WE NEED YOUR HELP!

 

Hello friends! In the current environment it is getting more and more difficult for us to maintain the website. Our income has severely been diminished by the increasing number of DVD/Blu-ray producers selling discs from their own sites. At present they don't offer us affiliate commissions which are our major source of income (Amazon, Barnes and Noble etc.). To continue producing comparisons, reviews and articles, we regretfully request YOUR assistance in the form of small monthly donations. We have started a Patreon page with the hopes that some of our followers would be willing to donate to keep DVDBeaver alive. We are a small niche, so your generosity is vital to our existence.

To those that are unfamiliar, Patreon is a secure/verified third-party service where users can agree to a monthly donation via credit card or PayPal by clicking the button below.

 


 

Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

directed by Norman Jewison
USA 1967

Passing through the backwoods town of Sparta, Mississippi, Philadelphia detective Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier) becomes embroiled in a murder case. He forms an uneasy alliance with the bigoted police chief (Rod Steiger), who faces mounting pressure from Sparta’s hostile citizens to catch the killer and run the African American interloper out of town. Director Norman Jewison splices incisive social commentary into this thrilling police procedural with the help of Haskell Wexler’s vivid cinematography, Quincy Jones’s eclectic score, and two indelible lead performances—a career-defining display of seething indignation and moral authority from Poitier and an Oscar-winning master class in Method acting from Steiger. Winner of five Academy Awards, including for best picture, In the Heat of the Night is one of the most enduring Hollywood films of the civil rights era.

***

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

Reviews                                                        More Reviews                                                     DVD Reviews

 

Comparison: 

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

 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC LEFT

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

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

4) Criterion Spine # 959 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Cover

  

  

    

Distribution

MGM

Region 1 - NTSC

MGM (Anniversary Edition)

Region 1 - NTSC

MGM
Region FREE - Blu-ray
Criterion Spine # 959 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Runtime 1:49:44 1:49:52 1:50:04.222 1:50:20.614

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

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,333,980,411 bytes

Feature: 33,227,341,824 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.77 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:

 Criterion 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

LPCM Audio English 1152 kbps 1.0 / 48 kHz / 1152 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary:

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 English (SDH), 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

Release Information:
Studio:
Criterion

 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 47,333,980,411 bytes

Feature: 33,227,341,824 bytes

Video Bitrate: 35.77 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
New interviews with director Norman Jewison (11:09) and actor Lee Grant (15:02)
Segment from a 2006 American Film Institute interview with actor Sidney Poitier (7:44)
New interview with Aram Goudsouzian, author of Sidney Poitier: Man, Actor, Icon (17:39)
Audio commentary from 2008 featuring Jewison, Grant, actor Rod Steiger, and cinematographer Haskell Wexler
Turning Up the Heat: Movie-Making in the ’60s, a 2008 program about the production of the film and its legacy, featuring Jewison, Wexler, producer Walter Mirisch, and filmmakers John Singleton and Reginald Hudlin (21:10)
Quincy Jones: Breaking New Sound, a 2008 program about Jones’s innovative soundtrack, including the title song sung by Ray Charles, featuring interviews with Jones, lyricists Alan and Marilyn (13:03) Bergman, and musician Herbie Hancock
Trailer (2:46)
PLUS: An essay by critic K. Austin Collins

 

Blu-ray Release Date: January 29th, 2018
Transparent
Blu-ray case

Chapters: 14

 

 

Comments:

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

ADDITION: Criterion- Region 'A' - Blu-ray December 18': The Criterion is advertised as a "New 4K digital restoration". The horizontal stretching on the MGM (discussed below) is even more obvious beside Criterion's 1080P transfer. Flesh tones warm and detail rises in the 4K-restoration. It has a max'ed out bitrate and looks excellent in-motion. The paler colors on the MGM rise via the Criterion to appear more authentic (police shirts, bricks etc.). This is the best I have seen In the Heat of the Night look on digital.

Criterion utilize a 24-bit linear PCM mono track in the original English language. The film's music is notable for the score by Quincy Jones (The Getaway, The Slender Thread, The Pawnbroker, The New Centurions, They Call Me Mr. Tibbs) and it encapsulates a southern charm with the film's rising tensions via the uncompressed. There are optional English (SDH) subtitles and the Blu-ray disc is region 'A'-locked.

Criterion stack their Blu-ray release with multiple extras that include the audio commentary from 2008 featuring Jewison, Grant, actor Rod Steiger, and cinematographer Haskell Wexler. There are 2018 interviews with director Norman Jewison, recorded by the Criterion Collection in Toronto in October, and actor Lee Grant recorded by the Criterion Collection in New York in September. We get an 8-minute segment from a 2006 American Film Institute interview with actor Sidney Poitier part of the 100 Cheers television special, about the one hundred most inspiring films of all time, which originally aired on June 14, 2006. There is a new, 18-minute, interview with Aram Goudsouzian, chair of the history department at the University of Memphis and author of Sidney Poitiers Man, Actor, Icon, was recorded by the Criterion Collection in Memphis, Tennessee, in October 2018. Turning Up the Heat: Movie-Making in the ’60s, is a 21-minute 2008 program about the production of the film and its legacy, featuring Jewison, Wexler, producer Walter Mirisch, and filmmakers John Singleton and Reginald Hudlin. Quincy Jones: Breaking New Sound is a 2008 program about Jones’s innovative soundtrack, including the title song sung by Ray Charles, featuring interviews with Jones, lyricists Alan and Marilyn Bergman, and musician Herbie Hancock and runs 13-minutes. Lastly is a trailer and the Blu-ray package has a liner notes essay by critic K. Austin Collins.

Finally, a far more serviceable, home theatre image for this important, brilliantly realized, film - plus Criterion add extensive extras on their, must-own Blu-ray.

***

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

 


Menus

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

 
 
 

 

MGM - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

Criterion Spine # 959 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Subtitle Sample - Criterion Spine # 959 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 


 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

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

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

4) Criterion Spine # 959 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

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

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

4) Criterion Spine # 959 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

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

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

4) Criterion Spine # 959 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


 

1) MGM - Region 1 - NTSC TOP

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

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

4) Criterion Spine # 959 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

More Criterion Blu-ray Captures


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Criterion Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-rays

Extras: Criterion Blu-ray


 
Box Cover

  

  

    

Distribution

MGM

Region 1 - NTSC

MGM (Anniversary Edition)

Region 1 - NTSC

MGM
Region FREE - Blu-ray
Criterion Spine # 959 - Region 'A' - Blu-ray


Hit Counter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You