Passing through the backwoods town of Sparta, Mississippi, Philadelphia detective Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier) becomes embroiled in a murder case. He forms an uneasy alliance with the bigoted police chief (Rod Steiger), who faces mounting pressure from Spartaâs hostile citizens to catch the killer and run the African American interloper out of town. Director Norman Jewison splices incisive social commentary into this thrilling police procedural with the help of Haskell Wexlerâs vivid cinematography, Quincy Jonesâs eclectic score, and two indelible lead performancesâa career-defining display of seething indignation and moral authority from Poitier and an Oscar-winning master class in Method acting from Steiger. Winner of five Academy Awards, including for best picture, In the Heat of the Night is one of the most courageous Hollywood films of the civil rights era.
New interview with director Norman Jewison
New interview with actor Lee Grant
New interview with Aram Goudsouzian, author of Sidney Poitier: Man, Actor, Icon
Audio commentary from 2008 featuring Norman Jewison, Lee Grant, actor Rod Steiger, and cinematographer Haskell Wexler
Turning Up the Heat: Movie-Making in the â60s, a 2008 program about the production of the film and its legacy, featuring Norman Jewison, Haskell Wexler, producer Walter Mirisch, and filmmakers John Singleton and Reginald Hudlin
Quincy Jones: Breaking New Sound, a 2008 program about Jonesâs innovative soundtrack, including its title song sung by Ray Charles, featuring interviews with Quincy Jones, lyricists Alan Bergman and Marilyn Bergman, and musician Herbie Hancock