Discussion:
In the Heat of the Night (1967)
(too old to reply)
lugnut
2011-04-16 14:37:39 UTC
Permalink
So the TV series based on this movie was a show I always enjoyed as a
kid back when it originally aired (for some reason), and since I've
been watching reruns of it on WGN lately I figured I owed it to myself
to finally see the film that inspired it, which I did last night.

...and I gotta say, what am I missing? Given its Oscar-winning status
and reputation as one of the great American films of its era, I was
more than a little underwhelmed. Oh, it's a good enough flick all
right - the performances are good, the cinematography is wonderful,
Quincy Jones' score is perfect, and I was never bored with it... but
at the same time, I can't really say it was much better than some of
the particularly-good episodes of the TV show. Hell, I even had a
hard time not imagining Carroll O'Connor and Howard Rollins in the
Steiger/Poitier roles.

So is it just me, or is this a film that just hasn't aged particularly
well? I kinda get the feeling its Oscar win and reputation had a lot
more to do with what was probably a then-fresh handling of race issues
than for the film itself. Have decades of TV cop shows treading the
same ground (and the series that it spawned) simply robbed it of
whatever power it initially had back in '67, or was this always a
movie that got by more on its politics than its substance?

(And while I'm at it, how would you guys rate its sequels, "They Call
Me MISTER Tibbs" and "The Organization"?)


-lugnut
Dave in Toronto
2011-04-16 15:22:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by lugnut
So the TV series based on this movie was a show I always enjoyed as a
kid back when it originally aired (for some reason), and since I've
been watching reruns of it on WGN lately I figured I owed it to myself
to finally see the film that inspired it, which I did last night.
...and I gotta say, what am I missing?  Given its Oscar-winning status
and reputation as one of the great American films of its era, I was
more than a little underwhelmed.  Oh, it's a good enough flick all
right - the performances are good, the cinematography is wonderful,
Quincy Jones' score is perfect, and I was never bored with it... but
at the same time, I can't really say it was much better than some of
the particularly-good episodes of the TV show.  Hell, I even had a
hard time not imagining Carroll O'Connor and Howard Rollins in the
Steiger/Poitier roles.
So is it just me, or is this a film that just hasn't aged particularly
well?  I kinda get the feeling its Oscar win and reputation had a lot
more to do with what was probably a then-fresh handling of race issues
than for the film itself.  Have decades of TV cop shows treading the
same ground (and the series that it spawned) simply robbed it of
whatever power it initially had back in '67, or was this always a
movie that got by more on its politics than its substance?
(And while I'm at it, how would you guys rate its sequels, "They Call
Me MISTER Tibbs" and "The Organization"?)
-lugnut
I think those early Hollywood - (let's show how broadminded we are) -
race relation movies like _Heat of the Night_, _Guess whose Coming to
Dinner_ and _The Defiant Ones_ are rather embarrassing to watch now.

I recall a friend of mine saw _The Defiant Ones_ in a Harlem theater
when it was first released. The mainly black audience had a
completely different reaction to it than did the main stream press -
They booed and jeered at the ending when Poitier dragged Curtis on to
the train.

Dave M
Movie Buff
2011-04-16 16:37:04 UTC
Permalink
"Dave in Toronto" <***@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:fe0e4afa-ce91-47b9-a945-***@w9g2000prg.googlegroups.com...


I think those early Hollywood - (let's show how broadminded we are) -
race relation movies like _Heat of the Night_, _Guess whose Coming to
Dinner_ and _The Defiant Ones_ are rather embarrassing to watch now.

-----------------------------------------------------
"Dinner" was and remains almost unwatchable.
It tries SO hard to be politically correct and liberal.
They found the whitest negro on the planet in Sidney Poitier and the second most
annoying actress in the world with Katharine Houghton to portray the couple.
The MOST annoying actress in the world being Katherine Hepburn.
I never liked Spencer Tracy and never felt the so-called "chemistry" between him
and Hepburn.
It's so corny and sappy that it's almost (but not quite) funny to watch.
Stone me
2011-04-16 18:30:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave in Toronto
I think those early Hollywood - (let's show how broadminded we are) -
race relation movies like _Heat of the Night_, _Guess whose Coming to
Dinner_ and _The Defiant Ones_ are rather embarrassing to watch now.
-----------------------------------------------------
"Dinner" was and remains almost unwatchable.
It tries SO hard to be politically correct and liberal.
They found the whitest negro on the planet in Sidney Poitier and the
second most annoying actress in the world with Katharine Houghton to
portray the couple.
The MOST annoying actress in the world being Katherine Hepburn.
I never liked Spencer Tracy and never felt the so-called "chemistry"
between him and Hepburn.
It's so corny and sappy that it's almost (but not quite) funny to watch.
One possibility is that the film is playing to the sensitivities
and prejudices of it's audiences. (There's always a certain
amount of that in movies except for a very occasional one
which tries to shock.)
You are then demonstrating a level that the average audience
has matured to since then.

It might be best if the following were more regularly mentioned.
Tracy won 2 Academy Awards and was nominated another 7 times
all for Best Actor.
Hepburn won 4 Academy Awards and was nominated another 8
times, all for Best Actress.
I'm no particular fan of Tracy, though it seems his acting abilities
are well recognised.

