They Call Me Mister Tibbs! (1970)

GP | 108 mins | Melodrama | 8 July 1970

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HISTORY

After playing “Virgil Tibbs” in the 1967 film, In the Heat of the Night (see entry), Sidney Poitier reportedly stated that he wouldn’t reprise the role. However, an 8 Oct 1969 Var item announced the actor had changed his mind and agreed to participate in a sequel, They Call Me Mister Tibbs, to be directed by Gordon Douglas and written by Alan R. Trustman. A 1 Jul 1970 Var brief noted that Poitier participated in an advanced police detective procedures course in preparation for the sequel. His deal reportedly entailed “a large profit participation,” as noted in the 23 Feb 1970 DV.
       Donald Sutherland was considered for a role, according to a 9 Oct 1969 Los Angeles Sentinel brief. News items published in DV and LAT between 18 Dec 1969 and 8 Jan 1970 listed the following as cast members: Bennie Dobbins; John Daheim; Don Hanmer; stuntman Dick Dial; Sherise Rowland; Ken Menard; Frank Babich; Lou Kane; Kenny Mendosa; Steve Ozark; Jim Wagerman; and CBS news staffer Paul Udell.
       Principal photography began on 17 Nov 1969, as reported in the 19 Nov 1969 Var. Location shooting in San Francisco, CA, was followed by filming in Los Angeles, CA. On 14 Jan 1970, DV announced that production had been completed under schedule. As noted in the 15 Jan 1970 DV, Gordon Douglas allowed Sidney Poitier to direct the final scene in which he did not appear.
       They Call Me Mister Tibbs opened on 8 Jul 1970 in New York City. Following lukewarm reviews, the ... More Less

After playing “Virgil Tibbs” in the 1967 film, In the Heat of the Night (see entry), Sidney Poitier reportedly stated that he wouldn’t reprise the role. However, an 8 Oct 1969 Var item announced the actor had changed his mind and agreed to participate in a sequel, They Call Me Mister Tibbs, to be directed by Gordon Douglas and written by Alan R. Trustman. A 1 Jul 1970 Var brief noted that Poitier participated in an advanced police detective procedures course in preparation for the sequel. His deal reportedly entailed “a large profit participation,” as noted in the 23 Feb 1970 DV.
       Donald Sutherland was considered for a role, according to a 9 Oct 1969 Los Angeles Sentinel brief. News items published in DV and LAT between 18 Dec 1969 and 8 Jan 1970 listed the following as cast members: Bennie Dobbins; John Daheim; Don Hanmer; stuntman Dick Dial; Sherise Rowland; Ken Menard; Frank Babich; Lou Kane; Kenny Mendosa; Steve Ozark; Jim Wagerman; and CBS news staffer Paul Udell.
       Principal photography began on 17 Nov 1969, as reported in the 19 Nov 1969 Var. Location shooting in San Francisco, CA, was followed by filming in Los Angeles, CA. On 14 Jan 1970, DV announced that production had been completed under schedule. As noted in the 15 Jan 1970 DV, Gordon Douglas allowed Sidney Poitier to direct the final scene in which he did not appear.
       They Call Me Mister Tibbs opened on 8 Jul 1970 in New York City. Following lukewarm reviews, the picture grossed $2.35 million in film rentals in its first six months in release, as cited in a 6 Jan 1971 Var box-office chart.
       The picture marked the last onscreen appearance of noted character actor Juano Hernandez (1896--1970).
       A third entry in the “Virgil Tibbs” series was in development by early 1970, the 23 Feb 1970 DV reported. Poitier reprised his role for the final time in the sequel, titled The Organization, released in 1971 (see entry).
More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
21 Nov 1969
p. 8.
Daily Variety
18 Dec 1969
p. 4.
Daily Variety
19 Dec 1969
p. 14.
Daily Variety
23 Dec 1969
p. 20.
Daily Variety
8 Jan 1970
p. 8.
Daily Variety
14 Jan 1970
p. 2.
Daily Variety
15 Jan 1970
p. 2.
Daily Variety
23 Feb 1970
p. 11.
Daily Variety
8 Apr 1970
p. 6.
Daily Variety
8 Jul 1970
p. 3, 5.
Los Angeles Sentinel
9 Oct 1969
Section E, p. 4.
Los Angeles Sentinel
26 Feb 1970
Section B, p. 4A.
Los Angeles Times
10 Nov 1969
Section G, p. 26.
Los Angeles Times
27 Dec 1969
Section A, p. 8.
Los Angeles Times
2 Jan 1970
Section C, p. 21.
Los Angeles Times
30 Jul 1970
Section D, p. 19.
Los Angeles Times
13 Aug 1970
Section G, p. 19.
New York Times
9 Jul 1970.
---
New York Times
19 Jul 1970
p. 1, 5.
Variety
8 Oct 1969
p. 7.
Variety
19 Nov 1969
p. 24.
Variety
24 Dec 1969
p. 18.
Variety
1 Jul 1970
p. 20.
Variety
6 Jan 1971
p. 11.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
Asst dir
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Cam op
Cam op
Cam op
Cam op
Cam op
Key grip
ART DIRECTOR
Art dir
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dec
COSTUMES
Ward supv
Women's ward
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
Makeup
Hairstyles
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod supv
Prod mgr
Prod secy
Loc mgr
Tech adv
Stills
Constr coordinator
Prop
Gaffer
Casting
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the character created by John Dudley Ball.
DETAILS
Series:
Alternate Title:
They Call Me MISTER Tibbs
Release Date:
8 July 1970
Premiere Information:
New York opening: 8 July 1970
Los Angeles opening: 12 August 1970
Production Date:
17 November 1969--early January 1970
Copyright Claimant:
Mirisch Productions, Inc.
Copyright Date:
8 July 1970
Copyright Number:
LP38114
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
De Luxe
Duration(in mins):
108
MPAA Rating:
GP
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
22466
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Detective Lieutenant Virgil Tibbs of the San Francisco homicide squad receives an anonymous phone call accusing his close friend, community activist Reverend Logan Sharpe, of murdering a prostitute. The detective questions the clergyman, who admits having visited the victim to bestow pastoral counsel. Other suspects include Rice Weedon, a landlord and narcotics dealer whom Tibbs shoots in self-defense; black janitor Mealie; and Woody Garfield, the victim's protector. Again confronted by Tibbs, Sharpe confesses his guilt, revealing that the prostitute had mocked his sexual prowess, and begging Tibbs to defer arrest until after a referendum on a community control issue Sharpe supports. When the officer refuses, the activist throws himself under a passing ... +


Detective Lieutenant Virgil Tibbs of the San Francisco homicide squad receives an anonymous phone call accusing his close friend, community activist Reverend Logan Sharpe, of murdering a prostitute. The detective questions the clergyman, who admits having visited the victim to bestow pastoral counsel. Other suspects include Rice Weedon, a landlord and narcotics dealer whom Tibbs shoots in self-defense; black janitor Mealie; and Woody Garfield, the victim's protector. Again confronted by Tibbs, Sharpe confesses his guilt, revealing that the prostitute had mocked his sexual prowess, and begging Tibbs to defer arrest until after a referendum on a community control issue Sharpe supports. When the officer refuses, the activist throws himself under a passing truck. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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