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Inherit the Wind (1988)

Not Rated | | Drama, History | TV Movie 20 March 1988
A biblical orator opposes a liberal lawyer defending a man for teaching Darwinism in the 1920s South.

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(play), (play) | 1 more credit »
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Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Bertram Cates
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Reverend Brown
Don Hood ...
Mayor
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Davenport
Scotch Byerley ...
Meeker
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Dunlap
Douglas Dirkson ...
Mr. Bannister
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Sillers
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Bailiff (as Thom McCleister)
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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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Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

20 March 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Der Brady-Skandal  »

Filming Locations:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

Matthew Harrison Brady: Tonight, in this godly Christian town, there is a young man who has turned his back upon God. Shall we call Hellfire down upon this man?
Crowd: Yes!
Matthew Harrison Brady: For all eternity to let his soul writhe in anguish and damnation?
Crowd: Yes!
Matthew Harrison Brady: Cursed, even though he be thine own brother?
Crowd: Yes!
Matthew Harrison Brady: [Raises his hands to silence the crowd] No.
[Lowers his hands]
Matthew Harrison Brady: No, my friends. We must never destroy that which we hope to save. Remember the wisdom of Solomon in the book of Proverbs. "He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the ...
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Connections

Version of Inherit the Wind (1965) 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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