In the Heat of the Night

Norman Jewison (director)
John Ball (novel)
Stirling Silliphant (screenwriter)
Sidney Poitier, Rod Stieger, Lee Grant, Warren Oates (starring)

Beverly Hills, CA: United Artists, 1967. Vintage reference photograph from the 1967 film, showing actors Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger. United Artists stamp on the verso.

Based on John Ball's 1965 novel. An African American police detective from Philadelphia is recruited to help solve a murder in a small, bigoted Mississippi town. The film dealt skillfully with the topic of race relations in the South during the Civil Rights movement, and included a controversial scene in which a white actor, Larry Gates, slaps Poitier in the face, at which point Poitier slaps him right back. It was said you could determine the racial makeup of a theater by their verbal reaction to the scene: cheers for a predominantly Black audience, or whispers for a predominantly white one.

Winner of five Academy Awards including Best Picture, and nominated for two others.

Though set in the fictional town of Sparta, Mississippi, Poitier refused to travel below the Mason-Dixon Line, so the film was shot largely in Illinois.

10 x 8 inches. Near Fine.

National Film Registry. Penzler 101.

[Book #158495]