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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant film
From the opening performance of "In The Heat of the Night", sung by the great Ray Charles, this film will grab your attention immediately and will grip you for the next hour and 3/4.

Poitier plays a black northern dectective Virgil Tibbs, who is arrested in the deep south for a murder he had nothing to with. Steiger is a bigoted local Sheriff eventually forced...
Published on 4 Jan 2009 by S J Buck

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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great film badly presented!
I really love this film, but be warned that this version has been cropped down the sides to alter the aspect ratio, losing the original compositions. Clearly (on a TV) this type of film would normally have black bars at the top and bottom but the authors of this DVD have decided to do a hatchet job instead. It is a great shame to see this in such a carfully composed...
Published on 16 Mar 2012 by LAB


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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars brilliant film, 4 Jan 2009
By 
S J Buck (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
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From the opening performance of "In The Heat of the Night", sung by the great Ray Charles, this film will grab your attention immediately and will grip you for the next hour and 3/4.

Poitier plays a black northern dectective Virgil Tibbs, who is arrested in the deep south for a murder he had nothing to with. Steiger is a bigoted local Sheriff eventually forced to work with Tibbs to solve the case. Both the lead performances are truly mesmerising. There are a number of classic scenes in this film of which perhaps my favourite is when the Sheriff interviews Tibbs for the first time and finds he's a policeman.

The film is very well directed by Norman Jewison and won 5 Oscars in 1967, including best actor for Rod Steiger. Quincy Jones also deservedly won a Grammy for his music score. The only extra is the original trailer, which is a shame. However the film itself is so good that the DVD has to have 5 stars regardless.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb, 5 Mar 2006
By A Customer
I can believe this film is forty years old !. The tension is there right from the start. It had me on the edge of my seat throughout. A fantastic thriller, it should also be on every school's citizenship curriculum. Only the ending I found a little flat, it could have been done better - more exciting. But the rest of the film is brilliant. Better than most modern films. Watch it !.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A perfect illustration of racism being shown to be archaic, 17 July 2004
By A Customer
In The Heat Of The Night is a classic because of the way it shows the 'power' struggle between old world values still in practice and the progression of human rights. Sidney Poitier is a revelation in this film, although his performance was aided greatly by Rod Steiger. The duo brilliantly show the friction of differing education, both school and moral, coupled eloquently with their personality similarities. Rod Steiger's constant struggle against his instincts and common opinion as regards Virgil Tibbs, is a very open and intriguing one.
The direction in this film is remarkable and subtle, with the clever use of music accentuating at the exact moments an avid viewer would want them.
The supporting cast held their own, with handy contributions all around, all helping to add to the community resentment towards Tibbs.
The plot was powerful but the presence of certain characters seemed a little tenuous. The characters almost seemed an inclusive to emphasise the obvious. For example, the visit to the cotton mill seemed to have no eventual purpose to the plot except the show the blatant bigotry that was implied by the rest of the film in a somewhat more reserved approach.
Aside from that minor blip, the film flows brilliantly and I highly recommend this film to all who want a damn good film with quality acting and direction. A must see classic of the 60's era.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly the best movie ever?, 19 Oct 2003
As well as the above reviews of the social comment on racism, and the incredible performances of the two main characters, one of the biggest things in this movie is simply the atmosphere the director creates. In the deep south of the USA the humidity is unbearable. The cicadas and crickets chirp, and in it's own way life goes that little bit slower.
The magic of the direction for me is that you could watch it in the antarctic, in winter, and still feel like you were slapping at mosquitos, melting like butter on a fried catfish, with the aircon full blast. If you haven't seen it, you have missed a classic.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a classic of liberal American film making, 11 Feb 2007
By 
Mr. Ian A. Macfarlane "almac1975" (Fife, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This film won best picture Oscar in 1967. It was one of a number of distinguished liberal American films made at the time of the growth of the Civil Rights movement -'To Kill a Mockingbird' was another - when the US was very much a divided nation, with African Americans, as the term now is - it wasn't then - still very much an underprivileged, underrepresented sector of society. Now, when Barak Obama has just announced his intention to run for the Presidency, the film has a certain period, nostalgic feel to it (not that all the race-based problems in the US have been solved by any means). But that does not stop it from being a cracking good film. It's well plotted, very well directed and very atmospherically set. But what really sets it apart is the chemistry between Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier) and the local small-town Southern sheriff (Rod Steiger), by birth and upbringing no 'nigger-lover' but at the same time intelligent enough to recognise ability and integrity when he sees them, so that the two eventually form a strange alliance against the deep-rooted prejudices of the town. Steiger in particular is terrific. Ar the end of the film, when they take their farewells of each other, their genuine respect, understated as it would be with two such men, is very moving. Anyway, every minute of this film is totally absorbing and I recommend it highly.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A step towards greater understanding, 4 Feb 2009
By 
Andrew N. Vargo (Norfolk England) - See all my reviews
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When this film first appeared it was seen as a major artistic statement on race and the issues of segregation. It was a return of American Film taking on contentious issues not really seen since the Macarthy era of blacklists and fear of offending the silent majority. It was a brave film and you sensed that the people involved knew they were making a significant film. Many of the phrases used in the film became instantly used 'call me Mr Tibbs' or more annoyingly Rod Stieger's 'speak to me' when he picked up the phone,try doing that as see the response. Importantly the film had impact, without becoming an ideological tract. The acting is outstanding and the relationship which develops between Rod Stieger and Sidney Poitier is one of the great film performances, the two great actors never bettered this. Having travelled through the Southern States during the sixties ,the film is a true reflection of that time, it is a wonder that Virgil was not killed,many died for far less. The film also shows weaknesses in all the characters, it is an adult film, Virgil Tibbs could be as wrong as the southern sheriff acted by Rod Stieger. The key point of the film is that it is what unifies us rather than divides that is important and this needed affirming at a very critical point in the history of the United States. Film is important.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great film badly presented!, 16 Mar 2012
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I really love this film, but be warned that this version has been cropped down the sides to alter the aspect ratio, losing the original compositions. Clearly (on a TV) this type of film would normally have black bars at the top and bottom but the authors of this DVD have decided to do a hatchet job instead. It is a great shame to see this in such a carfully composed story packed with visual metaphor, so if you're thinking of buying "In the Heat of the Night" for your DVD collection I suggest you look for a copy which contains the full image and correct aspect ratio.

