New to Blu-ray: In the Heat of the Night (1967)

     Format: AC-3, Blu-ray, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (DTS 5.1), French (Mono), Spanish (Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: English, French, Spanish
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: MGM
  • Release Date: January 14, 2014
  • Run Time: 110 minutes


                    Filled with stark and profound images of racism over the backdrop of a murder mystery and the winner of five Oscars, including Best Picture, In the Heat of the Night is more than deserving of an anniversary edition release on Blu-ray. As MGM celebrates their 90th Anniversary, this classic from 1967 is transferred to high definition. The special features are simply transferred over from the 40th Anniversary DVD release.


    One of the reasons that In the Heat of the Night still stands as a significant and important film stems from the persona of Academy Award winner Sidney Poitier, who plays Detective Virgil Tibbs with restrained bitterness and anger. When he is brought in for a murder because he is a black man with money waiting for the train, he is first accused and then asked for help. The murder is of a prominent business leader in town and Virgil Tibbs is the best detective from Philadelphia, so he begins helping the small town’s bigoted sheriff (Rod Steiger, who won Best Actor for this role) in solving the murder. Unfortunately the southern town is not accustomed to a black man in charge, and everywhere they go it is an issue that Tibbs is an authority. Before long many are trying to run him out of town as he is on the brink of solving the murder.


            When both Tibbs and the town sheriff are able to put their prejudices aside and solve the murder together, the homicide knowledge and the information about the people in the town come together, creating harmony to solve the murder. It is in every way a spectacular film, and gets better with repeat viewings as well. The DVD has a great commentary track with an assortment of important figures to the film, including Steiger and cinematographer Haskell Wexler. Along with the commentary track, the movie-making in the ‘60s featurette and “The Slap Heard Around the World”, there is a Quincy Jones featurette about his fabulous music for the film. There is also a title song sung by Ray Charles in the film.



    Entertainment Value: 8.5/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 9/10

    Historical Significance: 10/10

    Disc Features: 8/10




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