Monday, January 07, 2008

In the Heat of the Night

Throughout the movie, I found myself focused primarily on the role of the Chief. The Chief appeared to be uneducated and unfamiliar with all the laws of being a police officer. I did not get a great impression from him with the way he handled the cases he was dealt. He was always quickly jumping to conclusions without hard evidence. Does anyone else see how merely assuming something can lead to a horrific result? If the Chief were to accuse the runaway of killing Mr. Colbert or even his fellow colleague Sam, based on a stolen wallet or some extra cash, those men could of been charged with a lifetime of jail time. In King's book, he mentions how cops use their power through demanding actions and such to gain more power. In the movie, Sam used his police power to corner Tibbs and giving him the opporutinity to capture a man to give himself the glory of being an exceptional cop.

I also wrote notes about some of the 4 elements that Professor Boles had mentioned earlier in the day. In the beginning of the movie, Ray Charles' In the Heat of the Night was played which really gave the movie a great initial momentum. I also felt that the music gave a suspicious feeling which was good because the entire movie was just trying to figure out the murderer and there were many suspects and people to be suspicious about!

In regards to cinematography, the film seemed like the color was bleached out but in actuality, since the film was produced in 1967, I do not think it needed much of a change due to the technology they had during that time.

I also made note about the mise-en-scene. The film was produced well with the props they used. When the four men cornered Tibbs, they used chains and bars which automatically gives the impression of a brutal attack. Later in the film, Tibbs was cornered by a larger group of men with guns and other weapons. By comparing this scene to the earlier one, I noticed the intensity that the plot had created and how serious these actors felt about having a black man in their neighborhood.

7 Comments:

Blogger JessicaM said...

I definitely agree with you that the chief appeared to be uneducated. It was ridiculous how he would assume that whoever he found in the town who seemed suspicious or that he didn’t know committed the crime. It’s scary how much power cops can have sometimes. I like how you mentioned a couple of the elements of film. The song at the beginning did make a difference in getting is started. While some of the music throughout was a bit corny and overdone, I guess we need to take into consideration that the movie is about forty years old.

6:14 PM  
Blogger Syd said...

I agree with you Danielle that merely assuming something can lead to a horrific result especialy in the case of In the Heat of the Night. The way in which the two main characters were written (Tibbs and the Chief) was not your standard buddy cop pair which we have recently seen in Beverly Hills Cop and Lethal Weapon. The "buddy cop" subgenre are actions films with plots involving two men of very different and conflicting personalities who are forced to work together to solve a crime while learning from each other in the process. What the Cheif learned was to examine evidene more carefully and not to automatically assume the first person they bring in for questioning is guilty especially when they haven't even been questioned!

Also your analysis on the cinematgoraphy of the film was very interesting; I also cited in my blog response about the mise-en-scene in reguards to the fight scenes and throughout the first scene of the movie.

6:47 PM  
Blogger Nick Capezzera said...

Danielle makes a great point about the mise en scene of the this movie. Everything about "In the heat of the Night" from the actors, to the clothing, to the time of day had a great effect on producing an amazing movie. I'm not sure if people know but Ray Charles is from the south and his life was full of strife so using his music gave the movie a genuine feel.
I have one thing to say about the naivety of the police chief. Yes he was the ultimate assumer, but i think that he was portrayed this way to show great contrast between him and Virgil Tibbs. The chiefs ignorance subsided further into the movie and he began to trust the Mr. Tibbs.

8:31 PM  
Blogger Cat said...

I think that you make a great point in bringing up the weapons that the men hold up against Tibbs. I definitely see the chains as an important part of the movie, it gave me the impression of the chains and other bondage that were used against slaves. There were so many other references to slavery throughout the movie that I couldn't help but notice this. Some other examples of this are when the two cops pass by Enidcott's cotton fields, the fact the Endicott's home looks like a plantation and when Tibbs tells the mechanic, "they need a whipping boy."

8:44 PM  
Blogger Danny said...

I definitely agree with you about the chief's ignorance in the murder case. I tend to wonder if it was more ignorance, or if it was actually arrogance. He seemed to have so much pride in the fact that he was the chief, and he wouldbe the one to solve this case, not some "boy" as he continually referred to Virgil. I think that this, unfortunately, can often be the attitude of men who are in power positions, demanding that they will be the right one, no matter what the consequences.

8:58 PM  
Blogger Vladigogo said...

How experienced is Gillespie with solving crimes?

Do we at all feel sympathetic for him as he tries to solve the crime?

The notation about slavery is quite good and apt. But don't forget while Virgil is locked up twice and put behind bars there is a great shot in the reflection of the rear view mirror of Gillespie in the squad car with the bars on him as well. What does this suggest?

9:11 PM  
Blogger Danielle A said...

I think it may suggest that ANYONE could be a suspect in a murder, and it can mean that even the Chief of police can be put behind bars. Power can go along way, but the truth will always wins.

12:05 AM  

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