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Inherit the Wind (1960)

Not Rated | | Biography, Drama, History | November 1960 (USA)
2:17 | Trailer

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





Cast overview, first billed only:
Bailiff Mort Meeker
Gordon Polk ...
George Sillers
Mrs. Krebs - Righteous Townswoman


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.


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

November 1960 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Heredarás el viento  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


Fredric March and Florence Eldridge, the actors who play Matthew and Sarah Brady, were married in real life from 1927 until his death in 1975. See more »


The film is set in 1925. During Drummond's cross-examination of Brady, he uses the word "sex", not to mean "gender", but as a shorthand for "sexual intercourse". The first known example of this usage was not until 1929. See more »


Matthew Harrison Brady: Drummond and I have worked side by side in many battles for the common folk. Twice he campaigned for me when I ran for president.
Henry Drummond: That's right.
Matthew Harrison Brady: After all these years we find ourselves on the opposite side of an issue.
Henry Drummond: Well, that's evolution for you.
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Referenced in Mork & Mindy: Pilot (1978) 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
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

If there is such a thing as a perfect movie, this is it.
18 June 1999 | by See all my reviews

After recently watching each remake of this film, one can easily appreciate what an incredible film the 1960 version is. It is the perfectly made film and should be held up to all as the pinnacle of film making. It has the perfect director and the perfect actors. It probably has the best behind-the-scenes crew ever assembled including the perfect film editor. The choice of black and white is also perfect. This is one of those few gems where every element of film making came together to make the perfect movie.

The story is very thought provoking from both points of view, the evolutionist and the fundamental Christian. While I am not even close to being a Christian of any kind, I am haunted by the speech given by Matthew Harrison Brady that says how our children will turn into a godless mob with no direction without the teachings of the Bible (paraphrasing). But, isn't that what has happened some 80+ years after the story takes place? The actors effortlessly sell each character's point of view.

There is very little that can be said about Spencer Tracy, Frederick March and Gene Kelly that hasn't already been said. When you see the new version of this film, you can really understand why these actors are held in such high esteem. These guys are actors!

In short, this is one of the finest films ever made and should be seen by everyone.

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