IMDb > Inherit the Wind (1960)
Inherit the Wind
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Inherit the Wind (1960) More at IMDbPro »

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Inherit the Wind -- Spencer Tracy and Frederic March go head-to-head as opposing attorneys in this blistering courtroom drama about the famed "Scopes Monkey Trial" where a Tennessee teacher must defend himself for teaching Darwinism.

Overview

User Rating:
8.2/10   19,020 votes »
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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:
The right to think................very much on trial. See more (156 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)
Eddie Baker ... Courtroom Reporter (uncredited)
Frank Baker ... Townsman (uncredited)
Gail Bonney ... Fundamentalist Woman (uncredited)
Ralph Bucko ... Townsman (uncredited)
Dick Cherney ... Townsman (uncredited)
Oliver Cross ... Courtroom Reporter (uncredited)
Jack Daly ... Eskimo Pie Vendor in Courtroom (uncredited)
Lester Dorr ... Dr. John (uncredited)

Donald Elson ... Bollinger (uncredited)
Adolph Faylauer ... Courtroom Reporter (uncredited)
Duke Fishman ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)
David Fresco ... Threatening Spectator (uncredited)
Signe Hack ... Townswoman (uncredited)
Stuart Hall ... Dr. Amos Keller (uncredited)
Joseph Hamilton ... Man Yelling at Brady Welcome (uncredited)
Sam Harris ... Townsman (uncredited)
Earle Hodgins ... Dr. Britton's Tonic Spieler with Chimp (uncredited)
Tex Holden ... Townsman (uncredited)
Wendell Holmes ... Banker - Critic at City Meeting (uncredited)
Shep Houghton ... Townsman (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 ... Townsman (uncredited)
Waclaw Rekwart ... Courtroom Reporter (uncredited)
Leoda Richards ... Woman Diner (uncredited)
Robert Robinson ... Townsman (uncredited)
Scott Seaton ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)
Stephen Soldi ... Courtroom Reporter (uncredited)
Rudy Sooter ... Courtroom Reporter (uncredited)
Bert Stevens ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)
Martin Strader ... 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:
Writers Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee named the overzealous prosecutor "Matthew Brady". When Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle was tried for manslaughter three times in 1921 and 1922, the real overzealous prosecuting San Francisco District Attorney was named Matthew Brady. Matthew Brady was also the name of several real life historical figures including an English "Gentleman Bandit" who robbed several farms but refused to harm women in Tasmania in the 1820s. But the name Mathew Brady (with only one t) is most famously connected with the famous portrait and landscape photographer of the mid-1800s, best known for immortalizing American Civil War casualties.See more »
Goofs:
Anachronisms: 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 »
Quotes:
Matthew Harrison Brady:Remember the wisdom of Solomon in the book of Proverbs. "He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind."See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Small Town Culture War (2009)See more »
Soundtrack:
(Gimme Dat) Old Time ReligionSee more »

FAQ

Is 'Inheerit the Wind' based on a book?
What is 'Inherit the Wind' about?
With what was John Scopes actually charged?
See more »
97 out of 120 people found the following review useful.
The right to think................very much on trial., 14 February 2006
Author: bkoganbing from Buffalo, New York

Like Elmer Gantry I first saw Inherit the Wind in the theater in Brooklyn when I was 13 years old. Both of those films dealt with issues arising from the Roaring Twenties out of religion. At the time I thought both were great dramatic pieces dealing with issues of the past. I thought how much we'd grown up as a country from 1925 to 1960.

If you had told me that 46 years later we'd be fighting these same battles and that preachers had as much political power as they do I and many others would have said you were nuts. Yet here we are today in an age when Pat Robertson is taken as a serious political figure.

Inherit the Wind is a dramatization of the famous Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925 when a biology teacher was arrested and challenged a law passed by the Tennessee State legislature making it a crime to teach anything other than the account of creation as set down in the Book of Genesis. Dick York is the biology teacher here, renamed Bertram Cates for the play and the film version of that play.

In fact all the names of the dramatis personae of the Scopes Trial have been changed to allow some creativity by the authors Jerome Lawrence and Robert Lee. Spencer Tracy and Fredric March play fictionalizations of Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan named Henry Drummond and Matthew Harrison Brady respectively.

Of course that is what Inherit the Wind is primarily known for, a duel of double Academy Award winners. In fact Spencer Tracy received another Academy Award nomination for this film, but lost to Burt Lancaster for Elmer Gantry. That's ironic to me because I thought March captured the essence of William Jennings Bryan better. Bryan is a man whose time has passed him by. But he's still a hero to the folks of small town rural America in the south and middle west. One thing to remember is that while Bryan was a great orator and advocate, he had not practiced law in over 30 years when he stepped into the courtroom for the trial. If he had been a better lawyer, he might not have fallen into the one big trap Tracy set for him and the trial and the attending publicity might have been better for his side.

As good as Tracy is, the year before in Compulsion I think that Orson Welles captured the real Clarence Darrow in his character of Jonathan Wilk. No one in Hollywood could do long take speeches quite like Spencer Tracy though. I'm sure that's why Director Stanley Kramer hired him and they developed quite the screen partnership with Tracy doing four of his last five screen roles for Kramer.

Stanley Kramer made some impeccable casting choices filling out the minor roles of the various townspeople of Hillsboro, Tennessee. There are two that I would single out. Claude Akins who usually played tough guys in various action films was astounding as the town preacher, the Reverend Jeremiah Brown. Sad to say there are still many like him out there. Akins's offbeat casting worked wonders, it turned out to be the high point of his screen career.

On the opposite end of the spectrum was Noah Beery, Jr. who is a farmer and who's son was drowned some time before the events of the film. Beery is the town non-conformist, he refused to allow his son to be baptized and Akins has said the adolescent is in hell because of it.

In a key scene when Tracy draws the ire of Judge Harry Morgan who sentences him to jail for contempt of court, Beery offers to put up his farm for collateral for Tracy's bail. Tracy's about to quit the case, but that simple gesture gives him hope, in the ultimate decency and clearheadedness of ordinary people. It's my favorite scene in Inherit the Wind.

Stanley Kramer lived long enough to see this film become so relevant for today's times. I wonder what he must have thought.

Was the above review useful to you?
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