In the Heat of the Night (1967) Movie Script

? In the heat of the night
? Seems like a cold sweat
creepin' across my brow
? Yeah
? In the heat of the night
? I'm feelin' motherless somehow
? Stars with evil eyes
? Stare from the skies
? All mean and bright
? In the heat of the night
? Ain't a woman yet been born
? Knows how to make the mornin' come
? It's so hard to keep control
? When I could sell my soul
? For just a little light
? In the heat of the night
? In the heat of the night
? I've got trouble wall to wall
? Oh yes, I have
? I repeat
? I repeat, in the night
? Must be an ending to it all
? But hold on, it won't be long
? Just you be strong
? And it'll be all right
? In the heat of the night
Where you keepin' the pie tonight?
A man ate the last piece
just before you come in.
What's that little old orphan
sittin' right up there?
Marble cake.
Tell you what, Sam. Bein' she's
in there by her little old lonesome,
I'll let you have her for free.
I told you 'bout that "Sam" business,
didn't I? Hm?
Sorry, Mr Wood.
I mean, uh... Officer Wood.
(car starts)
(country music fades in)
? Well, a bow-legged Polly
and a knocked-kneed Paul
? A bow-legged Polly
and a knocked-kneed Paul
? A bow-legged Polly
and a knocked-kneed Paul
? They can't get together at all
? Just like the worm in the cornfield
said to his brother
? "Yeah, go in one ear and out the other"
(? singer hums)
? Well, a bucktoothed Clara
and a cross-eyed Clyde
? A bucktoothed Clara
and a cross-eyed Clyde
? Like old bow-legged Polly
and a knock-kneed Paul
(music stops)
? Every time I see your face
? It's got a way of turnin' me around
? You tune me in, pretty baby
? Wild things begin
? Baby, that ain't love
? But it sure is groovy
(song continues in background)
(doctor) It's Colbert, all right.
Skull's caved in.
You ever take a homicide
picture before, son?
Well, at least he won't be movin' on me.
That's for sure. I want you to cover every
angle. Do you hear me? Every angle.
Uh, you boys, move on back now, OK?
Came all this way to build us a factory,
make somethin' outta this town.
Look what it got him.
Sam, did he have a wallet,
identification, anything like that?
That's the first thing I looked for.
Whoever fixed him musta took 'em.
- Any witnesses?
- I mean, not even a cat.
- How long's he been dead?
- Oh, less than an hour.
- Less than an hour.
- Maybe half that.
Maybe half.
Could have been a hitchhiker.
Check both ends of town, check
the depot, and check the pool hall. OK?
- Pool hall closed at one o'clock, Chief.
- I said check it, Sam.
Yes, sir.
On your feet, boy.
I mean now!
Get against that wall.
Get them hands high!
Spread them fingers out.
I wanna count all ten.
You move before I tell you to, boy,
by God, I'm gonna clean your plough.
That's pretty fat there, ain't it, boy? Huh?
Now, outside there's a police car.
You're gonna pick up that bag.
You're gonna walk out, and you're
gonna plant yourself in the back.
And you're gonna be
a real nice quiet boy all the way in.
You hear?!
C'mon, boy.
Move it!
Chief here?
- Hey, what's up, Sam?
- (Sam) Chief?
What's goin' on?
- Sam?
- (squeaking)
(quicker clattering)
- Wood?
- Yes, sir?
When's the last time I asked Courtney
to get oil for this damn thing?
Uh, last Wednesday.
Would you be kind enough to go outside
and remind him what day it is today?
Well, uh... how about the prisoner here?
Don't you worry about him.
Got a name, boy?
Virgil Tibbs.
Well, I don't think we're gonna
have any trouble, are we, Virgil?
No trouble at all.
Oh, you can go now, Sam.
Yes, sir.
- What did you hit him with?
- Hit whom?
"Whom"? Whom?
You a Northern boy? What's a Northern
boy like you doin' all the way down here?
- I was waiting for the train.
- There ain't no trains this time of mornin'.
- Tuesdays only. 4.05 to Memphis.
- You say.
(train horn in distance)
Well... All right, you say right.
All right... Virgil.
Now look.
I try to run a nice, clean, safe town here.
A town where a man can sneeze and not
get his brains beat out. You follow me?
Why don't you tell me how you killed
Mr Colbert? You'll feel a whole lot better.
Not now!
I was visiting my mother.
I came in on the 12.35 from Brownsville.
I was waiting to go out on the 4.05.
And meanwhile, you killed yourself
a white man and picked yourself up $200!
I earned that money,
ten hours a day, seven days a week.
Coloured can't earn that. It's more than I
make in a month! Where did you earn it?!
- Philadelphia.
- Mississippi?
- Pennsylvania.
- Just how do you earn that kinda money?
I'm a police officer.
(throws badge on desk)
Oh, yeah.
- Wood!
- Yes, sir!
- Did you question this man?
- No, sir.
Would you mind taking a look at that?
Yeah! Oh, yeah!
I'll check on this wise city boy.
You take him outside and hold him.
Yes, sir.
