Monday, August 3, 2015

In the Heat of the Night (1967) Hopperesque Noir


(SLWB - February 07, 2014 reprinted 9/22/2017) 

Director: Norman Jewison Writers: Stirling Silliphant (screenplay, also wrote Nightfall (1957) 
The Lineup(1958), Marlowe (1969 ), John Ball (based on a novel by). Cinematography was by Haskell Wexler (The Savage Eye (1960), Matewan (1987), Mulholland Falls (1996)) Music was by the great Quincy Jones.  The film stars,  Sidney Poitier (No Way Out (1950), Blackboard Jungle (1955)), Rod Steiger (On the Waterfront (1954), The Big Knife (1955), The Harder They Fall (1956), Cry Terror! (1958), No Way to Treat a Lady (1968), ), Warren Oates (The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond (1960), Private Property (1960), Dillinger (1973), Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974)), Lee Grant (Detective Story (1951), Storm Fear (1955), Terror in the City (1964), Mulholland Drive (2001)), with Larry Gates, James Patterson, William Schallert, Beah Richards, and Quentin Dean.

In The Heat Of The Night, through Noir shaded glasses a visual review.

Re-watched Oscar Winner (Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material 
from Another Medium, Best Sound and Best Film Editing) In The Heat Of The Night. Forget about that is was produced at the height of the civil rights struggle becoming a benchmark film that has won accolades world over and look at it terms of a sort of Edward Hopper-esque, color Neo Noir. 

The compositions and muted colors render practically every scene a visual treat. If you've never 
seen it you will be pleasantly surprised, with a great Quincy Jones score to boot. 10/10 for me.

Its Noir influences are readily homaged in the 40th Anniversary Issue's menu sequence:




Below are composite screen caps that are a visual treat:

Noir-ish


















































Hopper-esque









Portraits










Compositions













Atmospherics












The great opening sequence with the arrival of the train accompanied by Ray Charles 
singing In the Heat of the Night you know you are back in Noirsville.



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