Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Bill Duke's 'Dark Girls' Follow-up, 'Light Girls,' Gets a First Trailer & Release date (Heading to OWN) Bill Duke's 'Dark Girls' Follow-up, 'Light Girls,' Gets a First Trailer & Release date (Heading to OWN) Watch Trailer for Romcom 'With This Ring' (Regina Hall, Jill Scott, Eve Star - Coming January 2015) Watch Trailer for Romcom 'With This Ring' (Regina Hall, Jill Scott, Eve Star - Coming January 2015) Here Are the Top 10 Grossing "Black Films" of 2014... How Many of Them Did You See? Here Are the Top 10 Grossing "Black Films" of 2014... How Many of Them Did You See? Debbie Allen & Phylicia Rashad Sign Up for 'Arsenic and Old Lace' Playing the Brewster Sisters Debbie Allen & Phylicia Rashad Sign Up for 'Arsenic and Old Lace' Playing the Brewster Sisters Weekend B.O. Dec. 19-21 (Sony's Grateful for Small Blessings, while Paramount Blew it) Weekend B.O. Dec. 19-21 (Sony's Grateful for Small Blessings, while Paramount Blew it) Ava DuVernay Has Multi-Episode TV Series on "Black Experience in America" in the Works Ava DuVernay Has Multi-Episode TV Series on "Black Experience in America" in the Works Sony Hack Reveals the Insufferable Whiteness of Hollywood Sony Hack Reveals the Insufferable Whiteness of Hollywood Preview: Jessica Williams of 'The Daily Show' Makes Leading Lady Debut in 'Tap Shoes & Violins' Preview: Jessica Williams of 'The Daily Show' Makes Leading Lady Debut in 'Tap Shoes & Violins' '106 & PARK' Says Goodbye Today, Dec 19 at 6pm, w/ Live, 2-hour, Star-Studded Finale! '106 & PARK' Says Goodbye Today, Dec 19 at 6pm, w/ Live, 2-hour, Star-Studded Finale! First Image of Queen Latifah as Bessie Smith in Upcoming HBO Biopic First Image of Queen Latifah as Bessie Smith in Upcoming HBO Biopic The Best of Black Television in 2014 The Best of Black Television in 2014 Review: Chris Rock's 'Top Five' Took Me Places I Wouldn't Expect a Chris Rock Film to Go Review: Chris Rock's 'Top Five' Took Me Places I Wouldn't Expect a Chris Rock Film to Go The Gift That Keeps on Giving - Leaked Sony Email Challenges Denzel Washington's Overseas Box Office Appeal The Gift That Keeps on Giving - Leaked Sony Email Challenges Denzel Washington's Overseas Box Office Appeal Backlash Against New VH1 Series 'Sorority Sisters' Backlash Against New VH1 Series 'Sorority Sisters' Why Aren’t We Talking About the Sexual Assault in 'Beyond the Lights'? Why Aren’t We Talking About the Sexual Assault in 'Beyond the Lights'? Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

DVD Review - 'In The Heat Of The Night: The First Season' (1988)

Shadow and Act By Emmanuel Akitobi | Shadow and Act November 12, 2012 at 8:53AM

"I want to like you people.  And I want you people to like me.  But there can't be liking without respect.  And until there is that respect, you will call me Mr. Tibbs."
3
Howard E. Rollins, Jr. as "Virgil Tibbs"
Howard E. Rollins, Jr. as "Virgil Tibbs"

"I want to like you people.  And I want you people to like me.  But there can't be liking without respect.  And until there is that respect, you will call me Mr. Tibbs."

Those are the words spoken by Howard E. Rollins, Jr. as Chief of Detectives Virgil Tibbs in NBC's In The Heat Of The Night, after being called "boy" by a subordinate in his new job with the Sparta, Mississippi police department.  And if that doesn't set the tone for this classic television drama, released on DVD for the first time this past August, I don't know what does.

sparta

Fans of this popular crime drama have been calling-- begging, even-- for its DVD release for years.  Now that the first season is available, its success will surely affect the likelihood of subsequent seasons hitting store shelves (**HINT, HINT**).

Based on the John Ball novel and Oscar-winning 1967 film of the same name (which starred Sidney Poitier and Rod Steiger, and was directed by Norman Jewison), TV's In The Heat Of The Night starred Rollins, as a Philadelphia cop who becomes Sparta's first black police officer; Carroll O'Connor, as veteran white police chief Bill Gillespie; and Anne-Marie Johnson, as Tibbs' tough and dutiful wife, AltheaDenise Nicholas and Carl Weathers would join the cast as regulars in the show's later seasons.

When it comes to any DVD release-- TV or film-- from years past, it's always been a gamble with regard to what you'll actually get, picture, audio, and extras-wise.  This MGM Studios release, distributed by TGG Direct, does not disappoint.  For a series that's nearly 25 years old, the only thing that gives away its age is the 80's fashion seen throughout.  Well, that, and the Jheri curls sported down in The Bottoms.

HNDVD
What You Get:  The two-part pilot, six additional episodes, and a TV movie; all presented in crisp, full frame, 1080p picture and sound.

What You Don't:  Closed-Captions; DVD extras.

Why You Need It:  Classic performances from the late greats Rollins and O'Connor, as well as from the supporting cast; believable top-notch writing and production, not easily found in current dramatic TV offerings; honest depictions of U.S. race-relations not seen on TV since this show went off the air.

This article is related to: Howard E. Rollins, Jr.


Shadow & ActNewsletter