May I suggest that you call my chief
rather than send a wire or anything?
I mean, it would be quicker.
And I'll pay for the call.
Did you hear? Did you hear him
say he'd pay for the call?
How much do they pay you
to do their police work?
$162.39 per week.
$162.39 a week!
Well, boy! Take him outside, Wood.
But treat him easy,
because a man that
makes $162.39 a week -
man, we do not wanna ruffle him!
No, sir!
Courtney... would you try
and get me long-distance?
(Courtney) Police business, honey.
Chief's on the line.
No. He catch you listenin' in,
he'll run your butt around the block.
- He don't panic me none.
- No?
- Where's the chief?
- You got the pictures of the dead man?
Sure do. I got him top,
bottom, sideways - you name it.
- Good. I'll take 'em, son.
- No, I wanna give 'em to the chief.
- I said I'd take 'em, Charlie.
- Do like he tells you, Charlie.
Somebody owes me
some money for those.
I had to buy paper and film
and developin'.
That's all right. Just bill the department.
Everything will be taken care of.
God Almighty. He sure looks bad.
May I see the man
I am supposed to have killed?
Sure. I don't know why not.
(whispers) Hey, Sam. He's finished talkin'.
- Here's the photos of the dead man.
- OK.
Got your chief on the phone.
He wants to talk to you.
Hello? Yes, sir. I'm sorry
to have gotten you involved in this.
I really had no choice.
Yes, sir.
You can't be serious, sir. I mean, even
if I could be of help, they wouldn't want it.
No, sir. I'm not prejudiced.
Yes, sir. I am a police officer
and they're police officers, but...
Hello. This is Gillespie.
Yes, sir. Yep, well...
You don't say?
He's your number one homicide expert?
Well, my, my, my.
I don't think we need any help.
We can wrap this up ourselves.
Yes, sir. But I do want to thank you
for offering me such a powerful piece
of manpower as Virgil Tibbs.
Yes, sir. Thank you.
Yeah. Goodbye, now.
Oh, it's all there.
We paid for the phone call ourselves.
Now, you are the number one
homicide expert.
- That's right.
- I bet you look at a lot of dead bodies.
- Well, what?
- Well...
I just thought maybe, uh... Maybe you
wouldn't mind takin' a look at this one?
No, thanks.
- Why not, expert?
- Because I've got a train to catch.
Wait a minute.
That train don't leave till noon.
They pay you $162.39 a week just to look
at bodies. Why can't you look at this one?
- Why can't you look at it for yourself?
- Because I'm not an expert...
Ten cents, ten million dollars - just
doesn't matter when a man's time comes.
I could give him a nicer service
right here in Sparta
than he could ever get up there
in Chicago. And at half the price, too.
- I got a rosewood casket out there...
- (door opens)
Ted Ulam, Chief.
We haven't had the pleasure.
That's for sure.
He's with me.
Hello, Doc.
Do you wanna look at it?
(Virgil) New manicure. That's good.
That's very good.
- I'll need a few things.
- (Gillespie) Such as?
Ammonium hydrosulphide,
benzidine, superoxide of hydrogen.
Copper powder, distilled water.
A six-inch celluloid scale.
Some tweezers.
Callipers. And some toothpicks.
Toothpicks?! Copper...?
What's goin' on here, Chief?
Who is this boy anyway?
I asked him to look at the body.
That's who he is.
It's 4.45. What time was this man killed?
Sam found him at 3am. The doctor says
it's possible he was killed an hour earlier.
- At two?
- Maybe a little later.
2.15... 2.30?
Would you feel the face and jaw, please?
Am I mistaken, or has rigor begun?
It has.
You'll notice too
that postmortem lividity is present.
So the time of death really has
to be earlier. Wouldn't you say?
Well, we'll be able to pinpoint that
as soon as I get a thermometer.
As you know, the loss of heat from
the brain is the most reliable way
of determining time of death.
Right, Chief?
Oh, yeah.
Which one of you gentlemen
will assist me?
(phone rings)
Ulam's Funer... It's for you, Chief.
Yeah. Talk to me.
Oh, good. Yeah, yeah. Right away. I've
got a runaway suspect, boy. I gotta go.
Now listen, you. Anything he wants,
man, you better see that he gets it.
Where can I wash my hands?
(dogs barking in the distance)
(dogs barking with excitement)
This here's Shagbag, you hear?
He's headed for the river.
The river, you hear?
He's gonna be in Arkansas.
(train horn)
OK. I got him.
Mrs Colbert.
- How is she taking it?
- Chief had to leave. She don't know it yet.
Hey! You can't go in there, boy!
- Mrs Colbert?
- Where's my husband?
What's happened to him? Why won't
anybody tell me what's happened to him?
Why won't anybody here tell me?
I have a right to know if he's hurt,
if he's been in an accident.
I want to know if he is all right!
Your husband is dead, Mrs Colbert.
Somebody killed him.
We don't know who - yet.
It's, uh...
It's very hot in here.
It's very hot in this room.
Sit down.
Would you...
Would you... leave me alone
for a few minutes, please?
