IMDb > Inherit the Wind (1960)
Inherit the Wind
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Inherit the Wind (1960) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 15 | slideshow)

Overview

User Rating:
8.2/10   18,202 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
MOVIEmeter: ?
Down 17% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers (WGA):
Nedrick Young (screenplay) (originally as Nathan E. Douglas) and
Harold Jacob Smith (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Inherit the Wind on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
November 1960 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
It's all about the monkey trial that rocked America.
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A puff for a good film See more (153 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Spencer Tracy ... Henry Drummond

Fredric March ... Matthew Harrison Brady

Gene Kelly ... E. K. Hornbeck

Dick York ... Bertram T. Cates

Donna Anderson ... Rachel Brown

Harry Morgan ... Judge Mel Coffey

Claude Akins ... Rev. Jeremiah Brown

Elliott Reid ... Prosecutor Tom Davenport
Paul Hartman ... Bailiff Mort Meeker
Philip Coolidge ... Mayor Jason Carter
Jimmy Boyd ... Howard

Noah Beery Jr. ... John Stebbins

Norman Fell ... WGN Radio Technician
Gordon Polk ... George Sillers

Hope Summers ... Mrs. Krebs - Righteous Townswoman

Ray Teal ... Jessie H. Dunlap
Renee Godfrey ... Mrs. Stebbins
Florence Eldridge ... Sarah Brady
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Leon Alton ... Townsman (uncredited)
Frank Baker ... Man in Eating Breakfast With Brady (uncredited)
Gail Bonney ... Fundamentalist Woman (uncredited)
Jack Daly ... Eskimo Pie Vendor in Courtroom (uncredited)
Lester Dorr ... Dr. John (uncredited)

Donald Elson ... Bollinger (uncredited)
Duke Fishman ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)
David Fresco ... Threatening Spectator (uncredited)
Joseph Hamilton ... Man Yelling at Brady Welcome (uncredited)
Sam Harris ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)
Earle Hodgins ... Dr. Britton's Tonic Spieler with Chimp (uncredited)
Wendell Holmes ... Banker - Critic at City Meeting (uncredited)
Colin Kenny ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)
Thomas Martin ... Reporter in Courtroom (uncredited)
Harp McGuire ... Harry Esterbrook (uncredited)
Frank Mills ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)
Hans Moebus ... Townsman (uncredited)
Robert Osterloh ... Sam - Deputy Arresting Cates (uncredited)
Stephen Paylow ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)
Bob Perry ... Courtroom Reporter (uncredited)
Joe Ploski ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)

'Snub' Pollard ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)
Leoda Richards ... Woman Diner (uncredited)
Scott Seaton ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)
Bert Stevens ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)
Hal Taggart ... Juror (uncredited)
Harry Tenbrook ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)
Charles Wagenheim ... Hotel Clerk (uncredited)
Justice Watson ... Hillsboro Salesman (uncredited)

Will Wright ... Bible Salesman (uncredited)

Directed by
Stanley Kramer 
 
Writing credits
(WGA)
Nedrick Young (screenplay) originally as Nathan E. Douglas and
Harold Jacob Smith (screenplay)

Jerome Lawrence (play) and
Robert E. Lee (play)

Produced by
Stanley Kramer .... producer
 
Original Music by
Ernest Gold 
 
Cinematography by
Ernest Laszlo (photographed by)
 
Film Editing by
Frederic Knudtson 
 
Casting by
James Lister (uncredited)
Lynn Stalmaster (uncredited)
 
Production Design by
Rudolph Sternad 
 
Makeup Department
Larry Germain .... hair stylist
Bud Westmore .... makeup artist
 
Production Management
Clem Beauchamp .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Ivan Volkman .... assistant director
Leonard Kunody .... second assistant director (uncredited)
 
Art Department
Art Cole .... property master
Jack Kirston .... second property master (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Walter Elliott .... sound editor
Joe Lapis .... sound engineer
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Martin Kashuk .... assistant company grip
Roy Roberts .... chief gaffer
Morris Rosen .... company grip
Charles F. Wheeler .... camera operator (as Charles Wheeler)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Joe King .... wardrobe
 
Other crew
Sam Freedle .... script supervisor
Anne P. Kramer .... assistant to producer
Stanley Kramer .... presenter
Thomas R. Marshall .... technical advisor (as The Reverend Thomas R. Marshall)
Herman Shumlin .... stage director
Herman Shumlin .... stage producer
Harold J. Samelson .... publicity campaign coordinator (uncredited)
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
128 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Certification:
Australia:G | Canada:PG (video rating) | Finland:K-8 | Spain:T | Sweden:11 | UK:U | USA:TV-PG (TV rating) | USA:Approved (certificate #19499) | West Germany:12

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Dick York's final feature film. He went onto a long career in television on shows such as "Twilight Zone" (1959) and "Bewitched" (1964), the latter featuring his most famous performance ever.See more »
Goofs:
Revealing mistakes: When the Bradys walk toward the hotel porch after the revival meeting, the lights and buildings of the town are clearly seen behind them. But when Drummond leaves Brady on the porch a few minutes later, the scene behind them, facing the same direction, is completely blank beyond a few bushes.See more »
Quotes:
E. K. Hornbeck:We're growing a strange crop of agnostics this year.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Hollywood: The Great Stars (1963) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
We'll Hang Bert Cates to a Sour Apple TreeSee more »

