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In the Land of Cotton,
This review is from: In The Heat Of The Night [DVD]  (DVD)
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.