This iconic film has lost none of its impact. Career best performances by Sidney Poitier as Virgil Tibbs and Rod Steiger as police chief Bill Gillespie portray the interracial tensions which have been so crippling in American society. Tibbs, a detective from a northern state, is wrongly suspected of the murder of a white man and arrested while travelling in the South. When the Mississippi police realise their error, Tibbs is called upon to assist them in their investigation, which he reluctantly agrees to do. “In 1967 Poitier said ‘the kind of Negro played on the screen was always negative, buffoons, clowns, shuffling butlers, really misfits. This was the background when I came along 20 years ago and I chose not to be a party to the stereotyping.'” theguardian.com.
Dir: Norman Jewison 109mins USA 1967