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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 (238 customer reviews)

Price: $51.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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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 (238 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005PJ6V
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,461 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Inherit the Wind" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

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
61 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spellbinding dual performances! August 30, 2003
Format:DVD
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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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Inherit the Wind is the broad fictional adaptation of the real-life Scopes Monkey Trial in which John Scopes, a football coach who taught evolution in a high school classroom, was put on trial and the city of Dayton, Tennessee was put on the map... and not in a particularly pleasing light.

Spencer Tracy and Frederic March turn out tremendously powerful performances as opposing lawyers in the trial, while Gene Kelly stands aloofly by as a flippant reporter for the Boston Globe.

What is especially striking about Inherit the Wind is the relevance of the movie (almost 50 years later) to the current political atmosphere. In the 20's the law said that evolution couldn't be taught, and now it's creationism that can't be taught. As Tracy's Henry Drummond says in the film, "Well, that's evolution for you."

The acting throughout the film is outstanding and it hardly feels like a two hour film, particularly in black and white. The entire film builds momentum until it all comes to a head at the very end with the showdown between Drummond (Tracy) and Brady (March). This is not a film to be missed if you're at all interested in history (although it's a loose adaptation) and the current intelligent design debate.

Included on the disc is the original trailer for the film, which features a few clips from the film and then director Stanley Kramer discussing the film and listing awards that it won in festivals. It's interesting to see a trailer this old and compare it to our current trailers.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Equally Timely Forty Years Later May 4, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
With the issue of evolution versus creationism flaring up anew in current legal battles, Stanley Kramer's 1960 film has retained its timeliness. This was a period of vigorous activity for Kramer on the message film front as he directed and produced within a four year cycle "The Defiant Ones," a 1958 examination of the race issue in America starring Sidney Poitier and Tony Curtis, "On The Beach," a controversial film about nuclear war starring Gregory Peck and Ava Gardner which was released in 1959, followed in turn by the aforementioned "Inherit The Wind" one year later and the highly acclaimed "Judgment at Nuremberg" in 1961, which focused on personal responsibility of German judges to interpret the law humanely during Hitler's Third Reich.
"Inherit The Wind" was adapted by Kramer to the screen from the hugely successful Broadway stage hit written by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee about the Scopes Monkey Trial held in Dayton, Tennessee in 1922. While the names were changed, with defense lawyer Clarence Darrow becoming Henry Drummond and prosecutor William Jennings Bryan becoming Matthew Harrison Brady, the chief issue of the actual trial pitting creationism and evolution as applied to the classroom remained intact. Distinguished veteran stars Spencer Tracy and Fredric March perform with astounding brilliance as competing individuals who believed they were standard bearers for important causes governing how civilization would proceed. March stood foursquare for a Biblical foundation based on old line religious values, which he believed were threatened by free thinkers of the agnostic stripe represented by Tracy, who in turn thought his adversary's ideas antiquated and anti-intellectual.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good film about the Progressive Era!
Good film about the Progressive Era! Great choice of actors and direction...Enjoyed the ending! Nice to see dance great Gene Kelly in a dramatic performance.
Published 4 hours ago by Evyone Nicole Brown
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic!
Obviously Spencer Tracy is a giant in acting and he doesn't disappoint here. He's totally believable in defending a school teacher against Bible bigotry of the times. Read more
Published 9 days ago by TaosGuy
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth watching
Spencer Tracy and Gene Kelly are about as wonderful as it gets in this movie about the bible thumpers who tried to make it illegal for teachers to teach anything other than... Read more
Published 13 days ago by Discerning Eye
4.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining drama...
This was suggested by a friend. Great acting by Spencer Tracy; but as for the rest of the ensemble...meh. Read more
Published 19 days ago by Belphanior
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Dialogue
I've seen this movie several times. The acting is great, and story is loaded with plots and subplots. I'll probably watch it again next year. Read more
Published 19 days ago by hugh parker
5.0 out of 5 stars A giant classic
This film is one of the best achievements of the industry. While it's been redone by others, nobody matches the power of the performance of Spencer Tracy and Frederick March. Read more
Published 28 days ago by rideforwork
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible
If you watch the actual Scopes trial on YouTube it is nothing like Inherit the Wind. Terrible, Terrible movie. Terrible.
Published 1 month ago by brandon namuth
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Entertainment
Great entertainment, loosely based on the "Scopes Trail". Many of the characters did not actually exist, i.e. Read more
Published 1 month ago by bobc469
4.0 out of 5 stars Inherit the Wind
Classic Stanley Kramer film. Black and white work of brilliant proportions but absent of a larger, more appreciative audience. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Daniel Roman
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie
I did not order this movie. You did not have it. I found it somewhere else but to comment on it - I absolutely love it. Love Spencer Tracy. Wish you guys had it.
Published 1 month ago by ANN MERICLE
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