Wednesday, May 18, 2005

A Gentleman

Ever since getting my cable TV connected on Tuesday, 10 May 2005, 11:33 a.m., I believe that AMCTV (American Movie Classics) has quickly risen to the top of contenders for My Favorite Channel.

For example, on Saturday I watched, back-to-back:

-- "My Darling Clementine" (1946, John Ford)

-- "Rio Grande" (1950, John Ford)

And, now ... at 12-something-in-the-morning, I am savoring a film I've never seen before, "In the Heat of the Night."

No, it's not that asinine, predictable-plot TV series starring Archie Bunker.

It's the original from 1967, with Sidney Poitier as Detective Virgil Tibbs, and Rod Steiger portraying Police Chief Bill Gillespie.

The camera work is GREAT: In the tense initial meeting between Tibbs and Gillespie, the fat white chief stands next to a case of shotguns/rifles. Half of the frame is the gun rack; the other half is the chief. It's like that for many minutes as the men probe each other's psychology. Excellent visual storytelling.

Poitier is amazing. Very cool. The epitome of a gentleman.

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