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Inherit the Wind (1960)

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2:17 | Trailer
Based on a real-life case in 1925, two great lawyers argue the case for and against a science teacher accused of the crime of teaching evolution.

Director:

Stanley Kramer

Writers:

Nedrick Young (screenplay), Harold Jacob Smith (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Spencer Tracy ... Henry Drummond
Fredric March ... Matthew Harrison Brady
Gene Kelly ... E. K. Hornbeck
Dick York ... Bertram T. Cates
Donna Anderson ... Rachel Brown
Harry Morgan ... Judge Mel Coffey
Claude Akins ... Rev. Jeremiah Brown
Elliott Reid ... Prosecutor Tom Davenport
Paul Hartman ... Bailiff Mort Meeker
Philip Coolidge ... Mayor Jason Carter
Jimmy Boyd ... Howard
Noah Beery Jr. ... John Stebbins
Norman Fell ... WGN Radio Technician
Gordon Polk Gordon Polk ... George Sillers
Hope Summers ... Mrs. Krebs - Righteous Townswoman
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Storyline

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 <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's all about the monkey trial that rocked America.


Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 August 1960 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Inherit the Wind See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Florence Eldridge, Fredric March's wife in real life, also portrayed his wife twelve years earlier in An Act of Murder (1948). See more »

Goofs

When Drummond is inquiring about the story of Jonah, he flips to a book mark towards the end of the Bible and opens it. The Jonah story is in the Old Testament, but the section Drummond flips to would be towards the end of the New Testament. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
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 »

Connections

Referenced in Creation Science 103: Class 3 (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

We'll Hang Bert Cates to a Sour Apple Tree
(uncredited)
Music by William Steffe
Sung to the tune of "Battle Hymn of the Republic" by marching Townfolks
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Clear the decks giants are about to clash
2 July 2004 | by dbborroughsSee all my reviews

This movie is made by the performances. The material is very good, but at time its a bit melodramatic and obvious, which is the way the play is. Were it not for the collision of Spencer Tracy and Frederick March this would be just an excellent Hollywood film instead of the classic that it is.

I would be tempted to say that all you need is a basic knowledge of the plot and the ability to jump straight to the court room scenes, but that would be unfair. Watch the movie once and then after that you can simply watch the fireworks.

What can I say about the battle between Tracy and March? Nothing. Words fail me. This is one of the great battles on screen in any film. It should be seen by anyone who wants to see how "easy" acting should appear. All the more important is the fact that this is a battle of ideas that still matter today as much as then. If only all of the world's problem could be debated this perfectly we'd live in a happier place.

See this movie.


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