They Call Me Mister Tibbs!

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They Call Me Mister Tibbs!
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Gordon Douglas
Produced by Herbert Hirschman
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 date
  • 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! is a 1970 American DeLuxe Color crime drama film directed by Gordon Douglas. The second installment in a trilogy, the release was preceded by In the Heat of the Night (1967) and followed by The Organization (1971). The film's 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, now a lieutenant with the San Francisco police, is assigned to investigate the murder of a prostitute. A prime suspect is Rev. Logan Sharpe, 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 Williamson, and Woody Garfield, who might have been the woman's pimp. Suspicion falls on a man named Rice Weedon, who takes umbrage and is shot by Tibbs in self-defense.

Tibbs’ ongoing investigation leads him to deduce that Sharpe really is 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.


The film did not attract the same response as the series' 1967 debut, In the Heat of the Night.

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

Musical score and soundtrack

They Call Me Mister Tibbs!
They Call Me Mister Tibbs! (soundtrack).jpg
Soundtrack album by
Released 1970
Recorded 1970
Genre Film score
Length 32:49
Label United Artists
UAS 5214
Producer Quincy Jones
Quincy Jones chronology
Gula Matari
They Call Me Mister Tibbs!

The film score was composed, arranged and conducted by Quincy Jones, and the soundtrack album was released on the United Artists label in 1970.[5]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[6]

Allmusic's Steven McDonald said "They Call Me Misters Tibbs! had a more open, urban attitude from its San Francisco setting. The music throughout has an edge, with some interesting musical experiments going on ... Jones, as one example, used cimbalom to reflect Tibbs' feelings".[6]

Track listing

All compositions by Quincy Jones

  1. "Call Me Mister Tibbs (Main Title)" − 4:33
  2. "'Rev' Logan (Organ Solo)" − 2:12
  3. "Blues for Mister Tibbs" − 6:27
  4. "Fat Poppadaddy" − 3:28
  5. "Soul Flower" − 4:20
  6. "Call Me Mister Tibbs (Main Title)" − 2:15
  7. "Black Cherry" − 2:15
  8. "Family Man" − 1:20
  9. "Side Pocket" − 2:05
  10. "Why, Daddy?" − 3:08
  11. "Call Me Mister Tibbs (End Title)" − 0:46


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 Archived 2009-04-20 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Edwards, D & Callahan, M. Discography Preview for the United Artists label 40000 & 4000/5000 Series (1958-1972), accessed January 30, 2018
  6. ^ a b McDonald, Steven. In the Heat of the Night/They Call Me Mr. Tibbs – Review at AllMusic. Retrieved January 30, 2018.

External links

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