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Inherit the Wind (1988)

TV Movie  -   -  Drama | History  -  20 March 1988 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 342 users  
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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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Title: Inherit the Wind (TV Movie 1988)

Inherit the Wind (TV Movie 1988) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
John Harkins ...
Don Hood ...
Scotch Byerley ...
Douglas Dirkson ...
Mr. Bannister


A teacher has taught about evolution in a small town in Tennessee. He has violated state law by doing this. Two great lawyers appear, one to assist in his defense, the other to help prosecute him. The town is divided in many ways which become apparent as the trial progresses. This is a dramatization of the Scopes Monkey Trial that pitted William Jennings Bryan against Clarence Darrow in a real case. Written by John Vogel <>

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Drama | History





Release Date:

20 March 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Inherit the Wind  »

Filming Locations:


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Technical Specs


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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In publicity for the television film, Kirk Douglas told reporters: "We went into the transcript of the real trial and found a lot more stuff (that is) much more dramatic, and much more pertinent to what's happening today. At the time this actually took place, you didn't have all of today's TV evangelists. There's no doubt that there is a tremendous and strong fundamentalist force in this country today, and we wanted to present this fairly, in dramatic terms." See more »


E.K. Hornbeck: Oh, come on, Henry! I know I'm rancid butter to you, but I'm on your side of the bread.
[He winks knowingly]
Henry Drummond: I doubt very much if you're on anybody's side.
E.K. Hornbeck: [Smiles] You may have something there, Henry. I'm admired for my detestability.
[Flipping an apple in the air and catching it]
E.K. Hornbeck: would you, uh, like a bite from the tree of knowledge?
[Taking a bite]
E.K. Hornbeck: Awful good! Well, devil, welcome to Hell!
[He leaves]
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Version of Inherit the Wind (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

unsatisfactory version of the classic tale
23 May 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

As a standalone TV movie, this version of 'Inherit The Wind' has some value, and has interesting leads (Jason Robards and Kirk Douglas). The trouble is it doesn't quite work, and was preceded by perhaps the greatest version (with Spencer Tracy and Fredric March) and followed by a superior television production (with Jack Lemmon and George C Scott).

This version seems slow and, because it was made with commercial breaks in mind, doesn't flow that well even if you watch it with the breaks omitted. For a script and film which relies on some quite deep dialogue which requires some concentration to keep the interest and the mood, having the breaks was a major mistake.

Not the best of the three versions by any means, but interesting to see. It just isn't the version I'll be going back to the most. Robards is OK, Douglas less so (he feels miscast), but the film is a bit of a turkey.

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