Great Moments in Black History: #6

Sydney puts the smack down

Staying true to the book, the screenplay had Tibbs not reacting to the slap from Endicott. Poitier was not having it. “I said, ‘I’ll tell you what, I’ll make this movie for you if you give me your absolute guarantee when he slaps me I slap him right back and you guarantee that it will play in every version of this movie.”

Bonus cinematic awesomeness: The butler’s reaction at the very end of the scene. Bonus cinematic awesomeness trivia: The butler is played by Jester Hairston. Hairston was a Tufts and Juilliard trained actor who had a long career in radio, TV and film. You might remember him from his role as Rolly Forbes on the 80s sitcom “Amen.”

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