(sobbing continues)
Virgil, we don't need you or your
microscopes. Tell that to your chief.
We don't need him - or you.
Mrs Colbert's in there.
- I've already told her.
- I see.
Here is the examination results from
Ulam's. You wanna know what I found?
No. I don't need to look at 'em now.
May I examine this prisoner?
Yeah, you can look at him.
C'mon, let him look. Go on.
All right, now! Steady!
You finished?
Thank you.
All right, Fryer, bring him with me.
- Now we're grindin' corn!
- You shoulda been there!
If it weren't for them radios,
we woulda lost him goin' over that bridge.
That old boy highballing that train
like to cut us off.
And old Charlie's hound dog got loose...
- Did he confess?
- Huh?
The man you arrested, did he confess?
Well, I believe he will.
Yes siree, I believe he will.
I believe he will.
- He's left-handed, isn't he?
- How do I know?
Well, he seemed left-handed to me.
I believe Harvey is a southpaw.
Now, ain't he, Shagbag?
What if he is? What's that make him?
Mrs Colbert... There's just one more thing.
I picked it up, I tell you. He was already
lyin' there. It was lyin' there next to him!
I just picked it up, ma'am. That's all I did.
Shut up.
- Get him outta here.
- OK. C'mon, Harvey. Let's go.
Mrs Colbert, I, uh... I wonder if you'd mind
if I have somebody drive you over
so you could, uh...
complete the identification?
Martin, I want you to take
Mrs Colbert over to the funeral parlour.
And, Wood, run Virgil down the depot.
Uh... Virge here, Chief,
he thinks that Harvey's innocent.
- Well, I'll be damned.
- Could I talk to you about it, in private?
No. Because I got Colbert's wallet in my
hand, and we took it from Harvey Oberst.
- You think he gave it to him?
- I don't know.
But Oberst could have come along
after the crime, found it, picked it up.
- I don't know.
- That's what the boy said he did.
Well, I'm sorry, ma'am, but I say different.
When I examined the deceased,
it was obvious the fatal blow was struck
from an angle of
17 degrees from the right,
which makes it almost certain
the person who did it is right-handed.
- So what?
- (Shagbag) Harve's left-handed, Chief.
- Everybody in town knows that.
- We figured that out.
Harvey's a lefty. Uh-huh.
You're sure of yourself, Virgil. Funny
name for a nigger boy from Philadelphia.
- What do they call you up there?
- They call me Mr Tibbs!
Mr Tibbs! Well, Mr Wood, take Mr Tibbs,
take him down to the depot.
And I mean, boy, like now!
I'll have the FBI lab
send you the report on this.
Not that it'll make any difference.
I'll take that.
No, you won't.
I'm sending it in personally.
(Mrs Colbert) My God!
What kind of people are you?
What kind of a place is this?
My husband is dead.
Somebody in this town killed him!
I want you to find out who!
You gonna give me that?
No, I'm not.
Wood, you take him,
and you lock him up
for withholding evidence.
Go on, move! Put him with
his friend, Harvey Oberst!
Well, Virgil, nobody threw your brains
to the hogs, that's for damn sure.
Hold on there, Arnold. Open her up again.
We got another customer.
(Harvey) Hey, man, not in here.
- Put him somewheres else!
- Don't push the panic button.
Play it cool, boy. Play it cool.
- Hey!
- (door shuts)
What you doin'
wearin' white man's clothes?
Where d'you come from?
You deaf or somethin'?
Listen, I'm get...
Keep cool, Harvey.
I'm on your side.
Well, I don't need you!
I'm all you've got.
You're a cop?
- You're a cop.
- Mm-hm.
So, how come they locked you up?
How come they lock up a cop?
Who said they locked me up?
How come with all these empty cells here
they'd throw me in with you? You dig?
I already told 'em.
I see this fella lyin' on the street there.
And there's this wallet lyin' beside him.
Boy, I mean, I come into
this world outta luck.
Here's the first good thing
to come my way. And I pick it up.
But when I see whose wallet it is...
I mean, I start to sweat. But I heard
about this new chief. This Gillepsbie?
Got no more smile than a turnip.
So I cut across the fields, headin' for the
line, and got myself as far as the bridge
before Gillepsbie grabbed me.
What time did you find the wallet?
Well, I ain't got no watch, but it must have
been after two, by the courthouse clock.
I'm interested in eleven to two.
Where were you?
Shootin' pool. Larry's Lounge.
I got there about ten.
- What time'd you leave?
- Closin'. Must have been one.
- Anybody can swear for you?
- Packy, Bert, Les.
Ever been in trouble
with the police before?
Come on.
I could ask at the desk, you know.
Well, they brought me in one time.
- On account of this Delores Purdy.
- On what charge?
Well, uh, this Delores, she, uh...
she's real proud of what nature
done for her, you know?
And, uh...
Well, we was on a date
up to Clarke's Point, and, uh...
she says, uh... (sniggers)
Anyway, she asks me, she says, uh...
"Don't you think I got a classy build?"
And I say "Sure."
And so she starts to show me.
But I didn't do nothin' wrong.
