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Inherit the Wind
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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.Read more ›
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Borrowed this movie from a friend at work and misplaced it during a move. Bought this to replace it. Never did end up watching it. Read morePublished 20 days ago by William Underhill
Masterpiece about the Scopes "Monkey" Trail with a superb cast.Published 1 month ago by VP Customer
Couldn't watch it! Stopped running ... something about insufficient bandwidth after about 10 minutes. Checked for refund and learned all sales final once streaming has started.Published 1 month ago by Kenneth Gordon Fife
I'm a huge Spencer Tracy fan and this one of his best. It's a classic film that I would recommend anyone to watch.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer