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A frustrated former big-city journalist now stuck working for an Albuquerque newspaper exploits a story about a man trapped in a cave to re-jump start his career, but the situation quickly escalates into an out-of-control circus.
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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Because of the criticism directed at producer Stanley Kramer by the American Legion for hiring Nedrick Young, whom they considered subversive, Moss Hart as president of The Authors League of America sent Kramer a telegram: "The Authors League of America council, which has always unalterably opposed any form of blacklisting of writers, unanimously voted at a meeting today to commend and applaud you for your courageous stand in rejecting publicly the effort to interfere, on pseudo-patriotic grounds, with the right of writers to work." See more »
E.K. Hornbeck (analogous to H.L. Mencken) calls the town "the buckle of the Bible Belt". Although this was one of Mencken's signature phrases, he did not start using it until 1926, one year after the events depicted. See more »
Rev. Jeremiah Brown:
Oh, Lord of the tempest and the thunder, strike down this sinner, as thou did thine enemies of old in the days of the Pharaohs! Let him know the terror of thy sword! Let his soul, for all eternity, writhe in anguish and damnation!
No! No, Pa! Don't pray to destroy Bert!
Rev. Jeremiah Brown:
Lord! We ask this same curse for those who ask grace for this sinner! Though they be blood of my blood and flesh of my FLESH!
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People like to comment on this film's "overacting". Try watching any of Joan Crawford's movies from this period and then get back to me. Inherit the Wind is a totally compelling story of the traditional school of thought versus a new scientific one. It centers on a small southern town coming to terms with Darwinism and its implications on Christianity. Spencer Tracy is an eloquent defense lawyer fighting to let evolution stay in the public schools. The script is quite good. The court room exchanges are thought provoking and moving especially when one knows about the real people and events behind the story. It's very difficult to come up with a criticism here. Not a weak performance to be seen.
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