I just didn't stop her from
tryin' to prove her point.
Then this cop, Sam Wood,
comes chargin' outta the bush
and hauls me in.
He let you go, didn't he?
Told me not to mess with her no more.
She lives on Third, a block from me.
Traipsin' around in the altogether.
With the lights on.
Now, somebody sure oughta
make her stop doin' that.
Come here.
Let me see your right hand.
- What you doin'?
- Hold still.
(door opens)
All right now, give him
the waiver for false arrest.
(Virgil) Forget it.
I'm askin' you to sign it. Please.
Give him a pen. Give him a pen.
All right. Let him out.
You'll be able to catch the 12.10 train.
It wouldn't be a bad idea
to change the charge against Oberst.
He was nowhere near the scene
of the crime, and I think he can prove it.
- I bet you know when Colbert was killed.
- About 12.30.
- While Harvey was still shooting pool.
- Wait a minute. I'll get it.
There's cue chalk under his nails,
not dried blood.
- Thank God I don't live in Philadelphia.
- One more thing.
Colbert wasn't killed
where the body was found.
- What do you mean?
- He was killed then moved to Main Street.
- Courtney?
- Yes, sir?
Change the charge to theft.
D'you mean Harve?
Who the hell else do we have back there?!
Yes, sir.
Didn't I ask you to fix that gate?
No, not me, sir. Must have been
my brother Harold. He's on days.
(slams door)
(phone rings)
Police department.
Yes, he's here. Hold on, sir.
Mayor's on the line, Chief.
(machinery noise/hammering)
What's all this Miz Colbert's been
tellin' me about a... a cover-up arrest?
No, ma'am. We ain't had no cover-up.
In fact, we just dropped the charges
for insufficient evidence.
Miz Colbert, I told you
he was nobody's man.
I came by to make it
as clear as I possibly can
that I do not want that Negro officer
taken off this case.
Negro officer?
Yeah, well, he, uh...
He comes from up North, you see.
And he was, uh, kinda...
- passin' through...
- If it wasn't for him,
your impartial chief of police would still
have the wrong man behind bars.
I want that officer given a free hand.
Otherwise, I will pack up
my husband's engineers...
and leave you...
to yourselves.
Miz Colbert, now don't you
worry about a thing.
Believe me, we're gonna
take care of everything.
I wanna see you come through
this now, you hear?
Even if we have to
step on Endicott's toes?
Even that.
But do it fast.
All right.
Now, Bill, how about
this here Negro officer?
Miz Colbert seems
to have confidence in him.
Oh, he ain't nothin'. Some kind of a...
some kind of a homicide expert.
But I don't need him.
You mean you don't want him.
But you do need him.
Now look, Bill.
Suppose he turns up the killer.
He has no police power here. He's gonna
have to hand him over on a platter, right?
That's right.
And if he fails, you're off the hook, cos it
was Miz Colbert's idea in the first place.
See what I mean?
Oh, yeah.
Works out all the way around, Bill.
For all of us.
Excuse me.
Any reason why you have to leave today?
There's lots of reasons.
What would you say if
I asked you to stay for a while?
This town needs a factory, Virgil.
Colbert come down
from Chicago to build it.
I hear they're gonna hire a thousand men.
Half of them'd be coloured.
- Know what that means?
- Probably got him killed.
That's what Mrs Colbert thinks.
She wants us to catch her a killer.
No killer, no factory.
Well, it's a lotta jobs for a lotta
coloured people. You follow me?
- I'm going home, man.
- They're your people.
Not mine - yours. You made this scene.
- What do you want me to do? Beg you?
- Look, I've had your town up to here!
Boy, it would give me a world
of satisfaction to horsewhip you, Virgil!
My father used to say that.
- Even did, once or twice.
- Yeah, well, not enough to suit me.
Now you listen to me.
Just once in my life
I'm gonna hold my temper.
I'm tellin' you that you're gonna stay.
You'll stay here if I have to have your
chief remind you what he told you to do.
But I don't think
I have to do that, you see?
No. Because you're so damned smart.
You're smarter than any white man.
You're just gonna stay here
and show us all.
You could never live with yourself
unless you could put us all to shame.
You wanna know something, Virgil?
I don't think that you could let
an opportunity like that pass by.
(train horn)
Jess, this is, uh...
This is Virgil. He's workin' for me.
Give him somethin' that runs. Fix him up.
What I fix, runs. Who pays?
Well, you know where to find me.
What you doin' here, man?
You're a policeman here in Sparta?
They've got a murder
they don't know what to do with.
They need a whipping boy.
You got a roof?
No. I'll find a motel.
(Jess chuckles)
Viola... We got company.
Know what's gonna happen?
He gonna get hisself killed.
You watch and see he don't.
I'm aware of the risk, Tom.
But, like it or not, we're stuck with him.
Not if the chief here is right on the ball.
What do you say, Chief? You got that old
killer all lined up in your front sights, hm?
I'm workin' on it.
Tom, climb off of Gillespie's back now.
You know damn well we didn't
hire him off a homicide squad.