Stone me.
Movie Buff
2011-04-17 15:49:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Stone me
It might be best if the following were more regularly mentioned.
Tracy won 2 Academy Awards and was nominated another 7 times
all for Best Actor.
Hepburn won 4 Academy Awards and was nominated another 8
times, all for Best Actress.
I'm no particular fan of Tracy, though it seems his acting abilities
are well recognised.
Awards notwithstanding, I never felt any attraction either towards Hepburn or
Tracy in any of their film roles.
I won't watch movies with either or both of them in it any longer as they
irritate me rather than entertain me (esp. Hepburn).
Mark
2011-04-17 18:44:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Movie Buff
Post by Stone me
It might be best if the following were more regularly mentioned.
Tracy won 2 Academy Awards and was nominated another 7 times
all for Best Actor.
Hepburn won 4 Academy Awards and was nominated another 8
times, all for Best Actress.
I'm no particular fan of Tracy, though it seems his acting abilities
are well recognised.
Awards notwithstanding, I never felt any attraction either towards Hepburn or
Tracy in any of their film roles.
I won't watch movies with either or both of them in it any longer as they
irritate me rather than entertain me (esp. Hepburn).
It takes a complete idiot or braindead moron to not recognize Spencer
Tracy as one of the 2 or 3 greatest actors in the entire history of
film. Which are you? Or are you just a turd swirling around your own
toilet bowl of life?
Dave in Toronto
2011-04-21 07:25:21 UTC
Permalink
Post by Movie Buff
Post by Stone me
It might be best if the following were more regularly mentioned.
Tracy won 2 Academy Awards and was nominated another 7 times
all for Best Actor.
Hepburn won 4 Academy Awards and was nominated another 8
times, all for Best Actress.
I'm no particular fan of Tracy, though it seems his acting abilities
are well recognised.
Awards notwithstanding, I never felt any attraction either towards Hepburn or
Tracy in any of their film roles.
I won't watch movies with either or both of them in it any longer as they
irritate me rather than entertain me (esp. Hepburn).
Agreed. I guess Tracy was a good actor but someone I found his style
boring (I do recall one line of his I found funny though - He is
looking at photographs of chidren one of whom might be his grandson -
"Dammit, he says, "they all look like me."

Heburn I've always found irritating but I did like her in _The African
Queen_ probably because the woman she playing in the movie WAS
irritating. Type casting I guess.

Dave M
Heynonny
2011-04-17 09:36:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Movie Buff
"Dinner" was and remains almost unwatchable.
I think most people, today, looking back, don't understand the "was"
part of that.

Nobody from the middle right on leftward (the target audience) had
anything but contempt for this movie as a social statement. Nobody who
had ever seen more than three movies in their livetimes had any
patience with it as a film.

Positives: Poitier never burst out laughing or rolled his eyes in
disgust in any footage that made it to the final cut. Diehard Tracy
fans somewhat enjoyed his (totally from some other unrelated film)
soliloquy as a goodbye. I don't remember the music and if anybody wants
to claim it was on-key I won't argue.

Negatives: everything else. The person who hande over the popcorn might
have been competent in some venues. Otherwise this was a disaster even
for us primitives of the time.
Anim8rFSK
2011-04-17 14:55:39 UTC
Permalink
Post by Heynonny
Post by Movie Buff
"Dinner" was and remains almost unwatchable.
I think most people, today, looking back, don't understand the "was"
part of that.
Nobody from the middle right on leftward (the target audience) had
anything but contempt for this movie as a social statement. Nobody who
had ever seen more than three movies in their livetimes had any
patience with it as a film.
You liked it a lot more than I did.
Post by Heynonny
Positives: Poitier never burst out laughing or rolled his eyes in
disgust in any footage that made it to the final cut. Diehard Tracy
fans somewhat enjoyed his (totally from some other unrelated film)
soliloquy as a goodbye. I don't remember the music and if anybody wants
to claim it was on-key I won't argue.
It was my first exposure to both Poitier and Tracy. It took some
getting over.
Post by Heynonny
Negatives: everything else. The person who hande over the popcorn might
have been competent in some venues. Otherwise this was a disaster even
for us primitives of the time.
--
"Please, I can't die, I've never kissed an Asian woman!"
Shego on "Shat My Dad Says"
Mark
2011-04-17 18:42:05 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave in Toronto
I think those early Hollywood - (let's show how broadminded we are) -
race relation movies like _Heat of the Night_, _Guess whose Coming to
Dinner_ and _The Defiant Ones_ are rather embarrassing to watch now.
-----------------------------------------------------
"Dinner" was and remains almost unwatchable.
It tries SO hard to be politically correct and liberal.
They found the whitest negro on the planet in Sidney Poitier and the second most
annoying actress in the world with Katharine Houghton to portray the couple.
The MOST annoying actress in the world being Katherine Hepburn.
I never liked Spencer Tracy and never felt the so-called "chemistry" between him
and Hepburn.
It's so corny and sappy that it's almost (but not quite) funny to watch.
Spoken like a true idiot braindead racist asswipe.
Flasherly
2011-04-16 18:44:38 UTC
Permalink
Post by lugnut
Have decades of TV cop shows treading the
same ground (and the series that it spawned) simply robbed it of
whatever power it initially had back in '67, or was this always a
movie that got by more on its politics than its substance?
Yes, the politics of inner-city crime and dominant black prison
populations are helped, to say the least, by media portraits of an
otherwise perfectly acceptable and committed constituent of law-
abiding peoples of colors adapted to a generous and progressive
programming of coherent national dogma. It isn't that I could finely
elaborate to do justice to serialized television or a methodology
depicted as the workings of commonalty within control mechanisms, as I
haven't really watched a serial broadcast over the past decade, or
two, at a bare minimum. So many things to do, you know. I'd simply
feel such a pinhead to ask anymore of myself.
S D
2011-04-16 23:40:52 UTC
Permalink
The dialogue, casting and interaction of the characters are great.
Steiger more than memorable. But about the wallet.... creepy guy left
$300 and runnin' boy took it ?
Flasherly
2011-04-17 18:04:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by S D
The dialogue, casting and interaction of the characters are great.
Steiger more than memorable. But about the wallet.... creepy guy left
$300 and runnin' boy took it ?
Concessions, concessions ... and then if that weren't enough, sigh,
there's compromises. But you're dear right and in the ringer.
Steiger is one hell of a creepy guy. I love him as a tattooed hobo in
The Illustrated Man, though suspect his trademark stylistically is
consistent throughout most films he's given free reign to do what he
does best -- be your common, obtrusively confrontational type of guy.

