“They call me Mr. Tibbs!” As statements of defiance go, they don’t come much stronger than Sidney Poitier’s Philadelphia homicide detective, faced with Rod Steiger’s redneck cop in Norman Jewison’s 1967 tale of racial prejudice.
A five-time Oscar winner, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Steiger, it sees a towering Poitier’s Virgil Tibbs dragged into a local murder-mystery in a film that satisfies equally as police procedural and social commentary.
Never mind the imitators – from Mississippi Burning to this year’s The Butler – the incendiary original is where you need to head.
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