Yeah, well, it's gonna be his week.
Cos Colbert's only the start.
I say this nigger won't live past Saturday.
Mrs Colbert, can you tell me
about your husband's enemies?
That's Endicott.
He's been fighting us all the way.
He sits up on his hill
and runs this county.
Or did, until we moved in.
Did your husband tell you
where he was going last night?
He said he wasn't sleepy. I went to bed.
What time was that?
A little after 11, I think.
Did he call you, or anybody
on your staff, after 11?
Maybe the elevator boy
can tell us what time he went out.
They put it on self-service after ten.
Did your husband use a car here?
Find anything?
- Whoever killed Colbert drove this car.
- How do you know?
Where you goin'?
I'd drive up there, but I'm sure you don't
want me running up there by myself.
- Up where?
- Eric Endicott's.
Endicott's?! Come on, now!
(? "In the Heat of the Night" instrumental)
None of that for you, huh, Virgil?
? In the heat of the night
? Mm-hm, ain't a woman yet been born
? Yeah
? Knows how to make the mornin' come
? It's so hard to keep control
? Yes, it is
? When I could sell my soul
? For just a little light
? In the heat of the night
Listen. You know
something I don't know?
I found a piece of osmunda
in Colbert's car.
- A piece of what?
- On the brake pedal. Osmunda. Fern root.
Fern root? Oh, is Mr Endicott here?
Yes, sir. He's out in the greenhouse.
Would you follow me, please?
- Gillespie.
- Mr Endicott.
This here's Virgil.
- Mr Tibbs.
- How do you do, sir?
Oh, may I have Henry fetch you
somethin'? Some light refreshment?
- No, thank you. We're all right...
- I'll have something cold, soft. Anything.
Henry, bring in a pitcher of lemonade.
I'll have one, too.
Yes, sir.
I didn't know it was possible
to grow this species locally.
- Oh, you like flowers?
- I do.
Mr Tibbs, do you know
anything about orchids?
- Not very much, but I do like them.
- Well, let me show you.
Endicott's folly.
- What do you think?
- It's beautiful. It's breathtaking.
- Have you a favourite, Mr Tibbs?
- Well, I'm partial to any of the epiphytics.
Why, isn't that remarkable!
That of all the orchids in this place,
you should prefer the epiphytics.
I wonder if you know why.
Maybe it would be helpful if you'd tell me.
Because, like the Negro,
they need care and feedin' and cultivatin'.
And that takes time.
That's somethin' you can't make
some people understand.
That's somethin'
Mr Colbert didn't realise.
Is this what the epiphytics root in?
My point! They thrive on it.
Take it away from them, they do poorly.
- What do you call this material?
- That's osmunda. Fern root.
Well, we don't wanna take
any more of your time, Mr Endicott.
Why'd you two come here?
To ask you about Mr Colbert.
Let me understand this.
You two came here... to question me?
Well, your...
your attitudes, Mr Endicott,
your points of view,
are a matter of record.
Some people - let us say
the people who work for Mr Colbert -
might reasonably regard you as the
person least likely to mourn his passing.
We were just trying
to clarify some of the evidence.
Was Mr Colbert ever in this greenhouse?
Say, last night, about midnight?
- You saw it.
- Oh, I saw it.
What are you gonna do about it?
I don't know.
I'll remember that.
There was a time...
when I could have had you shot.
- You better clear out. And I mean fast!
- What about that speech you gave me?
I didn't know you'd slap any white man!
Least of all Endicott!
All right. Give me another day.
Two days. I'm close.
I can pull that fat cat down.
I can bring him right off this hill!
Oh, boy.
Man, you're just like the rest of us.
Ain't ya?
It's all my fault.
But there's no point in ducking it.
It's gonna be tough
to keep you in your job now.
Now look here, Bill. I don't have to tell you
how urgent it is to get Tibbs outta town.
- No. I already told him to go.
- All right.
Now, Miz Colbert
is not gonna be back till Thursday.
You catch your guilty party by then,
she won't hold it against us we had
to send Tibbs home for his own good.
But you gotta do it, you hear?
I hear.
What's made you change
your mind about Tibbs?
Who says I have?
Last chief we had,
he'd have shot Tibbs one second after he
slapped Endicott, claimed self-defence.
- Gillespie here.
- Courtney here, sir.
- Did you take Virgil down the depot?
- No, sir. He just plain wouldn't go.
- Shagbag saw him headin' to River Road.
- Check.
(car horn)
(car horn)
(car horn)
Hey! C'mon! C'mon!
(car horn)
(car horn)
Hey! C'mon!
(car horn)
OK, black boy. We come here
to teach you some manners.
We told you about them bad manners,
boy. You better put that down.
(Virgil) Why don't you
come and get it, baby?
(thug) C'mon, man. You ain't nothin'.
C'mon. Let's get him.
We'll put that round your neck.
Hit him, man! Get him from the side!
Get behind him!
All right, hold it!
All right, boys.
You've had your fun.
Now go on, you just run along home.
- I didn't catch what you said.
- Get rid of the nigger.
You don't... we will.