-
"At age 50, every man has the face he deserves." -GOrwell
tomcervo
2011-04-17 15:01:31 UTC
Permalink
It's "Intruder in the Dust" compared to "Band of Angels", ten years or
so before, but it's a pretty ill wind that blows no one any good, and
there's a scene at the end of it where Clark Gable as a fugitive
plantation owner is trying to persuade Sidney Poitier as a Union
Sergeant to let him go. (There's history.) Poitier is sitting down,
but dominating Gable, and Gable watches him as he pleads, and you can
see the new age dawning in Hollywood in both men's eyes.

Likewise the scene in "Heat of the Night" when the old white gentleman
slaps Poitier--and Poitier slaps him back--was Dave Chappelle shooting
a slaveowner at the time.
Steven L.
2011-04-17 16:45:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by lugnut
So the TV series based on this movie was a show I always enjoyed as a
kid back when it originally aired (for some reason), and since I've
been watching reruns of it on WGN lately I figured I owed it to myself
to finally see the film that inspired it, which I did last night.
...and I gotta say, what am I missing? Given its Oscar-winning status
and reputation as one of the great American films of its era, I was
more than a little underwhelmed. Oh, it's a good enough flick all
right - the performances are good, the cinematography is wonderful,
Quincy Jones' score is perfect, and I was never bored with it... but
at the same time, I can't really say it was much better than some of
the particularly-good episodes of the TV show. Hell, I even had a
hard time not imagining Carroll O'Connor and Howard Rollins in the
Steiger/Poitier roles.
So is it just me, or is this a film that just hasn't aged particularly
well? I kinda get the feeling its Oscar win and reputation had a lot
more to do with what was probably a then-fresh handling of race issues
than for the film itself.
Its Oscar win may have been influenced by the fact that the Academy
Awards in 1968 had to be postponed due to Martin Luther King Jr.'s
assassination.

I think the movie still has value today, in that both Officer Gillespie
and Virgil Tibbs proved capable of overcoming their own prejudices and
dislike of each other. The movie didn't end with all the big bad white
racists getting their comeuppance. In fact, the real racist, Endicott,
turned out to be innocent of the murder, IIRC.

But I have no trouble watching old movies as period pieces, seeing them
for how they dealt with the issues of their time. A movie doesn't have
to have a message that modern sensibilities agree with. Birth of a
Nation will always be a true classic of cinema.



-- Steven L.
Dennis M
2011-04-20 00:51:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steven L.
Its Oscar win may have been influenced by the fact that the Academy
Awards in 1968 had to be postponed due to Martin Luther King Jr.'s
assassination.
I'm sorry King got assassinated but Bonnie and Clyde was robbed by this
uninvolving, simplistic drek. So was The Graduate. Even Cool Hand Luke.
Mack A. Damia
2011-04-20 01:19:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dennis M
Post by Steven L.
Its Oscar win may have been influenced by the fact that the Academy
Awards in 1968 had to be postponed due to Martin Luther King Jr.'s
assassination.
I'm sorry King got assassinated but Bonnie and Clyde was robbed by this
uninvolving, simplistic drek. So was The Graduate. Even Cool Hand Luke.
You do undrstand that given the subject matter and the temper of the
times, it *had* to win despite the quality of the others.

You forgot, "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner". Nominated for ten AAs;
won two.
Madara0806
2011-04-20 16:59:49 UTC
Permalink
\
Post by Dennis M
Post by Steven L.
Its Oscar win may have been influenced by the fact that the Academy
Awards in 1968 had to be postponed due to Martin Luther King Jr.'s
assassination.
I'm sorry King got assassinated but Bonnie and Clyde was robbed by this
uninvolving, simplistic drek. So was The Graduate. Even Cool Hand Luke.
The Oscar voting would have been long finished by the time King got
assassinated so that has nothing to do with it.

I was in Junior High School when the film came out and I liked it a
lot. It was pretty powerful for its time. I have to say I always found
Steiger's performance more enjoyable than Poitier's.
I liked the music by Quincy Jones and I even bought the soundtrack. I
liked the supporting cast, esp. Warren Oates, Scott Wilson and Anthony
James, all of whom would become regulars in supporting roles
thereafter (THE WILD BUNCH, CASTLE KEEP, VANISHING POINT, etc.). HEAT
played a lot with WEST SIDE STORY, so, since I was a huge fan of that
film, I wound up seeing it a lot more than I normally would have. It
is what it is, and it was part of the zeitgeist of the time. I haven't
felt the urge to revisit it the way I have other hits of the era, like
the Leone "Man with No Name" films, YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE, THE DIRTY
DOZEN, EL DORADO, BONNIE AND CLYDE, THE WILD BUNCH, etc.
tomcervo
2011-04-21 04:12:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dennis M
Post by Steven L.
Its Oscar win may have been influenced by the fact that the Academy
Awards in 1968 had to be postponed due to Martin Luther King Jr.'s
assassination.
I'm sorry King got assassinated but Bonnie and Clyde was robbed by this
uninvolving, simplistic drek. So was The Graduate. Even Cool Hand Luke.
Find another point of comparison, huh? Because none of these really
hold up that well now.
Dave in Toronto
2011-04-21 07:09:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steven L.
Post by lugnut
So the TV series based on this movie was a show I always enjoyed as a
kid back when it originally aired (for some reason), and since I've
been watching reruns of it on WGN lately I figured I owed it to myself
to finally see the film that inspired it, which I did last night.
...and I gotta say, what am I missing?  Given its Oscar-winning status
and reputation as one of the great American films of its era, I was
more than a little underwhelmed.  Oh, it's a good enough flick all
right - the performances are good, the cinematography is wonderful,
Quincy Jones' score is perfect, and I was never bored with it... but
at the same time, I can't really say it was much better than some of
the particularly-good episodes of the TV show.  Hell, I even had a
hard time not imagining Carroll O'Connor and Howard Rollins in the
Steiger/Poitier roles.
So is it just me, or is this a film that just hasn't aged particularly
well?  I kinda get the feeling its Oscar win and reputation had a lot
more to do with what was probably a then-fresh handling of race issues
than for the film itself.
Its Oscar win may have been influenced by the fact that the Academy
Awards in 1968 had to be postponed due to Martin Luther King Jr.'s
assassination.
I think the movie still has value today, in that both Officer Gillespie
and Virgil Tibbs proved capable of overcoming their own prejudices and
dislike of each other.  The movie didn't end with all the big bad white
racists getting their comeuppance.  In fact, the real racist, Endicott,
turned out to be innocent of the murder, IIRC.
But I have no trouble watching old movies as period pieces, seeing them
for how they dealt with the issues of their time.  A movie doesn't have
to have a message that modern sensibilities agree with.  Birth of a
Nation will always be a true classic of cinema.
-- Steven L.- Hide quoted text -
- Show quoted text -
Interesting movie to see is _WAY DOWN SOUTH_ which was interesting
beause the screenwriters - Clarence Muse and Langston Hughes - were
both black. Slave ownership was a part of history and it is presented
as such - you had good slave owners who treated their slaves with
respect gave them decent homes to live in and let them marry whom they
pleased and you had bad slaves owners who treated their slaves as
possessions and nothing else. The musical numbers are well handled
especially the one where Bobby Breen sings - No-one has seen the
trouble I've seen - to a black audience and some of the Black revival
meetings appear to me authentic - filmed semi-documentary style.
Another point of interest was that it was filmed the same year as
_Gone With The Wind_.

