In the Heat of the Night

Oscar-winning thriller about the bigoted sheriff in a small Mississippi cotton town who finds himself forced into collaboration with a black homicide expert from Philadelphia. Sparta, Mississippi is a small, quiet town broiling on a steamy September night. At the train station Virgil Tibbs, a solitary black man from out of town, is arrested for the murder of a rich northern industrialist. Police chief Gillespie has no experience of a murder inquiry and subjects Tibbs to a bigoted, insolent interrogation. But when Tibbs reveals himself to be a top city homicide cop, his is just the assistance Gillespie can do without.


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  • Virgil Tibbs Sidney Poitier
  • Bill Gillespie Rod Steiger
  • Sam Wood Warren Oates
  • Leslie Colbert Lee Grant
  • Harvey Oberst Scott Wilson
  • Dolores Purdy Quentin Dean
  • Purdy James Patterson
  • Webb Schubert William Schallert
  • Mrs Leslie Colbert Lee Grant
  • Packy Harrison Matt Clark
  • Ralph Henshaw Anthony James
  • Director Norman Jewison
  • Producer Walter Mirisch
  • Writer Stirling Silliphant