'In the Heat of the Night' to Open 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival

Courtesy of Everett Collection
Sidney Poitier and Lee Grant in Norman Jewison's "In the Heat of the Night."

Also screening at the eighth annual event: 'Singin' in the Rain,' 'The Last Picture Show,' 'The Graduate' and 'Saturday Night Fever.'

A 50th anniversary screening of the Oscar best picture winner In the Heat of the Night will kick off the eighth annual TCM Classic Film Festival on April 6 in Hollywood.

Sidney Poitier, who starred as Philadelphia detective Virgil Tibbs in the landmark drama, is scheduled to appear at the screening at the TCL Chinese Theatre alongside Oscar-winning producer Walter Mirisch, director Norman Jewison, composer Quincy Jones and actress Lee Grant.

Grant also will be the subject of a tribute that will featuring a screening of her debut film, Detective Story (1951), as well as The Landlord (1970). And, as The Hollywood Relporter previously reported, the spotlight also will shine on director Peter Bogdanovich, whose films The Last Picture Show (1971) and What’s Up, Doc? (1972) will screen.

Grant and Bogdanovich also will sit down for conversations inside Club TCM at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

The late Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher will be celebrated with screenings of Singin’ in the Rain (1952) and Postcards From the Edge (1990), with family members Todd Fisher and Billie Lourd hosting chats at both screenings.

Mel Brooks will introduce a 40th anniversary screening of his Alfred Hitchcock spoof High Anxiety (1977); screenwriter Buck Henry will present the 50th anniversary world premiere restoration of The Graduate (1967); and director John Badham and actress Donna Pescow will be there for a 40th anniversary world premiere restoration screening of Saturday Night Fever (1977).

Gene Wilder's Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) and a 75th anniversary screening of Casablanca (1942) also can be seen at the festival, which runs through April 9. TCM's Ben Mankiewicz hosts.

TCM said that the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures has come aboard as an official festival partner and co-host of the opening night screening and party.

Passes for the 2017 TCM Classic Film Festival are on sale now.