In the Heat of the Night
In the Heat of the Night (1967)

While traveling in the Deep South, Virgil Tibbs, a black Philadelphia homicide detective, becomes unwittingly embroiled in the murder investigation of a prominent businessman when he is first accused of the crime and then asked to solve it.… More

Directed By:
Rated: G
Running Time:
Release Date: August 2, 1967
DVD Release Date: January 9, 2001
Add Your Rating
Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
User Score

Available Online

Critic Score: 95% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Tense, funny, and thought-provoking all at once, and lifted by strong performances from Sydney Poitier and Rod Steiger, director Norman Jewison's look at murder and racism in small-town America continues to resonate today.

Wanda Hale
New York Daily News

It's a pleasure, all too rare, to watch two splendid actors pitted against each other with equal force such as Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger in the exceptional murder mystery, In the Heat of the Night.

Full review…
A.D. Murphy

An excellent Sidney Poitier performance, and an outstanding one by Rod Steiger, overcome some noteworthy flaws to make In The Heat of the Night an absorbing contemporary murder drama.

Full review…
Margaret Pomeranz
At the Movies (Australia)

The film was important socially because the Civil Rights Act had only come into being in 1964 and implementing it was another matter altogether.

Full review…
Richard Roeper

Social importance aside, In the Heat of the Night works as a buddy film and as a tense thriller.

Full review…
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

A decent piece of do-good cinema.

Full review…
Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing

Quincy Jones provides a score that perfectly complements the flavorful atmosphere.

Full review…
TIME Magazine

No deep solutions are suggested in this subtle and meticulously observed study. Yet Director Norman Jewison has used his camera to extract a cer tain rough-cut beauty from each protagonist.

Full review…
Paul Taylor
Time Out

Oozes sufficient Southern sweat and features enough admirably crumpled character faces to make up for its over-strident liberal rhetoric.

Full review…
Keith Phipps
The Dissolve

Though apart from its handling of race, In The Heat Of The Night's story had a familiar ring, it didn't really look much like the standard fare of 1967.

Full review…
More reviews for In the Heat of the Night

Flixster Audience Score: 92% Flixster User Reviews
Devon Bott
Sidney Poitier stars as Virgil Tibbs, a detective from up north (Philadelphia) who gets stuck in the middle of a murder investigation in small town Sparta,… More
Reid Volk
An interesting film on the changing power dynamics of race relations in the Bible Belt at a time when the nation seemed to be mired in social upheaval. The film… More
xGary Xx
A black homicide detective from the big city becomes embroiled in a murder case in a small backwater town in 1960s Mississippi. A thinly disguised commentary on… More
Dan Schultz
A compelling drama centering on a black detective (Sydney Poitier), who reluctantly takes on a case in the still racist and bigoted South, pairing up with an… More
Jameson Worley
"They call me Mr. Tibbs!" Great film! Not really one i'd call a classic, but this is timeless piece that was completely ahead of it's… More
Aj V
Poitier fights for both justice and racial equality as a police officer in a small southern town, and he's just so intense he makes the movie. The best… More