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>
When Drummond's attempt to call scientific experts to the stand to testify in behalf of the defense is thwarted, Stanley Kramer adds a couple of elements from the actual John Thomas Scopes Trial, combining the fiery closing of Clarence Darrow's speech on the motion to quash the indictment with the change in which Judge Raulston cited Darrow for contempt. 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 »
[a crowd burns the teacher in effigy]
E. K. Hornbeck:
Well, those are the boobs that make our laws. That's the democratic process.
See more »
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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