Now, is that a suggestion,
or is that an order?
That's a warnin'!
I see.
I see.
Shut up and take this trash outta here!
Come on, move it and go!
Well, you finally get the message, Virgil?!
May I get in?
- Thought you left town.
- Not yet.
Could you follow the same route you
followed Tuesday night, same speed?
- Why?
- Why not?
- Maybe I better check with the chief.
- I wouldn't want him to slap you down
for steppin' outta line,
makin' decisions on your own,
and all that.
He don't knock me outta my socks.
Let's get rollin', Virgil.
? All you little birds better lock up tight
? Cos there's a foul owl
on the prowl tonight
? Hey, little lark, get outta the dark
? Foul owl on the prowl
? Cute little jay, stay outta his way
? Foul owl on the prowl
? You just might be the quail he'll tail
? Foul owl on the prowl
? You just might be
the swallow he'll follow
? Foul owl on the prowl
? If you hear him hoot - scoot
? If you pass his tree - flee
? If you catch his eye - fly
? Don't wait to say goodbye
Take ten minutes to get myself
a king-sized Coke and a wedge of pie.
That is, if that peckerwood
ain't sold out again.
- Can I bring you anything?
- No. I'm coming in.
I thought I told you to get outta here.
- I'm not ready to leave.
- I was gonna tell you, Chief.
- You forget about those four maniacs?
- I need more time.
- Do I have to put you on the train myself?!
- I guess so!
All right, Virgil.
Just what the hell do you want?
I wanna know exactly where Sam was
at all times on the night of the murder.
? If you pass his tree - flee
? If you catch his eye - fly
Virgil, if you get killed, we'll have one hell
of a mess in this town. You know that?
I know.
Got some real luscious cream pie
for you tonight, Sam.
I mean Officer Wood.
Just like you always order.
You know I don't eat that stuff. The chief
likes his boys streamlined. Right, Chief?
Why don't you shut up, Sam?
- All right, what'll you have, Virgil?
- I ain't servin' him!
Tuesday night you walked
out of here at 2.40. Right?
Right on the button.
Two minutes from now.
That's for him.
Now, what'd you do
when you came out that night?
Well, I picked up the radio and called in.
Do it, please.
Go ahead. Go ahead.
Uh... Wood to radio.
I'm leavin' Compton's now.
(Courtney) Sam, look sharp.
Gillespie's sniffin' around.
Gimme that thing!
Courtney, your brother says I didn't
tell him to fix that hinge, so I told you.
Do you read me, Courtney?
- Oh, I'll get right on it, Chief.
- I'd do that if I were you.
Yes, sir. Ten-four.
All right, you can move us. Officer Wood.
- Why'd you do that, Sam?
- Do what?
Change your route
back there at the corner.
Who says I changed?
Look, I oughta know what I did!
Chief, do I have to put up with this?
Do I work for you, or do I work for him?
Good night, gentlemen.
I don't know.
- I don't know.
- Well, I appreciate anything you can do.
- This is highly irregular.
- Yeah, I know that.
Showing our depositors' accounts?
Hm. I don't know.
- You sure this is an official request?
- Yes. It's official, yes.
- You willing to put that in writing?
- Yeah. I'll put it in writing.
On police department letterhead?
I would write it on the head of a pin
if you want it there.
- I gotta have somethin' for the file.
- I realise that, but I'm in a hurry.
Well, we'll see.
He's had an account with us
for several years now.
That so?
Not a large account.
Never more than... Yeah.
That was back in '62. September.
I am not interested in '62 September.
I am interested in yesterday.
Yesterday? Well...
According to this,
he made a deposit of... $632.
- Yesterday?
- Yes.
- Thank you.
- Must have been when I was out to lunch.
A deposit that size, I'd remember.
Oh, you'll send me that letter
for the file, you hear?
I'll tell you, baby brother, the chief
didn't like him, not even from the first.
(door opens)
- Morning.
- Where do you think you're goin'?
(Courtney) It's all right. Let him go.
I just talked to the FBI lab. We can
prove Colbert was in that greenhouse.
Endicott's covering up.
I'm afraid you're too late.
We already got the guilty man.
- Who?
- Sam.
- Sam?
- That's right.
Our man is Endicott.
You just think a minute.
Didn't you catch Sam in a lie last night?
And yesterday he makes
a big cash deposit at the bank.
If I told you once,
I told you a hundred times
that I won that matchin' quarters
and halves. It took me three years!
Then why was it in big bills? I checked.
Because whenever I got enough change,
I'd trade it in on $20 bills.
And when I got up to $600,
I took it down and put it in the bank.
The day Colbert was killed, he cashed
a cheque for $900, $600 of which is gone,
$300 of which I believe you left in the
wallet as bait for some kid like Oberst!
- What kinda man do you think I am?!
- Now, don't you push me, boy!
Now listen.
If you weren't suspicious of Sam here,
why did you question him last night
when he changed his route?
- I knew why he changed his route.
- Knew what?
He was afraid I'd see
some naked white girl down the block.
- What?
- Some girl named Delores Purdy.
