Sidney Poitier, in one of his most-celebrated roles, appears as Virgil Tibbs, a Philadelphia homicide detective who, while visiting a small Mississippi town, will find himself falsely arrested for the murder and then, in a strained collaboration with the town's sheriff (Rod Steiger), stays on to help solve the murder. Steiger's town is a backward "redneck" Southern burg whose population includes an aristocratic racist, the eccentric owner of a fly-infested diner, exceptionally stupid cops, young thugs who beat people up for the fun of it and a young woman who provocatively cools herself by standing nude at her window. When the murder is finally solved Poitier and Steiger will part with reserve and distance, but with enormous respect for each other. Norman Jewison directed.

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Trailers

Trailer

Ratings and Reviews

4.7 out of 5
68 Ratings

68 Ratings

95% TOMATOMETER

Critics Consensus: Tense, funny, and thought-provoking all at once, and lifted by strong performances from Sydney Poitier and Rod Steiger, director Norman Jewison's look at murder and racism in small-town America continues to resonate today.

15+ COMMON SENSE

Oscar-winning police drama about racism has heavy themes.

Cast & Crew

Information

Studio
MGM
Genre
Drama
Released
Copyright

Languages

Primary
English (Stereo)

Accessibility

CC
Closed captions (CC) refer to subtitles in the available language with the addition of relevant non-dialogue information.

Artists in This Movie

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