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>
The subplot concerning Cates' engagement to the Rev. Brown's daughter Rachel, and Brady's manipulation of the girl to give damaging testimony at the trial, is entirely fictional. The real-life John Thomas Scopes had no known fiancée or girlfriend at the time of the trial. 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 »
If there is such a thing as a perfect movie, this is it.
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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