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Inherit the Wind (1960)

Approved | | Drama, History | November 1960 (USA)
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.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »

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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Hartman ...
Bailiff Mort Meeker
Gordon Polk ...


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


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


Drama | History


Approved | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

November 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Heredarás el viento  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


Robert Vaughn was offered the role of E.K. Hornbeck, in case Gene Kelly turned it down. But he instead opted to make The Magnificent Seven (1960). See more »


Matthew Harrison Brady, actually William Jennings Bryan, is depicted at collapsing and dying immediately after the trial. In fact, Bryan traveled and gave speeches for five days after the trial ended and died in his sleep, not in a courtroom. See more »


Henry Drummond: The Bible is a book. It's a good book, but it is not the only book.
See more »


Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: Time of the Apes (1991) See more »


We'll Hang Bert Cates to a Sour Apple Tree
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

Acting Giants And Relevant Themes
23 January 2007 | by (Los Angeles, USA) – See all my reviews

The pleasure! Spencer Tracy and Frederic March going at each other. Masterfully spot on. As in most works of art, the passing of time adds to its relevance. Very much true in this case. Fanaticism without reason, such an everyday occurrence in our daily 2007 lives. There is nobody more deaf than the one who doesn't want to hear.Spencer Tracy personifies the truth, everything he utters is immediately believable. The cross examination of Frederic March is a classic on his own. The only discording notes are: the presence of Gene Kelly - very distracting indeed -and Claude Aikens in a way over the top performance. The way the trial is shot reminded me of the brilliant blocking of another Stanley Kramer film with Acting Giants And Relevant Themes "Judgement At Neuremberg" If you haven' seen "Inherit The Wind" do so, if you have, see it again and share the experience with your kids. I highly recommend it.

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