was the second and final sequel to 1967's In the Heat of the Night
and sees Sidney Poitier's homicide detective Virgil Tibbs called in to investigate the murder of a factory manager. In a lengthy, dialogue-free opening (the film's best sequence), it appears that we are witnessing the culprits in action. However, this group turns out to be a gang of idealistic young vigilantes who knew that the factory was a front for an international drugs cartel--the Organization of the title--and have made off with a haul of heroin secreted there. Suspected of the manager's murder, they meet Tibbs and seek his cooperation. He agrees to help them, pitting himself not only against the Organization but his own police department.
Set in San Franscisco, The Organization invites invidious comparisons with Bullitt: its somewhat cheesy contemporary soundtrack, derived from Miles Davis' Bitches Brew, certainly marks it as a piece of its period, as do the occasionally less-than-convincing action sequences, risible acting and far-fetched plot. Poitier, as ever, lends the film a certain dignity and poise, worthy of better material to work with than this. The film is also notable for providing early showcases for two of Cop TV's most famous Captains: Daniel J Travanti (Hill Street Blues) and Bernie Hamilton (later Captain Dobey in Starsky & Hutch) are both assigned minor roles here.
On the DVD: The Organization comes to disc in an adequate transfer, though still a little grainy. The sole extra is the original trailer. --David Stubbs
Academy Award winner Sidney Poitier reprises his role as Lt. Virgil Tibbs in this taut drama that exposes the ruthless, high-stakes world of international drug traficking.