As for the movie itself I'd only seen part of the it prior to yesterday. What I had seen I really enjoyed. The plot revolves around Sidney Poitier's detective, Virgil Tibbs, who is drawn into a murder investigation in a small southern town while just happening to pass through the town at the time of the murder. Police Chief Gillespie is not happy to have a big city black police officer in town but they form a very uneasy alliance to catch the murderer. The fun starts when Portier is brought in as a suspect and Chief Gillespie finds out he is really a Philadelphia homicide detective.
As the movie progresses Tibbs and Gillespie must deal with the extreme racism of the South as well as their own prejudices. The acting by Steiger and Poitier is nothing less that stellar. Steiger won the Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role. The smaller characters and their great characterizations help fill out the small world that is Sparta. The movie was nominated for seven academy awards, winning five, including best picture. This really is a good murder mystery that is a joy to watch. I'm not just gushing because of the local history. This is a great movie.
Note: The Walking Dead fans will see Scott Wilson make his film debut in this movie as Harvey Oberst, a small time thief. Wilson is best known as Hershel Greene in the hugely popular zombie series.
|Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger|