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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 19 July 2015
I first saw the multi-Oscar winning 'In The Heat Of The Night' on the TV decades ago as a teenager and was struck, most significantly, by the marvellous acting performances and the bravado of the subject matter.

I got the film on R1/USA DVD quite some time ago (a fairly good rendition) - it's only recently that it's been given the proper treatment on Blu-ray, based on the 40th anniversary DVD edition which was only released in the USA.

Whilst this HD presentation might not be a massive improvement, it does have superior definition and a clear 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio (essentially dialogue-based) soundtrack.

If you know nothing of this movie then you can get an idea by reading the Amazon 'Product Description' - BUT if you do it gives away the plot basis, which is a 'secret' of the film and when it is revealed should come as something of a shock....

A very short non-spoiler explanation would be to say that it covers the rampant racist attitudes held (note that I use the present tense !) in the southern states of the USA, covering them with great clarity and in a wide variety of ways - the 'vehicle' to drive the story which allows that to occur is something of a MacGuffin, being a murder 'whodunnit'.

Why is this film ground-breaking ? - not necessarily because it covered those racist attitudes (it was made in the era of the battle for Civil Rights in the USA), but essentially because it showed an African-American 'fighting back' against the resident white/racists (most significantly when he returns a face slap delivered to him by one of those white racists).

So, the film deftly manages to not only deal with those important issues but also keep you engrossed with the drama of that murder investigation. Just as important are the terrific character portrayals by one and all in the cast, most notably the 2 lead actors (Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger) of course.

This is the kind of film that could have existed solely on the stage, since whilst there is an expansive story to tell courtesy of the murder 'plot' it is those character portrayals which are the key element.

In a competitive year, the film still managed to win 5 Oscars: Best Picture, Best Actor (Steiger), Film Editing, Sound and Adapted Screenplay; it's something of a surprise that Poitier wasn't even nominated (especially when you see who was !) BUT it is pertinent to observe that he had already won a Best Actor Oscar 4 years earlier....

On this Blu-ray everything looks excellent and whilst the soundtrack doesn't need the full capability offered by DTS-HD MA it does ensure things are clear and provide the necessary atmospherics for the often 'steamy' settings.

We also get some decent extras, being those ported-over from that 40th anniversary DVD: a multi-crew/cast audio commentary and trailer (which were on the original DVD as well) plus 3 ('new') featurettes.

I've attached a photo of the back of the disc box.

Even if you already have this film on DVD this Blu-ray is still a worthwhile 'upgrade' as the picture so much sharper.
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on 16 November 2017
I must have watched this twenty times. It's a masterpiece. Racist? Sure it is! I loaned it to my black buddies and they all, without exception agree, but also, without exception, they all loved it. That 'Slap' has resonated all round the world! If you haven't watched it, then do it pronto. There isn't a crap line in it. Rod Steiger at his best, and Sidney Poitier? The finest of actors; I would have loved to have seen him play Shakespeare's Othello. In my opinion, there isn't one single actor in it that shouldn't have been nominated for the very best. Highly recommended. One of my all-time favourite movies. "The motive it is money! And the body it is DEAD!" Movie heaven.
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on 26 October 2016
A film from my childhood, when America had it's first tastes of Civil Rights movement and the equality question. A question still, all these years later, strangley hanging in the air over my country. Sidney Poitie is incandescent as Virgil Tibbs.. a man who knows damn well who he is even when faced with a world full of people that don't. The only question that seemed unanswered for me and this is watching this film 'now''.. not when I first saw it years ahgo... is the question set at the beginning of the film. Virgil was in that town visiting his mother. He's a police officer, a homocide detective in Philadelphia, but where was he born and raised? Did he come originially from that strange hateful place? A question I never would have asked. Perrformances are superb... as good as it gets. Rod Steiger.. even loveable by the end - always a master.
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on 24 May 2016
Classic film and well worth having the blu ray, its the best version to date, far superior to previous DVD versions and Haskell Wexler's cinematography jumps off the screen as do the performances of Sydney Poitier and Rod Steiger, for a 1967 film it still packs a punch, some interesting extras also, interviews with director Norman Jewison, Haskell Wexler, and Quincy Jones. Tremendous film which rightly won the Oscar for best film at the 1968 ceremony, highly recommended in this blu ray form, you will not be disappointed.
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on 6 April 2017
Easily one of the best films ever made. A crime drama that has social resonance. Everyone is perfectly cast, right down to the smallest parts. Did Norman Jewison even make a bad film? I don't think so.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERon 4 January 2011
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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on 12 September 2011
`In The Heat Of The Night' is a movie like they no longer make `em. Even the much later and more flamboyant `Mississipi Burning' couldn't out-shine this.

Blindingly handsome Sidney Poitier becomes the cop in the wrong place at the wrong time. There's murder afoot in the deep south, and Poitier's Virgil Tibbs is a solitary stranger, innocently courting hassle by being black. Hauled of to the local nick, he encounters Rod Steiger's bigoted sheriff. The performances between these two are wonderful to behold, as the latter is grudgingly compelled to ask a `niggra' to help him solve the crime. Racial prejudice is the core issue here, though its presentation is understated if anything. The other is professionalism, and how education - which Virgil Tibbs has troubled to acquire - can advance the other.

This movie won 5 Oscars including best picture for 1967. There's a decent supporting cast including Warren Oates, but they are completely eclipsed by the two star turns.

The DVD supplied by Amazon was satisfactory in most respects. Filmed in colour and with a 1hr 45min run time. Viewer rating is `12'. Mono soundtrack is reputed to have been re-mastered. No extras.

Very highly recommended, especially at the present price of a penny short of three quid, postage free.
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on 30 July 2014
Five stars for the film, but not a showcase blu ray disc. This is probably due largely to the way the film was shot and the colour process that was used. In interior scenes especially, colours often appear dirty or splotchy and contrasts are not pleasing. Not sure how much of a problem this is going to be on smaller TV sets, but on a big one the effect is really disappointing. Exteriors look much better and presumably show that mastering is not at fault. 60s filmmaking was often technically slapdash - the other side of the newly won cinematic freedom.
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on 16 July 2017
I saw this film in 1967 when it was first released.I have not watched it since but can confirm that it is superb .Set in the deep south it involves a murder and the 'the jousting' which takes place betwwen Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger.Can thoroughly recommend thi film
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on 30 August 2017
Great movie from an Hollywood Icon. One of the all time great movies.
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