In short, it's a truly wonderful film shoddily and uncaringly presented... I don't know what the DVD authors where thinking but for shame!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In The Heat Of The Night [1967] [Blu-ray] [US Import], 1 May 2014
In The Heat Of The Night [1967] [Blu-ray] [US Import] WINNER OF FIVE ACADEMY AWARDS® INCLUDING BEST PICTURE*

Starring ACADEMY AWARD® Winners Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger and Lee Grant*, this provocative mystery thriller is still as powerful as ever.

In the Deep South, homicide detective Virgil Tibbs [Sidney Poitier] becomes embroiled in a murder investigation. When the bigoted town sheriff [Rod Steiger] gets involved, both he and Virgil Tibbs must put aside their differences and join forces in a race against time to discover the shocking truth.

Cast: Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates, Lee Grant, Larry Gates, James Patterson, William Schallert, Beah Richards, Peter Whitney, Harry Dean Stanton, Larry D. Mann, Matt Clark, Arthur Malet and Scott Wilson

Director: Norman Jewison

Producer: Walter Mirisch

Screenplay: Stirling Silliphant

Composer: Quincy Jones

Cinematography: Haskell Wexler

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Audio: English: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, French: 1.0 DTS-HD Master Audio Mono and Spanish: 1.0 Dolby Digital Mono

Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish and French

Running Time: 110 minutes

Region: Region A/1

Number of discs: 1

Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

Andrew's Blu-ray Review - "They call me Mister Tibbs!" stands as one of cinema's most memorable and passionately delivered lines, but the power emanating from that strongly stated retort stems not just from a disrespected character's indignation over racial bigotry, but also from the nerve those words struck in people all across the country and how they reflected monumental social changes. Blacks rarely confronted Southern whites during the 1960s, but the Civil Rights Movement began breaking down barriers, and 'In the Heat of the Night,' a searing indictment of prejudice disguised as a murder mystery, sought to prove achieving common ground is possible, and racial harmony might not be such a far-fetched idea after all. Norman Jewison's film signalled a changing tide in U.S. race relations, as African-Americans began to forcefully assert themselves and stand up to domineering whites. To quote a movie that wouldn't be made for another nine years, blacks were mad as hell, and they weren't going to take it anymore.

