an unusual murder has been committed. Rod Steiger plays sheriff Bill Gillespie, a good lawman despite his racial prejudices. When Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier), a well-dressed northern African-American, comes to town, Gillespie instinctively puts him under arrest as a murder suspect. Tibbs reveals himself to be a Philadelphia police detective; after he and Gillespie come to a grudging understanding of one another, Tibbs offers to help in Gillespie's investigation. As the case progresses, both Gillespie and Tibbs betray a tendency to jump to culture-dictated conclusions. Still, the case is solved thanks to the informal teamwork of the two law officers. Based on the novel by John Ball, In the Heat of the Night inspired two sequels, both starring Poiter as Virgil Tibbs. In 1987, a TV series version of In the Heat of the Night appeared, with Carroll O'Connor as Gillespie and Howard Rollins as Tibbs. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide