Where Was In The Heat Of The Night Filmed? A Mystery-Drama Film From 1967!!


We have seen many African-American actors playing prominent roles in most Hollywood films. Although, today I am going to acquaint you with a murder-mystery film, In the Heat of the Night, that stars one of the best African-American artists, Sidney Poitier. Also, I am going to let you in on where was In the Heat of the Night filmed.

The American neo-noir film, In the Heat of the Night, released in 1967 was adapted from the crime-mystery novel by John Ball, published 2 years prior to the film, with the same name. However, while directing this riveting mystery-thriller film, Norman Jewison also wanted to present a social commentary through his story, by depicting the rampant racism prevalent in America contemporarily.

Apart from winning 5 Oscars at the Academy Awards, In the Heat of the Night also managed to bag a number of other prestigious nominations and awards. The critics praised the overall story of this intense movie, which propelled it to gain a high-ranking spot on the list of the most influential films made in America. Commercially, In the Heat of the Night performed brilliantly as well, grossing over $24 million in total collections against the production budget of just $2 million.

Now, without waiting any further, let’s quickly explore where was In the Heat of the Night filmed. So that you can analyze the filming locations of this Oscar-winning film closely. Further along, I’ll also give you an overview of In the Heat of the Night.

Where Was In The Heat Of The Night Filmed? Let’s Know This Neo-Noir Film Closely!

Most directors of Hollywood face a major challenge while making films that are primarily based on popular novels. Albeit, Norman Jewison was way ahead of the curve and knew how to inject authentic elements while narrating a well-known story, at the same time. Blockbuster films like The Hurricane, The Thomas Crown Affair, Rollerball and Moonstruck could be regarded as fine examples of Jewison’s prowess. 

So, coming back to In the Heat of the Night, director Norman Jewison, decided to shoot the majority of the sequences in and around the mid-western state of Illinois in America. Later, Jewison also added a few places in Tennessee and California to the list of potential filming locations

The principal photography for In the Heat of the Night began towards the end of September 1966 and was completed shortly within 2 months. The production members had arranged all necessary shooting permissions and logistics in advance. This helped the filming crew immensely, in staying on top of the original filming schedule. So, without further ado, let’s discuss where was In the Heat of the Night filmed in-depth.

Illinois | USA

Where Was In The Heat Of The Night Filmed? A Mystery-Drama Film From 1967!!

More often than not, the state of Illinois is generally associated with its capital, Chicago. And rightfully so, because this beautiful midwestern city has a lot to offer, in terms of culture, history and overall vibe. However, director Jewison, refrained from filming in this city, as he wanted to present a unique backdrop to his audiences. 

Thus, the opening sequence of the film, featuring the railroad scene in Mississippi, was actually filmed in the village of Freeburg. This densely populated village is located within St. Claire County and offers an idyllic setting of a neo-modern village in America. So, after filming the outdoor scene of the railroad, the production members traveled to the city of Chester and captured the remaining sequences from the first quarter of the movie.

Other pivotal sequences in Illinois were filmed in and around the city of Sparta, which is located in Randolph County. Several significant sequences such as the scenes of the Train Depot and the exterior sequence of the bridge were filmed here. The majority of the action sequences were also on the outskirts of this city. A vacant convenience store was turned around by the crew to film the scenes of the police station. Filming went on for 5 weeks in Sparta, after which the production members moved to the filming location.

Dyersburg, Los Angeles | USA

The remaining outdoor sequences, like the scenes featuring the cotton fields and Endicott’s family home, were all captured in the small yet iconic city of Dyersburg, located in the southern state of Tennessee. The filming crew took one and a half weeks to shoot the outdoor scenes and then moved to California. Basically, all interior sequences of the movie were then filmed inside the Raleigh Studios, located at 3500 Melrose Ave in Los Angeles. 

Alright guys, it’s time for me to acquaint you with the plot of In the Heat of the Night, so that you may be able to get a clear idea about the actual storyline of this crime-mystery film. In the meantime, you can check out Jexi, The Matrix and Your Name as well.

Plot Of In The Heat Of The Night | What’s It About

Where Was In The Heat Of The Night Filmed? A Mystery-Drama Film From 1967!!

The story of In the Heat of the Night revolves around the character of Virgil Tibbs, a diligent detective of the Mississippi police department. At the beginning of the movie, detective Virgil is shown investigating a gruesome murder case. 

Later in the film, when Virgil follows a crucial lead and almost finds substantial evidence related to the prime suspect, he is shunned from the crime scene by a white American police officer. The racist mentality of the officer becomes apparent when he vividly portrays his bias against the detective. Watch In the Heat of the Night to find out how Virgil solves the murder mystery!

Final Words

Ok guys, so now that you know where was In the Heat of the Night filmed, I hope you liked the read and found what you were searching for. Do tell us about your thoughts in the comments section below. And don’t forget to check out other amazing articles on Viebly.

Who Are The Cast Members Of The Film In The Heat Of The Night?

The cast of the film In the Heat of the Night includes Sidney Poitier, Rod Stieger, Warren Oates and Lee Grant along with some other notable actors.

Who Is The Cinematographer Of The Film  In The Heat Of The Night?

Haskell Wexler is the cinematographer of the film In the Heat of the Night.

Who Is The Music Director Of The Film  In The Heat Of The Night?

Quincy Jones is the music director of the film In the Heat of the Night.

What Is The Runtime Of The Film  In The Heat Of The Night?

1h 50m is the runtime of the film In the Heat of the Night.

Ujwal Mattoo
Ujwal Mattoo
With full journalism and half engineering background, Ujwal has hands in both the tech and creative fields. He is a film enthusiast who loves all kinds of genres. As much as he enjoys watching movies, he is always amused to know more and write about the locations to feed his hunger for traveling. In this world of fictional louds, he voices his opinions softly! He is either busy writing or playing with Milo, his dog!


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