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 <email@example.com>
Florence Eldridge, Fredric March's wife in real life, also portrayed his wife twelve years earlier in 'An Act of Murder'. See more »
During the courtroom examination of Matthew Harrison Brady by Henry Drummond, Drummond shows Brady a 10 million-year-old rock, which he places on the judge's desk. Later in the scene, the rock is back in his hand, and when he dismisses Brady, he places it back on the desk without ever having picked it back up. See more »
I don't swear just for the hell of it. Language is a poor enough means of communication. I think we should all the words we've got. Besides, there are damn few words that anybody understands.
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This movie is made by the performances. The material is very good, but at time its a bit melodramatic and obvious, which is the way the play is. Were it not for the collision of Spencer Tracy and Frederick March this would be just an excellent Hollywood film instead of the classic that it is.
I would be tempted to say that all you need is a basic knowledge of the plot and the ability to jump straight to the court room scenes, but that would be unfair. Watch the movie once and then after that you can simply watch the fireworks.
What can I say about the battle between Tracy and March? Nothing. Words fail me. This is one of the great battles on screen in any film. It should be seen by anyone who wants to see how "easy" acting should appear. All the more important is the fact that this is a battle of ideas that still matter today as much as then. If only all of the world's problem could be debated this perfectly we'd live in a happier place.
See this movie.
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