With Barack Obama looming on the horizon as the most viable African-American presidential candidate ever, it’s hard to remember how far we have come as a country in terms of racism. Movies like In the Heat of the Night serve as a reminder, a time capsule of the recent past. Starring the peerless Sidney Poitier, the 1967 film celebrates its 40-year anniversary.

Set in the segregated Old South, Poitier plays a detective from the North who gets embroiled in a local murder while passing through town. Immediately a suspect, Poitier, as Virgil Tibbs, slowly wins over the good old boy cops with his intelligence and experience. If you don’t know the line “They call me Mr. Tibbs,” you’ll get chills when you hear it for the first time.

Grade: A

In the Heat of the Night is currently available.