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Inherit the Wind (1960)

Spencer Tracy , Fredric March , Stanley Kramer  |  PG |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (255 customer reviews)

Price: $47.49 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Inherit the Wind + To Kill a Mockingbird 50th Anniversary Edition
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Product Details

  • Actors: Spencer Tracy, Fredric March, Gene Kelly, Dick York, Donna Anderson
  • Directors: Stanley Kramer
  • Writers: Harold Jacob Smith, Jerome Lawrence, Nedrick Young, Robert E. Lee
  • Producers: Stanley Kramer
  • Format: Black & White, Closed-captioned, Dubbed, Letterboxed, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: MGM Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: December 11, 2001
  • Run Time: 128 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (255 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005PJ6V
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #20,813 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Inherit the Wind" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Two-time Best Actor OscarÂ(r) winners* Spencer Tracy and Fredric March go toe-to-toe in this thrilling re-creation of the most titanic courtroom battle of the century. Garnering four Academy AwardÂ(r) nominations**, including Best Actor (Tracy), and featuring Gene Kelly in a rare, critically-acclaimed dramatic role, Inherit the Wind is powerful, provocative cinema and "a heaping measure of entertainment" (The Hollywood Reporter)! The controversial subject of evolution versus creation causes two polar opposites to engage in one explosive battle of beliefs. Attorney Clarence Darrow (Tracy) faces off against fundamentalist leader William Jennings Bryan (March) in a small Tennessee town where a teacher has been brought to trial for teaching Darwinism. Let the trial begin...and watch the sparks fly!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
77 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly and justifiably dominated by two star performances September 20, 2003
After over forty years this remains a truly powerful film, and the secret is not hard to locate: Spencer Tracy and Fredric March. These two great actors, both near the end of their respective careers (both would make other films, but it would be the last great performance in March's career and one of the last in Tracy's, though he did go on to excel in both JUDGMENT AT NUREMBERG and GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER). Remove them from the film, and there wouldn't be a whole lot left. Luckily, they are in it, and between them they manage to chew up scene after scene as they display movie acting at its very finest.
The story, of course, is loosely (though not too loosely) based on the Scopes trial, where Clarence Darrow defended John Scopes from charges of having taught the theory of evolution in a public school. William Jennings Bryan, former US senator, secretary of state, and three-time presidential candidate, argued the case for the prosecution. Although the real-life trial was covered by a huge press corps, the movie focuses on only one reporter, the fictional E. K. Hornbeck, who is loosely based on H. L. Mencken and played somewhat against type by Gene Kelly (sadly, it would also be Kelly's last major role; unlike his friend and rival Fred Astaire, his career was cut short partly by the demise of the musical and partly by injuries that made dancing harder for him as he aged, but also unlike Astaire he was unable to find quality acting roles as he aged).
The film is also served well by an excellent supporting cast. Harry Morgan, later familiar from M*A*S*H, capably plays the judge in the trial. Dick York, later the first Darren in BEWITCHED (interestingly, a TV show based on I MARRIED A WITCH, in which Fredric March played the "Darren" equivalent) is a familiar face.
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61 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spellbinding dual performances! August 30, 2003
There are many reasons to watch this movie, one of the essential films of the past 50 years. But the primary motivation is to see the greatest screen actor of all, Spencer Tracy, deliver a performance for the ages. Watch this master emote with movement, voice and nuance. He steals the picture (as he usually does), but there is another brilliant performance as well. This is delivered expertly by the underrated Fredric March, in one of the meatiest roles ever handed to an actor. March is at turns witty, cunning, over-the-top, hammy or contrite, depending upon the demands of the scene. His scenes on the witness stand with Tracy are among the best written and beautifully acted pieces in movie history. It's impossible not to be on the edge of your seat as Tracy quizzes March about various passages from the Bible.
I won't bother with the details of the plot, which is well known to most movie fans. Don't expect real or truthful history, and accept that Kramer's direction is sometimes limited and even claustrophobic. Watch this film because there has never been such an array of spellbinding performances as were delivered by Tracy and March. An astounding display of acting talent.
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41 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Something to Think About February 18, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Inherit the Wind is a movie about ideas, and in the hands of master actors like Spencer Tracy and Fredric March, the ideas are well delivered. March and Tracy bring the full force of their talents to their roles as opposing lawyers (and one time friends) who face off on the issue of evolution vs. Creation. The fact that this is based on a real life court case only adds to the drama. Florence Eldridge, March's real life wife, is excellent as March's movie wife who recognizes the flaws in her husband, but loves and admires him anyways. Harry Morgan also gives a solid performance as the judge caught in a very controversial case. Gene Kelly plays a very cynical reporter and has some good scenes, but overall isn't completely effective. The movie is full of dialogue, and is obviously based on a stage play, but the ideas are so strong, the actors so dynamic, and there are enough scenes away from the court case, so that the movie doesn't drag. And of course, the issues raised about freedom of speech and thought are still relevant today. This is a movie and a story to learn from.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless, Spellbinding October 31, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
INHERIT THE WIND was released in 1960, yet remains as topical today as it did all those decades ago. Stanley Kramer's masterpiece depicting the volatile clash of science and religion continues to spawn discussion and debate.
Based in part on the actual 1925 Scopes "Monkey Trial" in Tennessee, INHERIT THE WIND is dominated by its two co-stars, Spencer Tracy and Fredric March. Both actors give stellar performances as courtroom antagonists who once were close friends. Gene Kelly strayed from his usual role--playing the lead in musicals--to portray a cynical newspaper reporter, and he pulls it off remarkably well. The entire cast is first-rate, exceptional.
Faith and religion are at the core of human emotion; INHERIT THE WIND taps in to this emotion, spilling and dispersing it throughout the film. Gripping courtroom drama, fierce debates, ugly namecalling and bigotry, and tender human compassion are manifested again and again. The fabric of "interpretation" is woven into the story, very gently suggesting that in order to grow as a society we must challenge that which is taken for granted, be it Creationism or evolution. We must continue to ask questions, no matter how uncomfortable the answers may make us.
This is a superb film. I cannot recommend it more highly.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars students must learn that man is not perfect, man is created by those...
The Scopes Trial should NEVER be missed - replaying this trial in every school is a must. Yes, students must learn that man is not perfect, man is created by those that teach ... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Nance L. Briscoe
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
poor connection
Published 14 days ago by les
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent Movie!
Published 15 days ago by Debra
5.0 out of 5 stars Spencer Tracy at his best!
I've lost count how many times I've watched this--classic Spencer Tracy is timeless! Not only is it beautifully casted and true to the period, but it serves as a reminder of how... Read more
Published 15 days ago by Laura Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars A Black vs. White Masterpiece
One of the truly great films. Filmed in black and white, it still holds its own today. It is a film that cannot be bested with a remake.
Published 20 days ago by Alan K. Sumrall
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 21 days ago by Roy Stonecypher
3.0 out of 5 stars Old movies still capture your attention
Good research to play the part of Spencer Tracy. Quickly gave me the plot and the flavor of the story
Published 1 month ago by William Roach
5.0 out of 5 stars great movie
One of the great, timeles classics! No one could have one this better than Spencer Tracy. Have seen it many times & never tire of it
Published 1 month ago by carolann
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful movie-full of passionate discussion
Wonderful movie-excellent issues well presented .I gave it as a gift, but saw it myself first.The people I passed it on to seemed to like it,too. Read more
Published 2 months ago by ruth schreck
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Movies in Class
I'm using this in class after we read the play. It is a great movie to get thoughts going along with showing terrific acting!
Published 2 months ago by T. Waddell
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