Having not seen In the Heat of the Night before, I approached it with high hopes. It had won many awards, including five Oscars, and has a very respectable rating on IMDB. The film is also something of a landmark, with its intelligent Black American protagonist, Mr Tibbs, fronting up to police chief Bill Gillespie and the wider racist community. Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger are both masterly in their respective roles, and the slapping of plantation owner Eric Endicott by Tibbs is satisfying indeed, and must have raised merry Hell back in its day. But despite being quite a compelling human drama, I found the murder mystery plot quite messy and unconvincing, increasingly so towards the end. I came away underwhelmed and wondering if its notoriety has outshone its merits. That said, I'm probably intrigued enough to check out the sequels They Call Me MISTER Tibbs! and The Organization sometime.
The editor of Now or Never! mulls over a selection on cinematic oddities for your amusement. More about Tug