Monday, January 07, 2008

In the Heat of the Night

In the Heat of the Night was different than the previous two films we watched over break.  This movie dug deeper into the tensions between races. When the police discover a murder, and go about searching for a suspect, Woods comes across Tibbs, played by Sydney Portier.  He immediately accuses him of murder without even asking a single question.  After seeing that they are clearly wrong, being as Tibbs is actually a fellow police officer, the Sparta Police despise Tibbs, one just because he is black, and two because they were wrong. The chief Gillespie, swallows his pride, and asks Tibbs to help with the case after talking to his boss and being told Tibbs is “a homicide expert”.  Portier plays his character very well, rarely stooping to the others’ level of arrogance, and remains composed through the harassment, in order to solve the case.  Both Tibbs, and the white cops learned to accept each other, though they never really worked as partners, they grew to respect each other based on their commitments to solving the case.  Even when Tibbs is told to leave and stop helping with the case, he refuses and risks his own life in order to find the true murderer.  The film does a great job of showing the reality of racism in the south, Tibbs is constantly harasses, verbally and physically, by the whites in town.  Until the end, it seemed no matter what leads Tibbs was able to find, he wasn’t accepted as a real cop on the case because of his skin color. 


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