Hey look, another movie I wanted to watch because of a singular famous line that I saw on some primetime AFI show.
In the Heat of the Night, both the film and the novel it was based on, were part of the first major creative output aimed at tackling the issue of race in the modern 1960’s workplace. Add to this problem the ideals and values of a normal, if backwoods, small town in the South, and there is a major conflict brewing.
The main issue of racism that is present at the heart of the film has somehow managed to stay relevant today. It mostly does this by using the bigotry in a very overt manner. This helps to keep the main conflict fresh for several generations.
A great story about a northern homicide detective and a southern sheriff pushed into working together for something they know is right. They have to team up to solve the murder of an important businessman in the small town of Sparta, Mississippi. Along the way, they work to squash the menacing bigotry of the town’s residents.
Sydney Poitier is the straight-laced detective Virgil Tibbs opposite the down-home Sheriff Gillespie played by Rod Steiger. Both of them carry their complicated characters well through controversial scenes, adding to the final product.
Even if it wasn’t filmed on a location anywhere close to the actual South, it is still able to fit the bill well. Some of the editing techniques make a few of the scenes disorientating, but there are only a few.
Not too much here other than fairly bumpin’, if stereotypical, cop movie soundtrack.
A great flick. Even if it gets a bit long in the middle, it’s still an interesting study in race politics, as well as a good detective movie.
A good watch if you like anything I’ve talked about in this review.