The movie's line "They call me Mister Tibbs!" was voted as the #76 of "The 100 Greatest Movie Lines" by Premiere in 2007.
Producer Walter Mirisch used creative accounting to prove to United Artists that the film would make a profit even if it did not play in the South at all.
Mississippi was eventually ruled out as a location due to the existing political conditions. Sparta, Illinois, was selected as the location, and the town's name in the story was changed to Sparta so that local signs would not need to be changed. The greenhouse was added to an existing home and filled with $15,000 worth of orchids.
George C. Scott was the first choice to play Chief Gillespie but he was unavailable due to The Flim-Flam Man (1967).
In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked this as the #75 Greatest Movie of All Time. It was the first inclusion of this film on the list.
Beah Richards, the actress who plays the abortionist Mama Caleba, played the mother of Sidney Poitier character the same year in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967). |