In the Heat of the Night (Norman Jewison, 1967)

One night in 1966 in Sparta, Mississippi, police officer Sam Wood discovers a dead body. Being a small town, the crime rate in Sparta is unsurprisingly low. Even so, Officer Wood recognizes that the man’s death was no accident. He brings the case to the attention of his superior, Chief Gillespie, who leads the investigation. Shortly thereafter, Officer Wood stumbles upon an African American man waiting at the train station. Suspecting him of the crime, he arrests him, though his feeling of elation quickly turns to embarrassment when he eventually learns Tibbs is one of Philadelphia’s greatest homicide detectives. Tibbs’s chief then recommends the seasoned detective help assist the murder case in Sparta. Although neither Tibbs nor Gillespie are enchanted with the idea, they agree.

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