An unpopular, rich man is found murdered in a small Southern town. At the beginning of the investigation, Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier), who is waiting for the train, is suspected as the murderer by the Police Chief Bill Gillespie (Rod Steiger).
I wasn’t sure if this movie would live up to its excellent reputation. Many topical movies seem heavy-handed and irrelevant as times change. It made me sad that I recognized several episodes and characters in the movie.
The acting is excellent, the pacing is great, and the story is involving. I don’t exactly remember all the details of the solution to the crime but I remember every bit of the changing attitudes of the two men.
I’d seen the “They call me Mr. Tibbs!” line by Sidney Poitier in clips for years. Still, in context, the line and the scene gave me chills.