Hello to everyone who has been following this blog for many years - I'm still blogging, I'm just moving over to https://www.claireheffer.com/blog - please continue to follow and let me take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been kind enough to visit over the years. May the lists continue...

Sunday 27 January 2019



TRIVIA: Sidney Poitier insisted that the movie be filmed in the north because of an incident in which he and Harry Belafonte were almost killed by Ku Klux Klansman during a visit to Mississippi. Hence the selection of Sparta, Illinois for the location filming. Nevertheless, the filmmakers and actors did venture briefly into Tennessee for the outdoor scenes at the cotton plantation, because there was no similar cotton plantation in Illinois that could be used. Poitier slept with a gun under his pillow during production in Tennessee. Poitier did receive threats from local racist thugs, so the shoot was cut short and production returned to Illinois.

Rod Steiger was asked by Director Norman Jewison to chew gum when playing the part. He resisted at first, but then grew to love the idea, and eventually went through two hundred sixty-three packs of gum during the shooting of the film.

According to Sidney Poitier, Tibbs' retaliation slap to Endicott (Larry Gates) was not in the original script nor in the novel on which the film is based. Poitier insisted that Tibbs slap Endicott back and wanted a guarantee that the scene would appear in all prints of the film. According to Stirling Silliphant, the slap was in the original script, though not in the novel.

Set in a hot Mississippi summer, but filmed during autumn in Illinois, many of the actors had to keep ice chips in their mouths (and spit them out before takes) to prevent their breath from appearing on camera during the night scenes.

The movie's line "They call me Mister Tibbs!" was voted as the #16 movie quote by the American Film Institute.

Frequently cited as Sidney Poitier's favorite of all the films he's done.

In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #75 Greatest Movie of All Time. It was the first inclusion of this film on the list.

Virgil Tibbs was ranked Hero #19 in the Heroes category on the AFI's 100 Heroes and Villains list.

Virgil's salary of "$162.39 per week" would be roughly $1,200 in 2017.

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.

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