Dave M
tomcervo
2011-04-22 00:36:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave in Toronto
Post by Steven L.
Post by lugnut
So the TV series based on this movie was a show I always enjoyed as a
kid back when it originally aired (for some reason), and since I've
been watching reruns of it on WGN lately I figured I owed it to myself
to finally see the film that inspired it, which I did last night.
...and I gotta say, what am I missing?  Given its Oscar-winning status
and reputation as one of the great American films of its era, I was
more than a little underwhelmed.  Oh, it's a good enough flick all
right - the performances are good, the cinematography is wonderful,
Quincy Jones' score is perfect, and I was never bored with it... but
at the same time, I can't really say it was much better than some of
the particularly-good episodes of the TV show.  Hell, I even had a
hard time not imagining Carroll O'Connor and Howard Rollins in the
Steiger/Poitier roles.
So is it just me, or is this a film that just hasn't aged particularly
well?  I kinda get the feeling its Oscar win and reputation had a lot
more to do with what was probably a then-fresh handling of race issues
than for the film itself.
Its Oscar win may have been influenced by the fact that the Academy
Awards in 1968 had to be postponed due to Martin Luther King Jr.'s
assassination.
I think the movie still has value today, in that both Officer Gillespie
and Virgil Tibbs proved capable of overcoming their own prejudices and
dislike of each other.  The movie didn't end with all the big bad white
racists getting their comeuppance.  In fact, the real racist, Endicott,
turned out to be innocent of the murder, IIRC.
But I have no trouble watching old movies as period pieces, seeing them
for how they dealt with the issues of their time.  A movie doesn't have
to have a message that modern sensibilities agree with.  Birth of a
Nation will always be a true classic of cinema.
-- Steven L.- Hide quoted text -
- Show quoted text -
Interesting movie to see is _WAY DOWN SOUTH_ which was interesting
beause the screenwriters - Clarence Muse and Langston Hughes - were
both black.  Slave ownership was a part of history and it is presented
as such - you had good slave owners who treated their slaves with
respect gave them decent homes to live in and let them marry whom they
pleased and you had bad slaves owners who treated their slaves as
possessions and nothing else.  The musical numbers are well handled
especially the one where Bobby Breen sings - No-one has seen the
trouble I've seen -  to a black audience and some of the Black revival
meetings appear to me authentic - filmed semi-documentary style.
Another point of interest was that it was filmed the same year as
_Gone With The Wind_.
Dave M
Okay 1939. There's a fascinating essay in the Historical Detective
book that is used in the first college history major class about slave
accounts of slavery from the 20's and 30's. When the interviewer was
white, the story told was much like the one you report. When the
interviewer was black, the story was a lot harsher--you can't blame
them, dissimulation being a survival technique that worked for them so
long and so well.

