While traveling in the Deep South, Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier), a black Philadelphia homicide detective, becomes unwittingly embroiled in the murder investigationof a prominent businessman when he is first accused of the crime and then asked to solve it! Finding the killer proves to be difficult, however, especially when his efforts are constantly thwarted by the bigoted town sheriff (Rod Steiger). But neither man can solve this case alone. Putting aside their differences and prejudices, they join forces in a desperate race against time to discover the shocking truth.
Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, Warren Oates, Quentin Dean, James Patterson, William Schallert, Jack Teter, Lee Grant, Scott Wilson, Matt Clark, Anthony James, Larry Gates, Kermit Murdock, Khalil Bezaleel, Beah Richards, Peter Whitney, William Watson, Timothy Scott, Alan Oppenheimer