Inherit the Wind (1960)

Approved  |   |  Drama, History  |  November 1960 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 19,676 users  
Reviews: 157 user | 54 critic

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.



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



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Father Rivard is a priest in a small, economically depressed coal mining town. Working on what he thinks is a "controversial" work, he lives with the brutal lives of his poor parishioners, ... See full summary »

Director: Stanley Kramer
Stars: Dick Van Dyke, Kathleen Quinlan, Maureen Stapleton


Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Hartman ...
Bailiff Mort Meeker
Philip Coolidge ...
Jimmy Boyd ...
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 <>

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?


A young Burt Reynolds got to visit the set and watch some of the courtroom scenes being filmed because he was doing some TV work nearby and Spencer Tracy was one of his idols. 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 »


E. K. Hornbeck: You look like you need a drink.
Henry Drummond: What I need is a miracle.
E. K. Hornbeck: Miracle, eh? Here's a whole bag of them,
[tosses a Bible at Henry Drummond]
E. K. Hornbeck: Courtesy of Matthew Harrison Brady.
See more »


Featured in Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (2008) See more »


Battle Hymn of the Republic
(ca 1856) (uncredited)
Music by William Steffe
Lyrics by Julia Ward Howe (1862)
Sung by Leslie Uggams at the end of the movie
See more »

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 (Ephrata, WA) – 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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