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Last month on Jan. 6., the legendary actor and director Sidney Poitier died at the age of 94. Photo: Getty Images.
Last month on Jan. 6., the legendary actor and director Sidney Poitier died at the age of 94. Photo: Getty Images.

Sidney Poitier marathon ongoing at The Philadelphia Film Society

The Philadelphia Film Society (PFS) is continuing its “They Call Him Mr. Poitier” film series, screening a collection of Sidney Poitier’s films.

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Last month on Jan. 6., the legendary actor and director Sidney Poitier died at the age of 94.

Poitier was known for many things including the achievement of being the first Black man to win an Academy Award. He won for Lilies of the Field (1963, dir. Ralph Nelson). 

His No Way Out (1950, dir. Joseph L. Mankiewicz) role is often regarded as his Hollywood breakout.

The Philadelphia Film Society (PFS) is currently housing an ongoing film series honoring the life and work of the late actor and director.

The limited film series, “They Call Him Mr. Poitier,” honors the Oscar-winning actor with his films Raisin in the Sun (already screened), In the Heat of the Night, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, and Sneakers.

With Raisin in the Sun (1961, dir. Daniel Petrie)’s in the rearview — having screened Feb. 5 — the following three Poitier films will be screened throughout the month of February.

In the Heat of the Night (1967, dir. Norman Jewison) will screen Feb. 11, while Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967, dir. Stanley Kramar) will be shown on Feb. 19. Both will screen at 7:00 p.m. 

Finally, Sneakers (1992, dir. Phil Alden Robinson) will be screened on Feb. 27 at 3:00 p.m. Sneakers will be the final installment of the film series.

Poitier’s roles and films often showed the actor’s characters navigating themes of racism, bigotry, inequality, and injustice.

In his film In the Heat of the Night, Poitier plays a Philadelphia detective, Virgil Tibbs. The role is regarded as one of his most well known.

The film tells the tale of Poitier’s Tibbs as he investigates a murder case in the Deep South amid revelations of racial bigotry embedded in the area’s locals and police force.

Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner follows Poitier as a romantic lead opposite Katherine Hepburn. The 1967 picture showcases an interracial romance, challenging those in close proximity to the couple.

Jumping forward three decades, the 1992 film Sneakers follows Poitier in a crime-comedy dealing with the advent of the modern internet and the threat of losing digital privacy. 

The Philadelphia Film Society is located at 1412 Chestnut Street. Tickets for “They Call Him Mr. Poitier” are available now, ranging from $13 for individual tickets (or $9 for PFS members).

The PFS requires proof of vaccination and masking when not consuming food or drink within the theater. 

Children aged five through 11 years old will be required to have completed a full vaccination schedule by this point to attend.

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