The brawl in the maintenance shed takes place under a sign that reads, "Let us ALL be Alert. We don't want ANYONE Hurt.
Lawrence Tierney was considered for the role of Chief Gillespie.
The same locomotive is used in the opening and closing scenes to carry Virgil in and out of town - Gulf Mobile and Ohio locomotive #103.
Virgil tibbs arrives in Sparta, and subsequently leaves town, via the old Gulf, Mobile and Ohio Railroad (GM&O). This anchors the films setting in the deep south, and in Mississippi in particular. Yet, ten years earlier the GM&O had suspended all passanger service south of Saint Louis, MO; which Sparta, IL was and is. However, The GM&O had merged the Alton & Southern Railroad (which operated service between Saint Louis and Chicago). Therefore, filming of the operating train station scenes where Tibbs boards the train, as well as the long shot closing credits scenes, were completed at Alton, IL, about 75 miles north of Sparta. Careful viewing of the rail station scene early in the film between Tibbs and Chief Gillespie were at the "Sparta, IL" station but the Sparta station was clearly closed down. |