'In The Heat Of The Night' Coming To Blu-Ray In January 2014
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'In The Heat Of The Night' Coming To Blu-Ray In January 2014

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I know there are a lot of people who absolutely love Norman Jewison’s 1967 Best Picture

Oscar-winning film In The Heat of the

Night, but I’ve always felt that it promises more than it delivers.

True, when it first came out it was a genuine sensation, and

despite the fact that it was released some 46 years ago, it is still very much as relevant today as it was then.

My problem is, if you take away all the seething racial

conflict and angst in the film, what you have left is a pretty routine

detective mystery that you’ve seen before, more times than you can count, and, add

to that, as well, Rod Steiger’s bellowing,

hammy performance for which he won the Best

Actor Oscar in 1968.

And then there’s that famous “slap” scene that people

always talk about, when Sidney Poitier

slaps an old racist white guy when he takes affront to Poitier’s “uppitiness” and slaps him first. However

I always like to think that, if it was Jim Brown

instead of Poitier, believe me Brown wouldn’t stop at just a slap and every white guy in the entire damn town would have been dead in the film by the end

credits.

But you can’t deny that it’s always irresistible whenever

you see a really smart brother showing up some dumb white folks, making them look like fools, and maybe that’s

the real appeal of the film.

The film has been available on DVD since 2001, and in 2008, an improved (in terms of image quality) 40th

anniversary edition DVD was released. Now Twentieth Century Fox Home Video has announced that they will be releasing a newly-remastered,

better looking than ever, blu-ray DVD of the film on Jan. 14,2014.

This new blu-ray will carry over the extra features that

were included in both the 2001 and 2008

editions, including commentaries by Jewison, Lee

Grant, Rod Steiger (who passed away in 2002) and cinematographer Haskell Wexler, the documentaries

shorts Turning Up the Heat: Moviemaking in the ’60s, The Slap Heard Around the

World and Quincy Jones: Breaking New

Sound.

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