Look up the Narrative of Frederick Douglass when he talks about a
slave's life. It sounds a lot like prison. You can be a prisoner in a
modern, humane facility, with enlightened wardens and guards, but
every morning you still wake up in prison.
Steven L.
2011-04-22 20:40:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by tomcervo
Post by Dave in Toronto
Post by Steven L.
Post by lugnut
So the TV series based on this movie was a show I always enjoyed as a
kid back when it originally aired (for some reason), and since I've
been watching reruns of it on WGN lately I figured I owed it to myself
to finally see the film that inspired it, which I did last night.
...and I gotta say, what am I missing?  Given its Oscar-winning status
and reputation as one of the great American films of its era, I was
more than a little underwhelmed.  Oh, it's a good enough flick all
right - the performances are good, the cinematography is wonderful,
Quincy Jones' score is perfect, and I was never bored with it... but
at the same time, I can't really say it was much better than some of
the particularly-good episodes of the TV show.  Hell, I even had a
hard time not imagining Carroll O'Connor and Howard Rollins in the
Steiger/Poitier roles.
So is it just me, or is this a film that just hasn't aged particularly
well?  I kinda get the feeling its Oscar win and reputation had a lot
more to do with what was probably a then-fresh handling of race issues
than for the film itself.
Its Oscar win may have been influenced by the fact that the Academy
Awards in 1968 had to be postponed due to Martin Luther King Jr.'s
assassination.
I think the movie still has value today, in that both Officer Gillespie
and Virgil Tibbs proved capable of overcoming their own prejudices and
dislike of each other.  The movie didn't end with all the big bad white
racists getting their comeuppance.  In fact, the real racist, Endicott,
turned out to be innocent of the murder, IIRC.
But I have no trouble watching old movies as period pieces, seeing them
for how they dealt with the issues of their time.  A movie doesn't have
to have a message that modern sensibilities agree with.  Birth of a
Nation will always be a true classic of cinema.
-- Steven L.- Hide quoted text -
- Show quoted text -
Interesting movie to see is _WAY DOWN SOUTH_ which was interesting
beause the screenwriters - Clarence Muse and Langston Hughes - were
both black.  Slave ownership was a part of history and it is presented
as such - you had good slave owners who treated their slaves with
respect gave them decent homes to live in and let them marry whom they
pleased and you had bad slaves owners who treated their slaves as
possessions and nothing else.  The musical numbers are well handled
especially the one where Bobby Breen sings - No-one has seen the
trouble I've seen -  to a black audience and some of the Black revival
meetings appear to me authentic - filmed semi-documentary style.
Another point of interest was that it was filmed the same year as
_Gone With The Wind_.
Dave M
Okay 1939. There's a fascinating essay in the Historical Detective
book that is used in the first college history major class about slave
accounts of slavery from the 20's and 30's. When the interviewer was
white, the story told was much like the one you report. When the
interviewer was black, the story was a lot harsher--you can't blame
them, dissimulation being a survival technique that worked for them so
long and so well.
Look up the Narrative of Frederick Douglass when he talks about a
slave's life. It sounds a lot like prison. You can be a prisoner in a
modern, humane facility, with enlightened wardens and guards, but
every morning you still wake up in prison.
You mean a prison in which you're sentenced to life imprisonment with no
hope of parole.

Because otherwise, you will be set free eventually. But a slave
couldn't usually hope for that.




-- Steven L.
Dave in Toronto
2011-05-10 15:15:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steven L.
Post by tomcervo
Post by Dave in Toronto
Post by Steven L.
Post by lugnut
So the TV series based on this movie was a show I always enjoyed as a
kid back when it originally aired (for some reason), and since I've
been watching reruns of it on WGN lately I figured I owed it to myself
to finally see the film that inspired it, which I did last night.
...and I gotta say, what am I missing?  Given its Oscar-winning status
and reputation as one of the great American films of its era, I was
more than a little underwhelmed.  Oh, it's a good enough flick all
right - the performances are good, the cinematography is wonderful,
Quincy Jones' score is perfect, and I was never bored with it... but
at the same time, I can't really say it was much better than some of
the particularly-good episodes of the TV show.  Hell, I even had a
hard time not imagining Carroll O'Connor and Howard Rollins in the
Steiger/Poitier roles.
So is it just me, or is this a film that just hasn't aged particularly
well?  I kinda get the feeling its Oscar win and reputation had a lot
more to do with what was probably a then-fresh handling of race issues
than for the film itself.
Its Oscar win may have been influenced by the fact that the Academy
Awards in 1968 had to be postponed due to Martin Luther King Jr.'s
assassination.
I think the movie still has value today, in that both Officer Gillespie
and Virgil Tibbs proved capable of overcoming their own prejudices and
dislike of each other.  The movie didn't end with all the big bad white
racists getting their comeuppance.  In fact, the real racist, Endicott,
turned out to be innocent of the murder, IIRC.
But I have no trouble watching old movies as period pieces, seeing them
for how they dealt with the issues of their time.  A movie doesn't have
to have a message that modern sensibilities agree with.  Birth of a
Nation will always be a true classic of cinema.
-- Steven L.- Hide quoted text -
- Show quoted text -
Interesting movie to see is _WAY DOWN SOUTH_ which was interesting
beause the screenwriters - Clarence Muse and Langston Hughes - were
both black.  Slave ownership was a part of history and it is presented
as such - you had good slave owners who treated their slaves with
respect gave them decent homes to live in and let them marry whom they
pleased and you had bad slaves owners who treated their slaves as
possessions and nothing else.  The musical numbers are well handled
especially the one where Bobby Breen sings - No-one has seen the
trouble I've seen -  to a black audience and some of the Black revival
meetings appear to me authentic - filmed semi-documentary style.
Another point of interest was that it was filmed the same year as
_Gone With The Wind_.
Dave M
Okay 1939. There's a fascinating essay in the Historical Detective
book that is used in the first college history major class about slave
accounts of slavery from the 20's and 30's. When the interviewer was
white, the story told was much like the one you report. When the
interviewer was black, the story was a lot harsher--you can't blame
them, dissimulation being a survival technique that worked for them so
long and so well.
Look up the Narrative of Frederick Douglass when he talks about a
slave's life. It sounds a lot like prison. You can be a prisoner in a
modern, humane facility, with enlightened wardens and guards, but
every morning you still wake up in prison.
You mean a prison in which you're sentenced to life imprisonment with no
hope of parole.
Because otherwise, you will be set free eventually.  But a slave
couldn't usually hope for that.
-- Steven L.- Hide quoted text -
- Show quoted text -
True, most of us would regard prison as hell on earth but there are
prisoners who become aclimatised and adjust - not always in a good way
- to prison life and I'm sure there were slaves who decided thats the
way life was and went with the flow - some became 'good' slaves and
did what they had to do and hoped to get rewarded for it by a grateful
master - there were are others (like many prisoners) who set up their
own shiekdoms within the slave colonies.

Slaves WERE sometimes freed (some became slave owners themselves) many
of them decided to accept the American government's offer of passage
to Liberia where they established a colony. They always referred to
themselves as Americans - as did the Africans and British - and they
regarded the native population as 'savages' and treated them the same
way as did the European colonizers. The new country _The Republic of
Liberia_ became very active in the slave trade and was one of the last
countries to declare it illegal. Some time in the 1930's I think.

