Thursday, July 15, 2010

review: In the Heat of the Night

Wow! Good film! Won a slew of Academy Awards, is on 4 AFI list (one of course for the famous "They call me Mister Tibbs!" line), and even without those things, this film is amazing. I don't need an organization to tell it to me.
Its about a Philedelphia Homicide Detective who gets caught up in a small town murder in the south. The racist south. It's not a happy story - it's dark, its complex, its disturbing. The people are ... less than good.
What really gets to me is the incredible racism in this film - all the different kinds, I mean. There is the subtle "we're just not used to blacks" uncomfortable kind of racism, and then there is the plain, outright, almost KKK kind of racism - and every kind inbetween. Which makes for some wonderful acting ... the range, I mean, not the racism. And Poitier is brilliant. Strangely enough, the only time I did not like him is in that classic line. Maybe it was just that I have seen it out of context so many times that it just seems like a strange shift in context. But still, he's a powerful actor in the moment with a powerful voice making a powerful statement. So I don't mind if the delivery seems a little over the top.
I'm not going to say too much more on this subject.
Great acting, great directing, wonderful story. See it!
4 and 1/2 out of 5 stars!

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