Teacher B.T. Cates is arrested for teaching Darwin's theories. Famous lawyer Henry Drummond defends him; fundamentalist politician Matthew Brady prosecutes. This is a very thinly disguised rendition of the 1925 "Scopes monkey trial" with debates between Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan taken largely from the transcripts.Written by
Ed Stephan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The buzz about Fredric March's and Spencer Tracy's performances spread around the studio lot and Hollywood to the point that a lot of extras made their way to the set just to see the action. In one instance, the extras were applauding so much at one of March's dramatic speeches that they ruined the take by not waiting until the end. See more »
During the voir dire phase of the trial concerning jury selection, Henry Drummond is forced to use his limited number of peremptory challenges to disallow prospective jurors who are obviously not interested in being impartial in any way to the point where one likens Prosecutor Matthew Brady to God. In that situation, Drummond should have called for such obviously biased prospective jurors to be struck for cause, a motion that can used an unlimited number of times with the permission of the court. If the court, which itself has obvious signs of partiality itself in the story, had rejected such a motion, Drummond could have resorted to using his peremptory challenges. See more »
Bertram T. Cates:
[addressing his class as Mayor Jason Carter, Reverend Jeremiah Brown, Jessie Dunlap, and Deputy Sam enter the classroom to arrest him]
Good morning visitors. For our science lesson for today, we will continue our discussion of Darwin's Theory of the descent of man. As I told you yesterday, Darwin's Theory tells us that man evolved from a lower order of animals: from the first wiggly protozoa here in the sea, to the ape, and finally to man. As some of you fellas out there probably ...
[...] See more »
(Gimme Dat) Old Time Religion
Sung by Leslie Uggams at the start of the movie
Reprised often by the Townfolks
Variations included often in the score See more »
People like to comment on this film's "overacting". Try watching any of Joan Crawford's movies from this period and then get back to me. Inherit the Wind is a totally compelling story of the traditional school of thought versus a new scientific one. It centers on a small southern town coming to terms with Darwinism and its implications on Christianity. Spencer Tracy is an eloquent defense lawyer fighting to let evolution stay in the public schools. The script is quite good. The court room exchanges are thought provoking and moving especially when one knows about the real people and events behind the story. It's very difficult to come up with a criticism here. Not a weak performance to be seen.
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