FAQ

What is Darwinism?
Is the play based on a true story?
How does the movie end?
See more »
28 out of 31 people found the following review useful.
A puff for a good film, 31 May 2006
Author: FilmFlaneur from London

It's a rare American film that takes the grand clash of ideas as almost its entire central subject matter, and Inherit The Wind has for that reason alone for long been a personal favourite. It's also a film that features some outstanding, larger than life acting, notably from the leads, whether it is Tracy, playing the crusty liberal for whom "an idea is more important than a monument" or the superb March, his performance full of facial tics and movement, and whose fundamentalist character does "not think about what I do not think about." Director Kramer clearly places his sympathies in the former camp, although he does not bludgeon the audience with preconceptions. In fact as a filmmaker he had a reputation for making movies that held opinions and took stands, with a particular weakness for courtroom scenarios. Inherit The Wind came after the post-apocalyptic On The Beach, and just before the sombre Judgement At Nuremberg (also with Tracy). In the mid-1970s the director also made three 'judgement' films for TV based on other real trials.

Whilst On The Beach offers a verdict of its own on humanity's military foolishness, and Judgement At Nuremberg is a just as sombre account of another judicial milestone of different significance, arguably Inherit The Wind falls neatly between the two in ways other than just the order of production. Like On The Beach, it makes its judgement too: not on a worldwide disaster visited by man upon himself, but on the perils of stifling free thought. And, as in Judgement At Nuremberg, it's a trial of ideas here too. But whereas the evil ideology of the Nazis ultimately brought millions to their deaths and stands condemned with its architects, it is enough in Hillsboro that "That if you take a law like evolution and you make it a crime to teach it... tomorrow you may make it a crime to read about it. And soon you may ban books... because fanaticism and ignorance is forever busy, and needs feeding." In fact Tracy and March, with Kelly's able help, hold the centre stage for so much of the time that despite their best efforts the supporting cast seem a little enervated. The romantic subplot between Cates and his girlfriend (ostracised by her father for straying into the wrong camp) is occasionally a little cloying and, upon reflection is too much of a reflection from the main event. More damagingly, the character of the Rev. Jeremiah Brown, as portrayed by a miscast Claude Akins, is so fervent and cold hearted in the cause of the righteous that it occasionally wonders too close to self parody. An improvement to historical events is made by the introduction of a, for the most part, even-handed trial Judge Mel. It is he who provides an anchor for the audience in court as the two heavy weights slug it over points of order and procedural objections. Judge Mel also provides one of the trials more memorable, quiet moments when, just as it did in the real case, he finds the increasingly frustrated Drummond in contempt of court - only to see the fine which he levies paid for by the parents of a drowned child condemned by the fundamentalist lobby.

In the light of today's religious debates in the US, Inherit The Wind seems braver than ever, and Tracy's character is allowed several hard hitting outbursts which, one wonders, would remain as so powerfully expressed if rewritten for a modern retelling. When he says, "I don't swear for the hell of it. Language is a poor enough means of communication. We've got to use all the words we've got. Besides, there are damn few words anybody understands" we all know what he means. And when he campaigns for a man to have the same right to think "as a sponge" it's a moment that remains starkly memorable. Curiously, a less emotional Darrow variant was essayed a year earlier by Orson Welles in Compulsion (1959), a version of another famous criminal trial. Inherit The Wind has been remade thrice more to good, but ultimately less memorable, effect (including once with Kirk Douglas) but the Kramer version remains ahead.

Dramatic variances aside, inevitably any presentation of the Scopes trial, and such controversial material as it contains, will never please everyone. The source play upon which Kramer's film is based simplifies matters a little too readily and other criticisms can be made: for instance the original textbook from which the schoolteacher was convicted of teaching illegally evidently contained an advocacy of racist policies and eugenics unacceptable today while it also accepted the notorious Piltdown forgery as genuine proof of a 'missing link' and so on. Again, the relationship between Bryan and Darrow was more complicated in real life than the film has time or care to show - although ultimately one is so caught up in the fairground of judicial combat as the case progresses that one forgives such accommodations with the truth.

Inherit The Wind stands badly in need of a decent special edition, a golden opportunity perhaps being offered by the widely followed 2005 debate that took place in Pennsylvania. The current disc offers little more than the film, although the widescreen presentation does justice to the splendid black-and-white cinematography of Ernest Laszlo, which effectively conveys the sweaty claustrophobia of small town, Bible-belt America. Whether or not the hesitation in bringing out such a potentially controversial, expanded package is a matter of intelligent design or just random selection, the public will have to judge for itself.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (153 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Inherit the Wind (1960)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Serious question for bible based creationists johnwokeefe
Scary. 1925 is still happening. skysaxon
Darvin's theory in shools tanita-5
One of the least historically acurate films dealing with US history. DarnFineCoffee
about Gene Kelly character *SPOILER* nightgaunts
Shocking to see Fredric March... tag65
See more »

Recommendations

If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Inherit the Wind They Won't Forget A Place in the Sun The Exorcism of Emily Rose Fury
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
News articles IMDb Drama section IMDb USA section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.