Sidney Poitier: The Slap Heard Round the World

0 Posted by - April 29, 2018 - BLACK MEN, CELEBRITIES, ENTERTAINMENT, LATEST POSTS

 

1967’s In The Heat of the Night starring Sidney Poitier was a widely popular and critically acclaimed film. Starring Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, and Warren Oates, the mystery drama film tells the story of a black police detective from Philadelphia (Poitier), who was involved in a murder investigation in a small and racist town in Mississippi. The film won the Academy Award for Best Picture, as well as four other wins. In the film, there is an iconic scene in in which Tibbs (Poitier) questions a wealthy, white, and racist plantation owner named Eric Endicott. During the questioning, Endicott slaps Tibbs in the face. Immediately, Tibbs slaps him back. The significance of the scene was huge for the time. Originally in the screenplay and novel the movie was based off of, Tibbs was not to react to the slap. When Poitier read it, he refused to react back with nothing, noting that it was not true to his values. During the ongoing battle for civil rights, it meant something huge to see a black man reacting to provocation from a white man on screen. Poitier requested that his character should slap Endicott right back, creating one of the most famous scenes in film history.

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