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Author Topic: In the Heat of the Night (1967)  (Read 3213 times)
Dust Devil
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« on: November 07, 2009, 03:40:11 PM »


http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0061811/


I watched this once as a kid and was like blown away, Steiger and Poitier really impressed me, but after a re-watch I'm not so sure anymore... There are two possible reasons for that: either I'm turning conservative or the movie hasn't aged that well. The message is still powerful and valuable, while the mystery, although not that complex, still holds the water, but the characters somehow seem stale. Like they rotated them one time too many in those 'tense' help me/help me not situations, that in the end go pathetic (when Gillespie tells Tibbs the job is all he has)...

I could watch it again sometimes, but I don't think it'll happen any time soon. Don't think it has that much to offer anymore now that its message isn't that controversial anymore.


7/10

« Last Edit: November 07, 2009, 03:55:27 PM by Dust Devil » Logged



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« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2009, 04:04:36 PM »

Don't think it has that much to offer anymore now that its message isn't that controversial anymore.
And yet it's worth its own thread?

« Last Edit: November 07, 2009, 04:41:42 PM by dave jenkins » Logged


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« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2009, 04:12:18 PM »

Its got Warren Oates that is a plus  Afro

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« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2009, 04:45:39 PM »

And yet it's worth its own thread?

Well, I thought you'll sooner or later need a place to post the new Blu-ray or whatever release... Wink

But seriously now, what was the alternative, just dump in in the endless RTLMYS thread? - Thanks but no thanks.

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« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2009, 04:49:22 PM »

Its got Warren Oates that is a plus  Afro

lol, I actually almost asked who's that fellow that looks like Warren Oates! Good thing I checked on IMDb first. Embarrassed Grin

There's Lee Grant too. Afro

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« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2009, 07:42:41 PM »

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0061811/


I watched this once as a kid and was like blown away, Steiger and Poitier really impressed me, but after a re-watch I'm not so sure anymore... There are two possible reasons for that: either I'm turning conservative or the movie hasn't aged that well. The message is still powerful and valuable, while the mystery, although not that complex, still holds the water, but the characters somehow seem stale. Like they rotated them one time too many in those 'tense' help me/help me not situations, that in the end go pathetic (when Gillespie tells Tibbs the job is all he has)...

I could watch it again sometimes, but I don't think it'll happen any time soon. Don't think it has that much to offer anymore now that its message isn't that controversial anymore.


7/10

I agree one hundred percent with everything you say.

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« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2009, 08:17:49 PM »

Except for the first time, I saw it a number of times always only until Steiger discovers what Tibbs does for a living.

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« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2014, 05:26:29 AM »

Director: Norman Jewison Writers: Stirling Silliphant (screenplay, also wrote Nightfall (1957)  The Lineup(1958), Marlowe (1969 ), John Ball (based on a novel by) Stars: Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates, Lee Grant, Larry Gates, James Patterson, William Schallert, Beah Richards, and Quentin Dean.

In The Heat Of The Night, through Noir shaded glasses a visual review.

Re-watched Oscar Winner (Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium, Best Sound and Best Film Editing) In The Heat Of The Night. Forget about that is was produced at the height of the civil rights struggle becoming a benchmark film that has won accolades world over and look at it terms of a sort of Edward Hopper-esque, color Neo Noir. The compositions and muted colors render practically every scene a visual treat. If you've never seen it you will be pleasantly surprised, with a great Quincy Jones score to boot. 10/10 for me.

Its Noir influences are readily homaged in the 40th Anniversary Issue's menu sequence:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqBrUS3pS3I

Below are composite screen caps that are a visual treat:

Noir-ish


Hopper-esque


Portraits


Compositions


Atmospherics


The great opening sequence with the arrival of the train accompanied by Ray Charles singing In the Heat of the Night you know you are back in Noirsville.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scj4jJA8A0s

« Last Edit: February 07, 2014, 02:04:51 PM by cigar joe » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2014, 05:35:27 PM »

nice work, CJ  Afro

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« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2014, 04:31:47 AM »

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0061811/
 Don't think it has that much to offer anymore now that its message isn't that controversial anymore.

Exactly what I thought, but since I've been on a Crime/Noir binge lately I saw it all from another angle that works for me ;-).

