They Call Me Mister Tibbs!

"Mr. Tibbs" redirects here. For the fictional butler, see The BFG.
They Call Me Mister Tibbs!

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Gordon Douglas
Produced by

Herbert Hirschman

Executive Producer Walter Mirisch
Written by Alan Trustman
Screenplay by Alan Trustman
James R. Webb
Starring Sidney Poitier
Martin Landau
Barbara McNair
Music by Quincy Jones
Cinematography Gerald Perry Finnerman
Edited by Bud Molin
Irving Rosenblum
Distributed by United Artists
Release dates
  • July 8, 1970 (1970-07-08)
Running time
108 min.
Country United States
Language English
Box office $2,350,000 (US/ Canada rentals)[1]

They Call Me Mister Tibbs!, stylized with emphasis (an underline) on "Mister", is a 1970 DeLuxe Color film, a sequel to 1967's In the Heat of the Night. The title was taken from a line in the first film.[2][3]

Sidney Poitier reprised his role of police detective Virgil Tibbs, though in this sequel, Tibbs is working for the San Francisco Police rather than the Philadelphia Police (as in the original film) or the Pasadena Police (as in the novels).


Detective Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier), now a lieutenant with the San Francisco police, is assigned to investigate the murder of a prostitute. A prime suspect is Rev. Logan Sharpe (Martin Landau), a liberal street preacher and political organizer, who insists to Tibbs that he was merely visiting the hooker in a professional capacity, advising her spiritually.

Tibbs questions a janitor from the victim's building, Mealie (Juano Hernandez), as well as another man, Woody Garfield (Edward Asner), who might have been the woman's pimp. Suspicion falls on a man named Rice Weedon (Anthony Zerbe), who takes umbrage and is shot by Tibbs in self-defense.

Tibbs concludes that Sharpe really must be the culprit. Sharpe confesses but requests Tibbs give him some time to complete his work on one last political issue. Told this wouldn't be possible, Sharpe takes his own life.



Quincy Jones wrote the score, as he did with In the Heat of the Night, although the tone of the music in both is markedly different. The previous film, owing to its setting, had a country and bluesy sound, whereas his work for this film was in the funk milieu that would become Jones' trademark in the early 1970s.

The film's title was taken from Virgil's line in In the Heat of the Night.

It was followed by a third film called The Organization (1971).

The film was the last appearance of veteran actor Juano Hernández, who died in July 1970, a few days after the film premiered.


Released in 1970, the film did not attract the same response as In the Heat of the Night.

The film has a 60% rating on Rotten Tomatoes as of June 2009.[4]

See also


  1. "Big Rental Films of 1970", Variety, 6 January 1971 p 11
  2. Encyclopedia of the Sixties: A Decade of Culture and ... Abbe A. Debolt, James S. Baugess - 2011 Page 311 "Tibbs and Gillespie have moved from the racially charged scene in which Poitier utters the film's iconic line "They call me Mister Tibbs ... the role of "Mister Tibbs" in They Call Me MISTER Tibbs (1970) and The Organization (1971), was not nominated."
  3. I Thought We Were Making Movies, Not History 2008 -- Page 313 "We had done reasonably well with They Call Me MISTER Tibbs! and we still had another option for a Virgil Tibbs picture with Sidney Poitier."
  4. They Call Me Mister Tibbs! Movie Reviews, Pictures - Rotten Tomatoes
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