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S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by Norman Jewison
USA 1967

In the Heat Of The Night fit in well with the canons of screenwriter Stirling Silliphant, director Jewison and cinematographer Haskell Wexler. Silliphant went on to pen the poignant Charly (1968) and another racially-tinged drama, The Liberation of L.B. Jones (1970). Wexler brought a harsh, realistic look to films like Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) and documentaries like No Nukes (1980), later working on such socially-conscious fare as Matewan (1987) and Coming Home (1978). With In The Heat of the Night's performances and screenplay drawing so much of the viewer's attention, Wexler's camera work almost takes a backseat, but his shot compositions and angles complement the movie's mood perfectly.

Shot in the small towns of Dyersburg, Tennessee and Freeburg, Belleville, and Sparta, Illinois, In The Heat of the Night had the perfect atmosphere of a stifling rural town in the South, the type of place where every newcomer is eyed with suspicion. Quincy Jones' rootsy, innovative score mingled elements of country blues, bluegrass and rock to evoke the languid tension of the town perfectly.

Tibbs posed several problems to the locals, not only as an outsider and a black man; his knowledge of police work and forensics threatened to embarrass the local police and make them look like backwoods hicks. It would have been easy to make Gillespie's character a stereotypical, loudmouthed Southern bigot, but screenwriter Sterling Silliphant imbued him with much more depth than that. By the same turn, Tibbs is shown to be a flawed man as well, with his own pride and cleverness often getting in his way. As the film unfolds, Gillespie and Tibbs slowly come to the realization that they have more in common than they'd like to admit, and even begin to develop a grudging respect for each other. Thus, a movie that could easily have become obvious and heavy-handed is instead a subtle, character-driven gem.

Excerpt from Turner Classic Movies located HERE

 

Posters

 

Theatrical Release: August 2nd, 1967

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Comparison: 

MGM - Region 1 - NTSC vs. MGM (40th Anniversary Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray

(MGM - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT vs. MGM (Anniversary Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC RIGHT)

Box Cover

  

  

Distribution

MGM

Region 1 - NTSC

MGM (Anniversary Edition)

Region 1 - NTSC

MGM
Region FREE - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:49:44 1:49:52 1:50:04.222

Video

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.3 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.85:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.5 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 41,603,263,288 bytes

Feature: 38,286,231,552 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.81 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate :

 MGM (original release)

Bitrate:

 MGM (Anniversary Edition)

Bitrate:

 MGM Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), DUB: French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono) DTS-HD Master Audio English 3329 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3329 kbps /
24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
DTS-HD Master Audio French 1066 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1066 kbps /
24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio Portuguese 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
DTS-HD Master Audio Italian 1058 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1058 kbps /
24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
DTS Audio German 768 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit
DTS-HD Master Audio Spanish 1088 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1088 kbps /
24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
* DTS-HD Master Audio Japanese 1081 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1081 kbps /
24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
* DTS-HD Master Audio Japanese 1072 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1072 kbps /
24-bit (DTS Core: 1.0 / 48 kHz / 768 kbps / 24-bit)
Commmentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 192 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 192 kbps
Subtitles French, Spanish, None English, French, Spanish, None English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, German, Greek Japanese, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: MGM

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer (2:37 / 4:3)

DVD Release Date: January 9th, 2001
Keep case

Chapters 16

Release Information:
Studio: MGM (Anniversary Edition)
 

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.85:1

Edition Details:
• Commentary by: director Norman Jewison, Rod Steiger, Lee Grant, Haskell Wexler
• Featurette: Turning Up the Heat: making Movies in the 60's
• Featurette: The Slap Heard Around the World
• Featurette: Quincy Jones: Breaking New Sound
• Original theatrical trailer

 

DVD Release Date: January 15th, 2008
Keep Case

Chapters 28

Release Information:
Studio: MGM

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 41,603,263,288 bytes

Feature: 38,286,231,552 bytes

Video Bitrate: 32.81 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
• Commentary by: director Norman Jewison, Rod Steiger, Lee Grant, Haskell Wexler
• Featurette: Turning Up the Heat: making Movies in the 60's (21:10)
• Featurette: The Slap Heard Around the World (7:26)
• Featurette: Quincy Jones: Breaking New Sound (13:03)
• Original theatrical trailer (2:48)


Blu-ray Release Date: January 14th, 2014
Standard Blu-ray Case

Chapters 28

 

Comments:

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray (January 2014): Not that much to say... In the Heat of the Night has never looked pristine on digital - it has an inherent production softness but I'm happy to see improvement in detail in MGM's new 1080P transfer which is evident in the screen captures below. It looks very thick but close-ups show the improvement. The gritty nature of the film comes through much better on the Blu-ray. Colors support the scheme of the 2008 SD version. There is some horizontal stretching (Cinemascope Mumps?) with faces looking a shade fatter than the SD. Quincy Jones impressive score sounds magnificent in DTS-HD Master 5.1 at a healthy 3329 kbps. There are foreign language DUBs and multiple subtitle options supporting the disc's region FREE status. Extras mimic the 40th Anniversary DVD (see descriptions below) complete with the Jewison, Steiger, Grant, Wexler commentary and three informative featurettes. There is also a trailer.

In the Heat of the Night is still so impressive after all these years. It is so rewatchable and its great to have it improve, even in marginal respects, and the definitive home theater digital presentation.

***

ON THE DVDs: (January 2008): The new 40th Anniversary (more appropriately 7 years, almost exactly, from the original DVD release date) is improved in every single area. The image (both are dual-layered) takes up almost 2 Gig more space in the new edition - improving the compression but the transfer is obviously new as well - everything is superior - bitrate, colors, detail and it has more information in the frame. There may be some red/black boosting in the Anniversary but that seems to be common practice nowadays in the world of SD production (redder skin tones). I'd love to see this in high-definition one day and it's certainly not out of the question if the film is ever championed for a successfully supported theatrical retrospective.

NOTE: there is another difference - either the new release is slightly vertically compressed (likely) or the old is slightly stretched. It didn't deter my viewing (I actually watched it twice) and I can't see it bothering anyone... but it should be noted.

Other areas of improvement are the inclusion of English subtitles as an option (the original had only French or Spanish choices), a rather unnecessary 5.1 audio bump option (that did have some rich moments), and three new featurettes as extras (see below).

In the supplements the same interesting commentary is included. Although recorded separately it's great to hear Jewison and Steiger give counter-points to his 'over-the-top' performance style etc. Raspy voiced Jewison informs us of many production details he overcame (lighting, screening for the titles etc.). But with the 40th Anniversary we have three new featurettes - about 40 minutes worth that seem better than standard filler - anyway, I enjoyed them much more than the usual fare.

This is an easy recommendation for under $15, even if you own the original (which is available at only $2 less ?!?). Great film - I LOVED seeing it again. It is so performance driven and has a fabulous script. Recommended!  

Gary W. Tooze

 


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Screen Captures

 

 

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2) MGM (Anniversary Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE

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1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) MGM (Anniversary Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) MGM (Anniversary Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) MGM (Anniversary Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 


 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

2) MGM (Anniversary Edition) - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE

3) MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray - BOTTOM

 

 

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Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: DVD and Blu-ray


 
Box Cover

  

  

Distribution

MGM

Region 1 - NTSC

MGM (Anniversary Edition)

Region 1 - NTSC

MGM
Region FREE - Blu-ray



 

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