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The winner of the 1967 Oscar for Best Picture (as well as four other Oscars), In the Heat of the Night is set in a small Mississippi town where an unusual murder has been committed. Rod Steiger plays sheriff Bill Gillespie, a good lawman despite his racial prejudices. When Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier), a well-dressed northern African-American, comes to town, Gillespie instinctively puts him under arrest as a murder suspect. Tibbs reveals himself to be a Philadelphia police detective; after he and Gillespie come to a grudging understanding of one another, Tibbs offers to help in Gillespie's investigation. As the case progresses, both Gillespie and Tibbs betray a tendency to jump to culture-dictated conclusions.