I certainly not condoning slavery but it was an historical fact and no
race was free of blame.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberia

Dave M
Jim Beaver
2011-05-10 15:53:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Steven L.
Its Oscar win may have been influenced by the fact that the Academy
Awards in 1968 had to be postponed due to Martin Luther King Jr.'s
assassination.
Doubtful, as the Oscars were originally scheduled for April 8, 1968, which
means that the voting deadline (rules stipulate a minimum of 5 days before
the presentation) would have been no later than Wednesday, April 3. King
was assassinated on April 4. All the votes were already in by then.

Jim Beaver
tomcervo
2011-05-11 02:32:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave in Toronto
Slaves WERE sometimes freed (some became slave owners themselves) many
of them decided to accept the American government's offer of passage
to Liberia where they established a colony.  They always referred to
themselves as Americans - as did the Africans and British - and they
regarded the native population as 'savages' and treated them the same
way as did the European colonizers.  The new country  _The Republic of
Liberia_ became very active in the slave trade and was one of the last
countries to declare it illegal.  Some time in the 1930's I think.
Got a cite for that--Wiki says nothing.
william
2011-05-11 02:40:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by tomcervo
Post by Dave in Toronto
Slaves WERE sometimes freed (some became slave owners themselves) many
of them decided to accept the American government's offer of passage
to Liberia where they established a colony.  They always referred to
themselves as Americans - as did the Africans and British - and they
regarded the native population as 'savages' and treated them the same
way as did the European colonizers.  The new country  _The Republic of
Liberia_ became very active in the slave trade and was one of the last
countries to declare it illegal.  Some time in the 1930's I think.
Got a cite for that--Wiki says nothing.
This says different:

http://www.thenagain.info/webchron/Africa/Liberia.html
Mack A. Damia
2011-05-11 03:05:23 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 10 May 2011 19:32:55 -0700 (PDT), tomcervo
Post by tomcervo
Post by Dave in Toronto
Slaves WERE sometimes freed (some became slave owners themselves) many
of them decided to accept the American government's offer of passage
to Liberia where they established a colony.  They always referred to
themselves as Americans - as did the Africans and British - and they
regarded the native population as 'savages' and treated them the same
way as did the European colonizers.  The new country  _The Republic of
Liberia_ became very active in the slave trade and was one of the last
countries to declare it illegal.  Some time in the 1930's I think.
Got a cite for that--Wiki says nothing.
It's all there.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberia
tomcervo
2011-05-11 04:34:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mack A. Damia
On Tue, 10 May 2011 19:32:55 -0700 (PDT), tomcervo
Post by tomcervo
Post by Dave in Toronto
Slaves WERE sometimes freed (some became slave owners themselves) many
of them decided to accept the American government's offer of passage
to Liberia where they established a colony.  They always referred to
themselves as Americans - as did the Africans and British - and they
regarded the native population as 'savages' and treated them the same
way as did the European colonizers.  The new country  _The Republic of
Liberia_ became very active in the slave trade and was one of the last
countries to declare it illegal.  Some time in the 1930's I think.
Got a cite for that--Wiki says nothing.
It's all there.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberia
I don't mean the separation of classes, but the institution of
slavery. It was illegal in Liberia, and slaves taken on slave ships in
African waters were freed in Liberia. I can find nothing that supports

"The new country _The Republic of Liberia_ became very active in the
slave trade and was one of the last countries to declare it illegal.
Some time in the 1930's I think."

That the upper classes exploited the labor of the lower classes was
hardly rare anywhere in the Western world. Renoir's wonderful "The
Southerner" was on a few nights ago, showing a similar situation in
East Texas in the 1930's.
Mack A. Damia
2011-05-11 05:19:45 UTC
Permalink
On Tue, 10 May 2011 21:34:40 -0700 (PDT), tomcervo
Post by tomcervo
Post by Mack A. Damia
On Tue, 10 May 2011 19:32:55 -0700 (PDT), tomcervo
Post by tomcervo
Post by Dave in Toronto
Slaves WERE sometimes freed (some became slave owners themselves) many
of them decided to accept the American government's offer of passage
to Liberia where they established a colony.  They always referred to
themselves as Americans - as did the Africans and British - and they
regarded the native population as 'savages' and treated them the same
way as did the European colonizers.  The new country  _The Republic of
Liberia_ became very active in the slave trade and was one of the last
countries to declare it illegal.  Some time in the 1930's I think.
Got a cite for that--Wiki says nothing.
It's all there.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberia
I don't mean the separation of classes, but the institution of
slavery. It was illegal in Liberia, and slaves taken on slave ships in
African waters were freed in Liberia. I can find nothing that supports
"The new country _The Republic of Liberia_ became very active in the
slave trade and was one of the last countries to declare it illegal.
Some time in the 1930's I think."
That the upper classes exploited the labor of the lower classes was
hardly rare anywhere in the Western world. Renoir's wonderful "The
Southerner" was on a few nights ago, showing a similar situation in
East Texas in the 1930's.
http://www.theperspective.org/alligators.html
Dave in Toronto
2011-05-11 12:52:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mack A. Damia
On Tue, 10 May 2011 21:34:40 -0700 (PDT), tomcervo
Post by tomcervo
Post by Mack A. Damia
On Tue, 10 May 2011 19:32:55 -0700 (PDT), tomcervo
Post by tomcervo
Post by Dave in Toronto
Slaves WERE sometimes freed (some became slave owners themselves) many
of them decided to accept the American government's offer of passage
to Liberia where they established a colony.  They always referred to
themselves as Americans - as did the Africans and British - and they
regarded the native population as 'savages' and treated them the same
way as did the European colonizers.  The new country  _The Republic of
Liberia_ became very active in the slave trade and was one of the last
countries to declare it illegal.  Some time in the 1930's I think.
Got a cite for that--Wiki says nothing.
It's all there.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberia
I don't mean the separation of classes, but the institution of
slavery. It was illegal in Liberia, and slaves taken on slave ships in
African waters were freed in Liberia. I can find nothing that supports
"The new country  _The Republic of Liberia_ became very active in the
slave trade and was one of the last countries to declare it illegal.
Some time in the 1930's I think."
That the upper classes exploited the labor of the lower classes was
hardly rare anywhere in the Western world. Renoir's wonderful "The
Southerner" was on a few nights ago, showing a similar situation in
East Texas in the 1930's.
http://www.theperspective.org/alligators.html- Hide quoted text -
- Show quoted text -
From The People's Almanac : World Nations and Peoples.