Thankfully, we've come a long way since 1967, so the visceral impact of 'In the Heat of the Night' has significantly diminished over time. More of a period piece than a finger-on-the-pulse-of-the-public drama, this engrossing, and meticulously constructed production still strikes a chord, because race remains a hot-button issue. Though the film isn't nearly as shocking as it surely must have seemed back in 1967, its core elements remain affecting, and ironically, from our removed vantage point, some of the behaviour depicted seems more disturbing today than it did 35 years ago, merely because it's hard to believe people really acted in such a reprehensible manner.

Perhaps because of its topicality - or maybe in spite of it - 'In the Heat of the Night' won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1967. The steamy drama shines a spotlight on issues the film industry seemed reluctant to tackle, and it's easy to see why. Tensions ran so high during that turbulent period, the movie's star, Sidney Poitier, probably the most renowned African-American in the U.S. after Martin Luther King, Jr., refused to shoot the picture on location in Mississippi, for no other reason than it was too dangerous. (Illinois was used instead, although Poitier did finally agree to shoot briefly in Tennessee, so a crucial cotton-picking scene could be authentically filmed.) Almost from the get-go, Stirling Silliphant's Oscar-winning screenplay depicts that uneasy atmosphere in the fictional community of Sparta, Mississippi, where blacks are constantly under suspicion and dutifully live their lives as second-class citizens unwilling to stand up for themselves because they fear their white superiors will unfairly target and retaliate against them.

Virgil Tibbs [Sidney Poitier] knows this world well. Though he's a proud, successful, intelligent, and self-assured man, he's aware of the rules and keeps his head down. But after a local businessman is found dead in the street, an overzealous police officer [Warren Oates] discovers Tibbs patiently waiting for a train at the local depot, and, without any evidence other than the colour of his skin, fingers him for the crime. When he's brought before the town sheriff, Bill Gillespie [Rod Steiger], a blustery, gum-chewing bigot who runs his force with an iron hand, Virgil Tibbs reveals to everyone's surprise that he's a northerner and - get this - a Philadelphia police detective who was just innocently changing trains at the Sparta station.

After his identity is confirmed, Virgil Tibbs, who's also conveniently a homicide expert, is commanded by his Pennsylvania bosses to remain in Sparta and assist in solving the whodunit, much to Gillespie's chagrin. Working with a loud-mouthed, hot-headed, and unapologetically bigoted police chief is distasteful to Vigil Tibbs, and Gillespie can barely stomach taking directives from a black "boy" whom he knows is smarter, more polished, and more skilled than he. Yet this odd couple forms a tenuous partnership fraught with periodic head-butting, and as they become more intimately involved, each earns the other's grudging respect.

The success of 'In the Heat of the Night' hinges not on the cohesiveness of the murder mystery plot (which I found too preciously constructed and mechanically executed), but on the incendiary chemistry between Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger, who often spar like two heavyweight fighters, circling each other in the ring, then pouncing when one lets down his guard. They make quite a pair, but surprisingly their finest scene together isn't a heated exchange, but rather an intimate, low-key discussion about loneliness, family, and dedication to a thankless job. Rod Steiger won a Best Actor Oscar for his riveting, no-holds-barred portrayal; while he's always fun to watch, too often histrionics overshadow his performance. Poitier is more restrained, though at times it seems as if the mantle of "America's foremost black actor" weighs him down and lends his work an affected quality that detracts from its believability.

'In the Heat of the Night' most likely won the Best Picture Oscar for what it says, rather than how it says it. Movies like 'The Graduate' and 'Bonnie and Clyde' may possess more artistry, but the rhetoric pales in comparison. For once, substance trumped style, and though this fine film may not pack the punch it surely did in the 1960s, it's still a meaningful and a very important film.

Blu-ray Video Quality - A nicely restore picture distinguishes this 1080p image quality transfer from Fox that maintains the film's original grain structure yet sports enhanced contrast and clarity. A distinct film-like appearance makes viewing a pleasure (though some scenes look more textured than others), and only a few errant dots and blotches sully the largely pristine source material. Much of 'In the Heat of the Night' was shot on location in Illinois (Poitier was understandably reticent to cross the Mason-Dixon Line), and exteriors exude a surprising richness and depth, thanks to the keen eye of cinematographer Haskell Wexler ('One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest'), who experimented with zoom lenses and handheld cameras to achieve a natural, immersive look. Many scenes transpire at night, and lush black levels enhance them, yet crush is rarely an issue, even during the darkest moments. Whites are crisp and stable, and flesh tones are spot-on. (Wexler was the first cameraman to realize black actors require different lighting to appropriately capture their skin tone and complexion.)

