28 March 2001 | MovieCriticMarvelfan
A great movie by a great actor
Starring Sidney Landau, Martin . McNair, Barbara (Tibbs Wife), "They Call me Mr. Tibbs is the sequel (sort of ) to `In the Heat of the Night'
I saw this on turnerclassicmovies, and it's one of the most entertaining 70's movies I've seen and you've probably never heard of it.
I can't blame you though, the 70's had a lot of `B' movies that only revolved around drugs, violence and had no plots and bad actors but this movie is one of the best movies made during that era.
The great element of this movie is Poitier himself who resembled the ideal black man- Strong, Intelligent, and Independent. As pointed out in his biography Poitier grew dirt poor in Miami and worked menial jobs, often sleeping in bus terminals. Then he started auditioning in theaters until he eventually got acting parts.
In fact actors like Denzel Washington idolized Poitier growing up, though with all respect to Mr. Washington, he didn't really break down the color barrier as did Sidney. Poitier has broken down color barriers in films like "In the Heat of The Night", "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner", and " The Defiant Ones (with Tony Curtis)" He proved that a minority actor can be at the same acting level, if not better than his white counterparts. In fact many of his roles, had him acting against white bigots like "In the Heat of The Night" and "No way out."
Now on to the opinion.
Sidney Poitier reprises his role as lieutenant Virgil Tibbs from `In The Heat of The Night', this time though, Tibbs is working in San Francisco trying to solve the murder of a prostitute called Miss Joy.
Tibbs approaches the crime scene and like a good detective makes detail of everything that could provide a clue to as to who murdered Miss Joy.
This is a great detective movie, this movie gives you the important aspects of what a good detectives looks for in solving a case.
Fingerprints, pieces of lint on a new carpet, searching for marks on the victim and above all looking into the history of the victim are all clues that Tibbs uses to find the killer.
The suspects are: Reverend Logan Sharpe: Tibbs best friend for the past 18 yrs who is campaigning for a special
proposition for the schools. The role is played here by the legendary Martin Landua who has appeared in over 50 movies or so in his lifetime. While not the charismatic actor, Landua plays his roles perfectly. In touch with the times of the 70's, Landua's role called for a political preacher who cares about the community and wants to give control back to the people. Pay close attention to the speech he gives while supporting his proposition. The words he says are words that most community leaders would use. Also the words he says are bitter sweet too because all the problems he points out are still going in today's school: Better teachers, teachers who care, rights for the less fortunate, etc.
Woody Garfield a real estate man, is the other suspect ,played by the legendary Ed Asner who first became a celebrity through the Mary Tyler Moore Show and other hit tv shows and movies. He plays a real estate man who lends his property to pimps like Mr. Weedon.
Mr. Weedon is a pimp who lives on the same apartment where Miss Joy was killed.
Without revealing too much (since I want you to see this great film the movie keeps you guessing as to who the killer is. Also there are some decent action scenes where Tibbs (resembling Shaft) beats up the white drug dealers who try to interfere with his investigation.
On top of that the film depicts the life of a hardworking black man who protects his family but is tough on them if need be.
For instance, in one gripping scene, Tibbs must discipline his son , Andy Tibbs, for hitting his sister and for not cleaning his room.
Tibbs gives his son a chance to make up for what he has done by giving him the opportunity to clean his room,but he doesn't do it. Tibbs slaps him on the face because he knows that his son, has not learned to respect authority. His son starts crying but still doesn't follow his father's orders. Tibbs slaps him again until he gets the message. A very gritty, tough, great police crime drama movie.
A great inside look into the abilities of Sidney Poitier.
I ain't revealing anymore because one person commented on my last review that I gave too much info.