Liberia - Social Structure - Americo-Liberians.

"They are a well-defined ruling class including intellectuals,
professsionals, government officials and - until 1931 - slave
traders."

Dave M
tomcervo
2011-05-11 23:40:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave in Toronto
Post by Mack A. Damia
On Tue, 10 May 2011 21:34:40 -0700 (PDT), tomcervo
Post by tomcervo
Post by Mack A. Damia
On Tue, 10 May 2011 19:32:55 -0700 (PDT), tomcervo
Post by tomcervo
Post by Dave in Toronto
Slaves WERE sometimes freed (some became slave owners themselves) many
of them decided to accept the American government's offer of passage
to Liberia where they established a colony.  They always referred to
themselves as Americans - as did the Africans and British - and they
regarded the native population as 'savages' and treated them the same
way as did the European colonizers.  The new country  _The Republic of
Liberia_ became very active in the slave trade and was one of the last
countries to declare it illegal.  Some time in the 1930's I think.
Got a cite for that--Wiki says nothing.
It's all there.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberia
I don't mean the separation of classes, but the institution of
slavery. It was illegal in Liberia, and slaves taken on slave ships in
African waters were freed in Liberia. I can find nothing that supports
"The new country  _The Republic of Liberia_ became very active in the
slave trade and was one of the last countries to declare it illegal.
Some time in the 1930's I think."
That the upper classes exploited the labor of the lower classes was
hardly rare anywhere in the Western world. Renoir's wonderful "The
Southerner" was on a few nights ago, showing a similar situation in
East Texas in the 1930's.
http://www.theperspective.org/alligators.html-Hide quoted text -
- Show quoted text -
From The People's Almanac : World Nations and Peoples.
Liberia - Social Structure - Americo-Liberians.
"They are a well-defined ruling class including intellectuals,
professsionals, government officials and - until 1931 - slave
traders."
Dave M
Found the relevant cite. Bit of advice--don't ever use the People's
Almanac as a source for a school paper.
Dave in Toronto
2011-05-12 12:52:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by tomcervo
Post by Dave in Toronto
Post by Mack A. Damia
On Tue, 10 May 2011 21:34:40 -0700 (PDT), tomcervo
Post by tomcervo
Post by Mack A. Damia
On Tue, 10 May 2011 19:32:55 -0700 (PDT), tomcervo
Post by tomcervo
Post by Dave in Toronto
Slaves WERE sometimes freed (some became slave owners themselves) many
of them decided to accept the American government's offer of passage
to Liberia where they established a colony.  They always referred to
themselves as Americans - as did the Africans and British - and they
regarded the native population as 'savages' and treated them the same
way as did the European colonizers.  The new country  _The Republic of
Liberia_ became very active in the slave trade and was one of the last
countries to declare it illegal.  Some time in the 1930's I think.
Got a cite for that--Wiki says nothing.
It's all there.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberia
I don't mean the separation of classes, but the institution of
slavery. It was illegal in Liberia, and slaves taken on slave ships in
African waters were freed in Liberia. I can find nothing that supports
"The new country  _The Republic of Liberia_ became very active in the
slave trade and was one of the last countries to declare it illegal.
Some time in the 1930's I think."
That the upper classes exploited the labor of the lower classes was
hardly rare anywhere in the Western world. Renoir's wonderful "The
Southerner" was on a few nights ago, showing a similar situation in
East Texas in the 1930's.
http://www.theperspective.org/alligators.html-Hidequoted text -
- Show quoted text -
From The People's Almanac : World Nations and Peoples.
Liberia - Social Structure - Americo-Liberians.
"They are a well-defined ruling class including intellectuals,
professsionals, government officials and - until 1931 - slave
traders."
Dave M
Found the relevant cite. Bit of advice--don't ever use the People's
Almanac as a source for a school paper.- Hide quoted text -
- Show quoted text -
...but this isn't a school paper it's the internet :-)

Dave M
Dave in Toronto
2011-05-12 13:16:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Dave in Toronto
Post by tomcervo
Post by Dave in Toronto
Post by Mack A. Damia
On Tue, 10 May 2011 21:34:40 -0700 (PDT), tomcervo
Post by tomcervo
Post by Mack A. Damia
On Tue, 10 May 2011 19:32:55 -0700 (PDT), tomcervo
Post by tomcervo
Post by Dave in Toronto
Slaves WERE sometimes freed (some became slave owners themselves) many
of them decided to accept the American government's offer of passage
to Liberia where they established a colony.  They always referred to
themselves as Americans - as did the Africans and British - and they
regarded the native population as 'savages' and treated them the same
way as did the European colonizers.  The new country  _The Republic of
Liberia_ became very active in the slave trade and was one of the last
countries to declare it illegal.  Some time in the 1930's I think.
Got a cite for that--Wiki says nothing.
It's all there.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberia
I don't mean the separation of classes, but the institution of
slavery. It was illegal in Liberia, and slaves taken on slave ships in
African waters were freed in Liberia. I can find nothing that supports
"The new country  _The Republic of Liberia_ became very active in the
slave trade and was one of the last countries to declare it illegal.
Some time in the 1930's I think."
That the upper classes exploited the labor of the lower classes was
hardly rare anywhere in the Western world. Renoir's wonderful "The
Southerner" was on a few nights ago, showing a similar situation in
East Texas in the 1930's.
http://www.theperspective.org/alligators.html-Hidequotedtext -
- Show quoted text -
From The People's Almanac : World Nations and Peoples.
Liberia - Social Structure - Americo-Liberians.
"They are a well-defined ruling class including intellectuals,
professsionals, government officials and - until 1931 - slave
traders."
Dave M
Found the relevant cite. Bit of advice--don't ever use the People's
Almanac as a source for a school paper.- Hide quoted text -
- Show quoted text -
...but this isn't a school paper it's the internet :-)
Dave M- Hide quoted text -
- Show quoted text -
Just as an afterthought there's a few books here that might be worth
reading (or re-reading - I think I read _Journey Without Maps_ a long
time ago when I going through my Graham Greene phase.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Journey_Without_Maps