She parades around in the nude
at night to get her kicks. That's...
- How do you know?
- I know.
Well, I know. Do you understand?
I know that Colbert
cashed a cheque for $900.
I know that Sam made a big cash deposit.
I know that you caught him in a lie.
And I know that's enough for me.
C'mon, Sam.
Martin, lock him up.
Well... you're making a mistake.
Don't you bet against it.
You can catch your train now, Virgil.
Do you think Sam did it?
- Where do I find the chief?
- What's it all about?
My business.
Hey, look, Purdy.
Now, you got a complaint?
Well, right here's where you file it.
What I got to say, I say to the chief.
It's about Sam Wood.
All right.
- (knock on door)
- (Gillespie) Yeah?
(Harold) Purdy's out here, sir.
It's about Sam.
All right. Send him in.
She is gonna have a baby.
Sam Wood's baby.
Well, ask her yourself
if you don't believe me!
What are you doin' here?
It's important that I hear this.
I ain't talkin' about this
with him in the room.
- Boy, you don't want trouble, you get!
- You be sensible. I'm a police officer.
You gonna get him outta here,
or do I gotta do it?!
You ain't gonna do nothin'.
You just stand there and shut up.
Sit down, little girl.
All right, now.
You tell me... all about it.
Just tell me how it happened.
Oh, come on. Come on, girl, speak!
- Well, you know how hot it's been.
- Yeah.
Nights, they aren't any better.
My brother works nights.
He leaves me all alone.
This particular night,
I go out on the porch.
I'm thinkin' how nice it'd be
if I had a fountain drink.
Sam comes down our road.
Just like he comes every night.
Passin' like a lord
in that fine, big, shiny car.
Only, this time he stops.
He's got a nice face,
don't you think, Chief?
So he stopped.
- (softly) He says...
- What? I didn't hear what you said.
(Iouder) He says...
"Hey, little girl,
you know what
the coolest spot in town is?"
And I said "No, Sam. I guess I don't."
And he said...
"The cemetery. That's where."
"Know why?"
"Cos they got all of them
big, cool tombstones."
"Ever stretch out
on a tombstone, Delores?"
"Feel all that nice, cool marble
along your body?"
- He said that?
- You hear, Chief? You hear?
Yeah, I hear. I hear.
All right. Sam comes along and stops in
front of your house and talks. What else?
Well, come on now, girl.
What else? What else? What else?
- Then I went for a ride with him.
- Where'd you go?
The cemetery.
So, Wood took you to
the cemetery in the patrol car, right?
And then things went a bit too far.
Is that what you're sayin'?
Did they get a little bit outta line?
Come on now.
Is that what you're tryin' to say?
Come on, girl! Is it or ain't it?
- Yeah, they went too far!
- Well, fine!
Now, I got one more question.
Very important.
Did he force you, or did you let him?
Don't mean a damn whether
she let him or not! She is still 16!
In this state, that's rape!
I know the plain law on that!
I know the laws in the state
of Mississippi, thank you!
- Are you sure you're pregnant?
- Yes, I am pregnant!
- Courtney!
- Yes, sir?
Better get in here with a pad and a pencil.
Come on in. I want you
to take this all down.
You had no right to keep a nigger
in the room, shame my little sister.
You had no right.
Virge, what's happenin'?
- Hi, Harve.
- How are you?
- Fine.
- Man, uh...
- You sure saved my hide.
- Listen, Harvey. Man, uh...
If a guy knocks up a girl in this town,
where can he go for help?
- Barbershop.
- Barbershop?
Borrow Mr Fanning's razor
and cut your throat!
But suppose
Mr Fanning's razor is too dull.
Suppose he's got some
real money to spread around.
Well, uh...
There used to be a coloured gal.
But she kept bumpin' her price,
and I don't know if she's still in business.
- What's her name?
- Well, I ain't never had to look her up.
But, uh... Packy might know.
Where do I find Packy?
Down at the pool hall.
But, man, he wouldn't tell you.
Not unless I say so.
And how am I gonna say so
locked up in here?
Suppose I get word to Packy that you
wanna see him? Have him come here?
Will you let him
bring me a cheeseburger?
Now you're talkin'!
(Sam) Uh... Virge?
A little careless, ain't you, Virgil?
Parked in the road, you could get yourself
killed. Anybody'd know where you are.
- You know what this land is?
- Yeah. It's the site for the new factory.
I found a piece of wood in Colbert's scalp.
The lab identified it as pine.
Three people saw Colbert drive by -
alone - on the way back from Endicott's.
Colbert must have picked up somebody
in town and then come out here.
I tell you he didn't pick up nobody.
Sam followed him here, come up behind
him, just like I come up behind you.
- I heard you. Colbert would have too.
- He turned and he got smashed!
He was hit from behind!
If Delores Purdy hadn't come in,
I never would have seen the truth.
I was hung up trying to get Endicott,
for personal reasons.
Do you know what I'm gonna do, Virgil?
I'm gonna take you to Brownsville
and put you on the bus myself.
You aren't taking me anywhere.
You dig? You're holding the wrong man!
