In 1965, when he wrote the murder mystery In the Heat of the Night, John Ball was a 54-year-old journalist and music critic.
His Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America is all the more remarkable given that this was his debut work.
Seven further novels featuring Tibbs and four more short stories were written by Ball. Singapore, the final novel, came out a year before the series did.
The Movie Version Won the Academy Award for Best Picture that year.
When screenwriter Stirling Silliphant adapted Ball’s novel in 1967, he switched the tale’s location to Sparta and relocated Tibbs from the Pasadena Police Department to the Philadelphia Police Department.
Norman Jewison directed a cast that included Rod Steiger as Gillespie, Sidney Poitier as Tibbs, and others. Poitier was the first African-American actor to take home the Oscar for Best Actor, making him a cultural icon in his day (for Lilies Of The Field).
To name just one of the five Oscars the picture took home, Steiger’s win was for Best Actor (including Best Picture).
Fans are quite excited about the filming sites for In the Heat of the Night, and we’ll be talking about them all today. In 1967, the film finally saw the light of day. A mystery and a dramatic situation are presented as the main theme. The film was directed by Norman Jewison.
Heat of the Night Storyline
This storyline was adapted from John Ball’s 1965 novel of the same name. This narrative centres on Virgil Tibbs.
He’s a detective for the Philadelphia Police Department and he’s black. This individual has been given a case in Mississippi. There aren’t many people living there because it’s such a small town. Since this has always been a peaceful area, the murder has come as a shock to the locals. Nonetheless, justice will be served, and the matter will be closed.
Sidney Poitier returns as the heroic police officer Virgil Tibbs in In the Heat of the Night. Afterwards, there’s Rod Steiger, who plays Bill Gillespie. Warren Oates plays Sam Wood in this production. Next up is Mrs.
Colbert, played by Lee Grant. The story begins with Philip Colbert, Mrs. Colbert’s husband, relocating to Sparta, Mississippi. He is an industrialist and a very wealthy man. Phillip and his family have relocated here so that he can start up a manufacturing business.