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« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2014, 06:30:58 AM »

Lately??? When are you NOT on a noir binge, CJ? ;-)

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« Reply #11 on: February 11, 2014, 06:35:07 AM »

I don't care about the racial stuff, but this movie is enjoyable for its performances (Steiger, Poitier, Oates) and is nice to look at. 8/10 for me...... Unlike, e.g. CROSSFIRE, this film doesn't go into any explanations of why racism is bad. So it's not preachy. If a film is gonna be about race, I'd rather it depicts racism but doesn't preach about how wrong it is. We know it's wrong (and those who don't think it's wrong, will they become convinced from a movie preacher?)


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« Reply #12 on: February 11, 2014, 07:49:38 AM »

Exactly what I thought, but since I've been on a Crime/Noir binge lately I saw it all from another angle that works for me ;-).

Lee Grant works for me anytime. Wink

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« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2014, 02:07:15 PM »

OK, just finished the John Ball novel the other day that the film was based on. So here is a comparison between John Ball and Stirling Silliphant screenwriter.

A quick summery, in the novel the story takes pace in Wells, South Carolina, Mantoli the murdered man was a composer looking to start an annual music festival rather than an industrialist. The character of Virgil Tibbs remains the same though he is a police officer from Pasadena CA rather than Philly. In the novel the emphasis is more on the Sam Wood/Tibbs conflict/relationship and to a lesser extent on the Gillespie/Tibbs. The film shifts it all to Gillespie/Tibbs. The novel is much more of a policier than is shown in the film with Virgil assembling many more clues and investigating various motives for the murder throughout the length of the book. The examination of the body determined that Mantoli was killed elsewhere. As Virgil explains, in any murder investigation the first thing to do is establish a motive when you determine who might benefit you have at the least a point to start from.

Mantoli's assistant Kaufman, who gains directly from the murder in fame and fortune as his successor to take over the festival is a possible suspect. The murder weapon was found near the site of the festival with the help of black congregation members that Virgil employs to help, suggesting Kaufman again. In the film Endicot replaces Kaufman as the plantation owner who's motive would be the loss of cheap labor with the erection of a factory. In the novel Endicot is a big backer of the festival from up north who wants the murder solved, in the film he is replaced by Lee Grant as the wife of the deceased industrialist who wants the murder solved, and he is not a racist, there is no slap scene.

When Harvey Orberst is brought in Virgil learns about Delores Purdy and her nightly exhibitionism. Then The fact that Ralph the diner counter man seriously accuses an innocent & responsible missle engineer passing through on his way to the Cape as the possible assailant looks like an attempt to muddy the waters anb it puts him under Virgil's scrutiny. Once Ralph & Delores became intimate and she thought herself pregnant she demanded that Ralph help her. Ralph panics because he believes Delores to be only 16 (actually 18) and he feared her father. He thought that if he had enough money he could get her an abortion. So Ralph begins to frantically look for a way out. While Ralph is doing this Delores was hatching her own plan, Ralph was not much of a catch but she though the Sam Wood would be, so she arranged for Sam to see her naked, she felt that she would be irresistible. Once Sam compromised himself with her she could claim him the father.

Sam's false arrest caused Delores to immediately accuse him of intimacies with her since he was in no position to protest. She claimed that Sam would call on her on his way to work which wasn't true. There was one other person who went to work at that hour, Ralph. He was also the other person who would have intimate knowledge of the traffic patterns at the time of the murder. The night of the murder Ralph left early in order to see Dolores, she gave him the ultimatum, Ralph leaves looking for a way out sees Mantoli walking offers him a ride takes him to the festival site to rob him. Ralph accidentally kills him & moves the body into town to make it look like a hit and run. Here is where the title is derived, the heat of the night on the pavement keeps the corpse from loosing heat as fast as it normally would making it appear that the murder occurred later.

There is also a much bigger side story with Jess the mechanic and his family (that proves to be very poignant) that figures into the racist attack against Virgil, in the novel it's only two men who jump him but he dispatches them with ease because Virgil is a jujitsu expert trained at the police academy.

There is no abortionist confrontation, but a confrontation with the Purdy's and Virgil's threat to have Delores examined and blood typed, since it is she who claims that Sam Wood is the father of her child.

There is also another big side story about the romance between Sam Wood & Mantoli's daughter that's jettisoned completely from the film.

All in all both the novel and film are rewarding with Ball fleshing out more characters while Silliphant streamlines the tale, making composites of various characters, and ratcheting up the racial tension for the film that fit the Zeitgeist of the times.

« Last Edit: March 07, 2014, 08:52:16 PM by cigar joe » Logged

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