The wrong man?! I got the motive, which
is money, and the body, which is dead!
- What makes you so sure?
- Why do you doubt it?!
Because Colbert was killed here!
Then driven back to town in his own car
and dumped on the streets.
Sam couldn't have driven two cars!
What do you want?
Give me till morning.
(Gillespie chuckles)
You know...
You know, Virgil,
you are among the chosen few.
How's that?
Well, I think that you're the first
human being that's ever been in here.
Well, you can't be too careful, man.
You know a lotta things, don't you?
Well, just what do you know
about insomnia?
Bourbon can't cure it.
Well... that's for sure.
Now look. I got no wife. I got no kids.
Boy, I got a town that... don't want me.
And I got an air conditioner
that I have to oil myself,
and a desk with a busted leg.
And on top of that, I got...
this, uh...
Now, don't you think that'd
drive a man to takin' a few drinks?
I'll tell you a secret.
Nobody comes here.
You married?
Ever been?
Ever been close to it?
Close to it.
Don't you get just... a little lonely?
No lonelier than you, man.
Oh, now, don't get smart, black boy.
I don't need it.
No pity, thank you.
No, thank you!
(knock at door)
- Yeah?
- Chief?
- Yeah.
- You know where I can find Virgil?
Who are you?
Packy, Chief. Packy Harrison.
I'm a friend of Harve.
- You got something for me?
- Yeah.
- Where you goin'?
- Where whitey ain't allowed.
- What the hell does that mean?
- You gave me till morning. Remember?
(car engine starts)
- Here's the car.
- He could have exchanged cars by now.
John, you stick here. We'll keep cruisin'.
You find him,
come back for me, you hear?
That's her place, here.
You want me to wait?
No, thank you, Packy. You go on home.
(bell tinkles)
Mrs Bellamy?
People around here
call me Mama Caleba.
Mama, I'm not from around here.
But you can put me on my train.
You talk crazy. You gin-drunk?
Just homesick.
Lord, Lord!
Whisper two little words,
Mama, and I'm on my way.
Maybe... I don't want to sever
a beautiful child like you right out.
A man's name.
First name, last name.
The man who's paying you
for Delores Purdy's abortion.
You're the boy who works for Mr Charlie.
I thought that's who you was.
Why you wanna do that?
Why you wanna help the police like that?
They stealin' your soul.
They chew you up and spit you out.
I'm not here to lay a finger on you, Mama.
It's the white boy I want.
What you got against him?
He's paying for his fun.
How much? I bet you he's not
paying you more than a hundred.
You know how much he's got in
his pocket right now? More than $600!
That cracker? (chuckles)
- Where'd he come off getting 600?
- He killed Mr Colbert.
You gone crazy out of your mind.
Now listen. Hear me good, Mama, please.
Don't make me have to send you to jail.
A lot you care!
There's white time in jail, and
coloured time. The worst kind you can do
is coloured time.
Child... you promise...
give me understanding.
I got used to better.
You won't take it away?
I won't take it away.
Well... I don't know his name.
But she's coming here tonight.
Get herself straight.
- Leave me alone! Let me go!
- (man) Let go of her!
- Let go of her!
- Let go of me!
Gonna teach you, boy!
No club this time, man?
A gun's not smart. The way
you killed Colbert was much smarter.
You killed Colbert?!
He's crazy. Crazy.
(horn blares)
(thug) OK, nigger. Your time, nigger.
Look in her purse.
- What's that mean?
- She's got $100 to pay for an abortion.
Listen to that. That's crazy.
Money she got from Ralph.
You gonna listen to him?
He got her to tell you
that Sam Wood did it.
He made a fool out of you, Purdy.
- Delores?
- Liar!
You stinkin' liar!
(Purdy) Gimme that purse!
You turned my little sister...
into a field slut?
(Delores screams) Lloyd! Lloyd!
- Hey, man, stay back!
- He's got a gun!
He's dead.
(Delores sobs)
When I left her house,
I was going to the diner.
Mr Colbert drove by,
so I hitched a ride with him. That's all.
I said "I sure would like a job in
that new factory once you get started."
And he said "Sure." And I said
"Well, I wonder where it's gonna be."
He said that field we were comin' up to
was it, and he would stop and show me.
I said to myself "Man, he's askin' for it."
I said "Now, Ralph,
all you gotta do when we get out...
is just sneak up behind him
and just... tap him."
"And then just claim that somebody
jumped us from the bushes."
That's all.
I didn't mean to kill him.
All right, Courtney. That's enough.
All right. C'mon, Ralph.
(Ralph on tape) That's all.
I didn't mean to kill him.
Well, got your ticket?
Here you are.
Thank you.
- Bye-bye.
- Goodbye.
You take care. You hear?
(? "In the Heat of the Night"
by Ray Charles)
(guard) Board!
? In the heat of the night
? I've got trouble wall to wall
? Oh yes, I have
? I repeat
? I repeat, in the night
? Must be an endin' to it all
? Hold on, it won't be long
? Yeah, you be strong
? And I'll be all right
? In the heat of the night
? In the heat of the night