Background elements vary from fuzzy to clear, but close-ups are razor sharp, allowing us to see the glistening sweat, hair follicles, and skin blemishes on the characters' faces. And while there's not a lot of intense colour on display, the hues remain true and natural-looking throughout. No banding, mosquito noise, or other imperfections distract us from the action, and no digital doctoring seems to have been applied. Though this is far from the finest catalogue transfer I've seen, 'In the Heat of the Night' looks better than it ever has on home video, and that should please both fans and new Blu-ray enthusiasts alike.

Blu-ray Audio Quality - 'In the Heat of the Night' took home the Academy Award for Best Sound, and this 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track honours that distinction with a clear, clean presentation that's free of any hiss, pops, and crackles. Surround activity is understandably slim and limited mostly to Quincy Jones' powerful and, at times, dissonant score. The jazzy music possesses excellent fidelity and tonal depth, and easily fills the room. (The title song, performed with plenty of soul by Ray Charles, and the sounds are particularly full and robust.) Stereo separation across the front channels somewhat widens the soundscape, with directional bleeds adding a realistic touch to several sequences. Accents, such as footsteps in the brush and car wheels crunching on loose gravel, are crisp and distinct, and ambient nuances like crickets achieve a fine degree of presence. Dialogue, thanks to Poitier's excellent diction, is always clear and easy to comprehend, despite some challenging accents, and the mix as a whole flaunts a tight, well-integrated feel that keeps us focused on the on-screen action. For a film from the mid-1960s, the audio is nicely balanced and just active enough to prick up our ears from time to time.

Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:

Commentary with Norman Jewison, Lee Grant, Rod Steiger and Cinematographer Haskell Wexler: An especially strong commentary from director Norman Jewison and cinematographer Haskell Wexler - with occasional recorded interjections from actors Rod Steiger and Lee Grant - is a noteworthy addition to the disc. All the remarks are interesting and substantive, from the extensive discussions regarding the movie's photography and lighting to the dialogues about the movie's racial themes, and all the participants express themselves in an articulate and engaging manner. We learn the film's limited budget stemmed from studio uncertainty regarding the project's commercial viability due to its racially charged subject matter; that tension existed on the set between Rod Steiger and Sidney Poitier; and that Norman Jewison worried the film would be viewed as too self-righteous, so he focused intently on the plot's whodunit aspect. Norman Jewison relates his fondness for shooting on location and "making it up as [he] goes along," while Wexler notes the movie was one of the first to substantially employ a zoom lens. Rod Steiger praises his director and defends his "over-the-top" portrayal, and Grant recalls her symbiotic relationship with Poitier and how the actor didn't want his race to define him. If you're a fan of 'In the Heat of the Night', then this commentary is well worth your time.

Turning Up the Heat: Moviemaking in the `60s [21:10] The title of this documentary is a bit of a misnomer, as the piece concentrates exclusively on 'In the Heat of the Night' and the myriad aspects of its production. Producer Walter Mirisch, director Norman Jewison, composer Quincy Jones, director John Singleton, and some noteworthy scholars are all on hand to weigh in on the challenges of shooting this film and its ground-breaking nature. The characters, acting, score, themes, and artistry of the movie are all examined in this absorbing documentary.

The Slap Heard Around the World [7:25] The same crew of interviews dissect this "incredible moment in cinema history" when a white man hits a black man and the black man hits him back. Many feel the scene prompted a shift in African-American attitudes from the pursuit of civil rights to Black Power.

Quincy Jones: Breaking New Sound [13:02] 'In the Heat of the Night' boasted one of the first music scores written by an African-American composer, and this absorbing documentary examines Jones' innovative jazz music, as well as the bluesy title song, which he wrote with lyricists Alan and Marilyn Bergman, both of whom are on hand to share their memories of the experience. Jones himself discusses how he came to work on the picture and his philosophy regarding film scores, and musician Herbie Hancock talks about how Jones opened doors for black composers. Deleted bits of scoring are also included to illustrate Quiny Jones' breadth of talent.