Dave M

tomcervo
2011-05-11 04:43:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mack A. Damia
On Tue, 10 May 2011 19:32:55 -0700 (PDT), tomcervo
Post by tomcervo
Post by Dave in Toronto
Slaves WERE sometimes freed (some became slave owners themselves) many
of them decided to accept the American government's offer of passage
to Liberia where they established a colony.  They always referred to
themselves as Americans - as did the Africans and British - and they
regarded the native population as 'savages' and treated them the same
way as did the European colonizers.  The new country  _The Republic of
Liberia_ became very active in the slave trade and was one of the last
countries to declare it illegal.  Some time in the 1930's I think.
Got a cite for that--Wiki says nothing.
It's all there.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liberia
Here it is:

http://www.historytoday.com/tim-butcher/graham-greene-our-man-liberia

Tension reached crisis point in the late 1920s when the government of
a country with a founding charter explicitly condemning the slave
trade as ‘that curse of curses’ was accused by the US State Department
of allowing large numbers of its people to be sold into slavery. The
motive remains disputed. Some argued it was a way for a bankrupt
country to make money; others said it was the best way of getting rid
of trouble-makers from the tribal hinterland. Defenders of the Americo-
Liberian elite suggested that the authorities were simply continuing a
longstanding tradition whereby tribesmen effectively ‘belonged’ to
village elders who could do with them what they wanted.

France and Britain sought to exploit the allegation in the hope of
absorbing Liberia into their colonial holdings but in a rare and early
display of multilateralism, the League of Nations asserted itself. A
three-man committee was convened in April 1930 consisting of a
representative each from the League (a British dentist called Dr
Cuthbert Christy, who later died an authentic African colonial death
after he was gored by a buffalo in the Congo), Liberia and the United
States. The committee heard evidence for three months concerning
allegations of slavery among the workforce at the Firestone rubber
plantation and of native Liberians being rounded up at gunpoint by
government forces, loaded on to ships and taken out into the Atlantic
to work on plantations on a Spanish island colony called Fernando Po.

In September 1930 the committee issued its report, clearing Firestone
of malpractice but finding proven the charges against the government
related to Fernando Po, stating that the native Liberians were
exploited ‘under conditions of criminal compulsion scarcely
distinguishable from slave raiding and slave trading’.

When it became known that the president, Charles King, accepted the
committee’s findings, critics within his party attacked him for
threatening to hand Liberia to the ‘white man’ and in December 1930 he
was forced to stand down. He was replaced by his Secretary of State,
Edwin Barclay. Interestingly, the powerbrokers of Liberia showed no
remorse about the slavery taking place in their country (Barclay was
himself heavily implicated in the export of slaves) but were incensed
at what they believed to be President King’s willingness to kowtow to
foreign powers as represented by the League.

After the hubbub surrounding King’s departure had died down, new fears
emerged that slavery had returned to Liberia and the Anti-Slavery and
Aborigines’ Protection Society viewed the country with growing
concern. In a 1935 letter to the High Commissioner in London of the
Union of South Africa, the society said it regarded the West African
country as ‘one of our most difficult and anxious problems’. What the
society needed was someone willing to go to gather up-to-date
information on the ground. Graham Greene, a young writer who had
already worked for several years as a journalist for The Times, would
make the perfect snoop.
Mark
2011-04-17 18:41:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by lugnut
So the TV series based on this movie was a show I always enjoyed as a
kid back when it originally aired (for some reason), and since I've
been watching reruns of it on WGN lately I figured I owed it to myself
to finally see the film that inspired it, which I did last night.
...and I gotta say, what am I missing?  Given its Oscar-winning status
and reputation as one of the great American films of its era, I was
more than a little underwhelmed.  Oh, it's a good enough flick all
right - the performances are good, the cinematography is wonderful,
Quincy Jones' score is perfect, and I was never bored with it... but
at the same time, I can't really say it was much better than some of
the particularly-good episodes of the TV show.  Hell, I even had a
hard time not imagining Carroll O'Connor and Howard Rollins in the
Steiger/Poitier roles.
So is it just me, or is this a film that just hasn't aged particularly
well?  I kinda get the feeling its Oscar win and reputation had a lot
more to do with what was probably a then-fresh handling of race issues
than for the film itself.  Have decades of TV cop shows treading the
same ground (and the series that it spawned) simply robbed it of
whatever power it initially had back in '67, or was this always a
movie that got by more on its politics than its substance?
(And while I'm at it, how would you guys rate its sequels, "They Call
Me MISTER Tibbs" and "The Organization"?)
-lugnut
You have to think of 1967 and the year it came out. It was SHOCKING
film back then. It's a good, solid piece of work -- like a lot of
highly acclaimed films -- with good writing, directing and acting.
It's not Citizen Kane. The slapping scene is still pretty shocking.

MW
Avoid normal situations.
2011-05-09 22:36:00 UTC
Permalink
lugnut <***@nospamhotmail.com> wrote:

[..]
Post by lugnut
So is it just me, or is this a film that just hasn't aged particularly
well?
It's just you. :-) It's a picture I like just fine; if anything, the fact
that it is such a creature of the '60s adds to, rather than subtracts from,
its entertainment value (e.g., the line, "I was hung up, trying to get
<what's-'is-face> for personal reasons").

--
alt.flame Special Forces
"Don't think about it, it doesn't mean anything." -- Steven Wright
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