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Inherit the Wind (1988)

TV Movie  -   -  Drama | History  -  20 March 1988 (USA)
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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 6.7/10

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

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Storyline

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 <jlvogel@comcast.net>

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Drama | History

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Release Date:

20 March 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Brady-Skandal  »

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The real William Jennings Bryant ran for President three times: 1896, 1900, and 1908. Bryant was the first Presidential candidate to extensively barnstorm during a Presidential campaign in an era when most candidates did not. Although it's suggested that he might be contemplating a run in next election, which would have been 1928, it's highly unlikely. He did serve in public office twice - as Congressman from Nebraska from 1891 to 1895 and as Secretary of state under Woodrow Wilson from 1913 to 1915, when he resigned over the country's policy toward Germany after the Lusitania was sunk. Despite his fundamentalist Christian beliefs, he was considered as Liberal and Progressive, supporting anti-Imperialist policies and trust-busting. See more »

Quotes

Henry Drummond: You smart alleck! You have no *right* to spit on another man's religion any more than you have a *right* to spit on my religion, or my lack of it!
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Connections

Version of Inherit the Wind (1999) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Right To Think, Still On Trial
25 January 2009 | by (Buffalo, New York) – See all my reviews

My thoughts on this remake of Inherit The Wind and the slant that it was given arise from one thing only, the possibility in early 1988 that Pat Robertson would be a presidential candidate. The main difference between the classic 1960 version and this television one is that Matthew Harrison Brady is considering yet a fourth run for the presidency. To bring the country back to God, or at least his version of God. Listening to Kirk Douglas as Brady and remembering the times that this television film was made, the context is essential to understand what was going on.

In real life of course William Jennings Bryan was thoroughly cured of the presidential bug by 1925. He was still very much an influence in the party, especially in rural areas such as Eastern Tennessee where the Scopes Trial took place. In real life Bryan would have been 68 in 1928 had he lived and I'm willing to bet he'd have fought mightily against the nomination of the Roman Catholic Alfred E. Smith.

In this version a lot of business is eliminated including the contempt citation that defense lawyer Henry Drummond is given and a favorite scene of mine where Brady is holding court for the press in the hotel restaurant, enjoying heaping helpfuls of roast beef and mashed potatoes while Drummond sits in the foreground with a tuna sandwich and a glass or milk.

The confrontation climax with Brady and Drummond is still basically the same with the added dialog about Brady maybe running for president again to bring the USA back to God. Again written for the 1988 television audience.

Jason Robards, Jr. is far closer to the truth of Clarence Darrow in his Henry Drummond than Spencer Tracy. Darrow was not as noble a creature as Tracy makes him out, but his performance did get him an Academy Award nomination. Robards is a lot more sneaky, still for me the best interpretation of Clarence Darrow is Orson Welles as Jonathan Wilk in Compulsion.

Kirk Douglas gets reunited with his Spartacus co-star Jean Simmons playing Mrs. Brady. By all accounts the real Mrs. Bryan was a very wise woman capable of a brake on her high flying husband when needed.

When I wrote a review for the 1960 Inherit the Wind which I did see in theaters back in the day, I said that the film was done from a quaint nostalgia point of view about what silly things we believed and fought over and how America had grown up in the interim. In 1960 who would have believed that fundamentalist Christianity would have a stranglehold on one of our major parties. This version of Inherit The Wind sadly takes that into account.


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