The crime is racism
Release date: August 2, 1967
Director: Norman Jewison
Who should watch this movie: White liberals. Fans of The Maltese Falcon.
When should you watch this movie: When you’re doing a Sidney Poitier marathon.
The sell: We didn’t need more evidence that Sidney Poitier is not only the most beautiful man to have ever lived, but also one of the most talented actors to have ever graced the screen. And yet, we have this film anyways. In the Heat of the Night is a tense movie about a black homicide detective from Philadelphia sent to assist in the investigation of a murder in Sparta, Mississippi. Though this movie does not fit comfortably into police abolitionist philosophy, it was an important film at the time it was made (1967). In The Heat of the Night depicted a much darker version of The South than was typically shown in film, and was one of the first major blockbusters to confront the casual racism so pervasive at the time (and still, yikes).