Theatrical Trailer [2:48] The film's exciting original preview is well paced and chock full of potent snippets that pique interest but don't give too much away. The trailer is in rough shape and appears to be from a low-resolution source, despite the 1080p formatting.

Finally, 'In the Heat of the Night' might not hold up as well as fellow Best Picture nominees 'The Graduate' and 'Bonnie and Clyde,' but this Oscar-winning murder mystery remains a searing indictment of racial prejudice and discrimination. Letting the theme's inherent power speak for itself (preachy speeches are kept to a minimum), director Norman Jewison crafts an intriguing tale that focuses on the fireworks between stars Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger, and the two actors don't disappoint. Fox's Blu-ray presentation features solid video and audio transfers, and all the supplements that appeared on the previous DVD. Though changing times and social advancements have dulled some of the movie's sting, 'In the Heat of the Night' tells it like it was in the Deep South in the 1960s and stands as a potent reminder of where we were and how far we've progressed. That is why I have loved this film ever since I saw it in the cinema and also owning on the inferior DVD format, which is an honour to add this to me ever expanding Blu-ray Collection, as it is the type of film one can view many times and not ever get bored. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

Andrew C. Miller - Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradiso
WARE, United Kingdom
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In The Heat Of The Night - Showing that not everything in life is black and white, 4 Jan 2011
By 
Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
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I didn't really know what to expect from this film. Usually when people start bandying around terms like `important' and `meaningful', the film in question is almost never described as `entertaining' or `gripping'. This, however is that rare article, a film that makes a study of a deeply disturbing issue, racism, yet manages to be a clever and interesting murder mystery, the journey to the solution of which will keep you fascinated right up to the final reel.

Sidney Poitier plays Virgil Tibbs, a black man unlucky enough to be visiting a deep South town on the night that a particularly important business man is found murdered. Initially pulled in by the police for the crime it soon transpires that he is in fact a policeman himself, a fact that the local Captain, Gillespie, finds hard to accept. Forced to work together they must overcome their prejudices against each other in order to solve the murder and keep a lid on the simmering powder keg of racial hatred on the verge of exploding in the town.

The film is made by the superb central performances of Poitier an Rod Steiger in a career best appearance as Gillespie. Tibbs is an interesting protagonist, intelligent and articulate, yet susceptible to his own prejudices against the white man. Steiger as Gillespie is a superb characterisation. Just an everyday man trying to make his way in the world. Steeped in the prejudices of the society he is part of, but able to see past them and work with whatever tools come to hand in order to keep the peace. He's intelligent, but looking for the quick and easy answer that leads him to several wrong solutions.

This really is a gripping drama. The moral study of racism does not intrude on the investigation, which in turn never detracts from the fascinating look at the attitudes of the time and place. It's superbly done, excellently directed and beautifully acted. It really does deserve the plaudits loaded onto it. As an added bonus there is an excellent score with a fine performance from Ray Charles.

Poitier would return to the role of Tibbs twice more, in Mr Tibbs and The Organisation, neither of which quite lived up to this engaging and original film.

This 2004 MGM Home Cinema release presents the film with a 16:9 aspect ratio and a mono soundtrack. Both are in good condition though there are some minor defects. The only extra is the theatrical trailer. It's a good release of the film, but I can't help but feel that a film this good and important deserves a special release with more extras and a restored picture and soundtrack. But this will do until something better comes along!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars In the Land of Cotton, 30 July 2010
By 
Ian Millard - See all my reviews
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The supreme artistry of this film is that you can feel the humid prickly heat of a summer in the Deep South of the USA circa 1967. The itchy, insect-buzzing nature of the heat of the Southern states is brought out brilliantly. The location, in a very small town far from moist places, is finely caught. The squeaky badly-oiled insect screened doors, the dark night cut by flourescent lights...you are there.

Tibbs (Sidney Poitier) is a detective whose mother lives in the area but who works in the less segregated situation of Philadelphia. Detained at first as an automatic suspect (a lone non-local black man) after a murder, he forms an unlikely and ultimately mutually-respectful alliance with the equally well-portrayed police chief (Rod Steiger), who eventually overcomes both prejudice against Poitier ("They call me MISTER Tibbs!") and a forelock-tugging respect for the local rich landowner in favour of justice annd pursuing the investigation to wherever it will end.

First rate.
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In the Heat of the Night [DVD] [1967]
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