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In the Heat of the Night


8 November 2022


Oscar: 5 Including best picture 1967

Dan was selected by the scrote to kick off the new season. He had difficulty finding a film he could stream and getting hold of an actual DVD seemed a bit old fashioned. In the Heat of the Night was an excellent choice - famous for the quote "They call me Mr Tibbs". Sidney Poitier plays a police officer visiting his mum in Mississippi. Unfortunately, a murder is discovered in town and the local police look for likely suspects and find Mr Tibbs waiting for a train. Unaware that he is a police officer and based on the fact that he is black he is arrested. The local police chief soon realises that he has the wrong person when he realises that he is in fact a homicide detective from Philadelphia. Since Mr Tibbs has by now missed his train he has nothing better to do than reluctantly offer to help solve the murder.

Sidney Poitier insisted that the movie be filmed in the North because of an incident in which he and Harry Belafonte were almost killed by Ku Klux Klansmen during a visit to Mississippi. That's why Sparta, IL, was chosen for location filming. Nevertheless, the filmmakers and actors did venture briefly into Tennessee for the outdoor scenes at the cotton plantation, because there was no similar cotton plantation in Illinois that could be used. Poitier slept with a gun under his pillow during production in Tennessee. He did receive threats from local racist thugs, so the shoot was cut short and production returned to Illinois.

Dan hosted the film and provided some dubious French brie along with some excellent Bordeaux wines made at a vineyard where he had previously worked nearly 40 years ago.

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