Three-time Academy-Award-nominee Norman Jewison is a retired Canadian filmmaker known for using his art to deal with and draw attention to important political and social issues. His 1967 mystery drama In the Heat of the Night proved to be no exception to that rule. Based on American writer John Ball's 1965 novel, Jewison’s adaptation follows Philadelphia detective Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier) who finds himself collaborating with racist police chief Bill Gillespie (Rod Steiger) on a murder investigation in Sparta, Mississippi, after initially being wrongfully accused by Gillespie for that same crime, simply on account of being a black man who was at a train station late at night. 

With seven Oscar nominations (among them the one for Best Director) and five wins (Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing and Best Sound), In the Heat of the Night is praised as an exciting police procedural with brilliant cinematography (Haskell Wexler), incredible performances by Steiger and Poitier, an amazing score done by Quincy Jones and a director who does not shy away from providing his viewers with intelligent social commentary. In the year 2002, In the Heat of the Night was preserved in the United States National Film Registry, due to it being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.