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 Sparta’s 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 Wexler’s vivid cinematography, Quincy Jones’s eclectic score, and two indelible lead performances—a 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 enduring Hollywood films of the civil rights era.
Presented in partnership with The Sidney Poitier New American Film School at ASU.This screening is introducted by Reina Higashitani. An Assistant Professor at the Sidney Poitier New American Film School at ASU. She teaches Directing and Film Productions courses. She has produced over forty narrative films, TV documentaries, and media projects. She is committed to educating new visual storytellers with passion and an inclusive mindset. More information about her work is at https://www.un-nun.com/