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|Index||26 reviews in total|
The movie epitomizes what civilized debate can and should be. There are scintillating performances from Lemmon and Scott, and some very quotable lines as well. The courtroom atmosphere is well created and tension is never allowed to slack. Perhaps the most eloquent testimony paid on screen from a protagonist to his antagonist comes in the closing scenes. Although it is supposed to be based on the Scopes Monkey Trial, the closing credits state that the movie is a work of fiction. The movie raises many questions about the longstanding impasse between religion and science, between faith and reason. In a strange way, it does not conclusively resolve these issues but rather allows the viewer to decide for herself or himself. It will echo in your mind long after you have viewed it. Heartily recommended.
It would be hard to botch "Inherit the Wind," especially with this
cast. Lemmon is not as great as Spencer Tracy in the original movie--
but then who would be? However, George Scott Scott far surpasses
Frederick March. Scott is the best Brady I have seen in numerous
versions of the play/movie, and the ONLY one who managed to make Brady
a sympathetic character and not merely a buffoon. Wonderful,
too-frequently-seen Piper Laurie makes a great deal of the relatively
thankless role of Mrs. Brady. What a terrible waste that Hollywood
didn't know what to do with her. After "Until They Sail," especially
"The Hustler," and various other roles leading and supporting, she
should have been a major star. One can only hope that she chose to
pursue a private life rather than a career.
In the political climate of today--2005--"Inherit the Wind" has a great deal to say. Is anyone listening?
The Showtime cable channel has scored
another success here. Recently Showtime
gave us Jack Lemmon and George C. Scott in
a remake of 12 ANGRY MEN, and now we have
these two excellent actors in the remake
of INHERIT THE WIND.
The fictionalized retelling of the famous "Monkey Trial" is an interesting study in what is still with us -- the struggle between literal interpretation of the Bible and secular science. The point that INHERIT THE WIND makes is that there may be no contradiction between science and religion -- but that by looking at the letter and not the spirit of religion, we create divisions for ourselves and will eventually inherit the wind. In other words, we will inherit nothing but talk.
The cast is excellent. This is a worthy successor to the powerful 1960 film.
I have never seen a poor adaptation of this great American Classic,however if I were to choose the worst adaptation out of a good bunch this recent adaptation would qualify. George C. Scott made a very good Matthew Brady,However He was masterful in the role of Henry Drummond on Broadway in 1997.Jack Lemmon was merely adequate in Scott's stage role of Drummond and the two never seemed to make a connection the way Scott and Charles Durning did on stage,or the way Spencer Tracy and Frederick March did on screen.
Beau Bridges was a fine,sarcastic E.K. Hornbeck and Lane Smith was a powerful hypocrite as Rev. Brown.
The pace of this recent adaptation was slow and not as exciting as previous film versions. It was worth watching but not nearly as satisfying as the 1960 film or the Broadway revival.
This version of the Scopes Trial is better than the first TV version for
several reasons, the first is that its a reasonable running time. Next it
doesn't have breaks for commercials, this was done for cable and not
commercial TV. Lastly this has the performances of Lemon and Scott who come
damn close to equaling Tracy and March in the first version of
George C Scott was to star on Broadway in a revival of this play a year or two before he made this film. Illness prevented him appearing in most of the run, but based on this performance seeing it live must have been electric. There are several small moments, one near the end of the film in particular where his mastery of acting shine through. In that final moment, the weight of the battle and its implications loom large, sitting on his bed with his wife he begins to break down in ways that are touching and heart breaking.
Lemmon is his equal and he easily makes this one for the ages as he spars with Scott about what is and is not history and sacred.
This is a great TV movie which only has as its flaw the fact that its not the original.
How do you improve a great film? You don't. Showtime tried, with George
Scott and Jack Lemmon as the opponents in the 1925 Scopes Monkey trials
story, but just as Kirk Douglas and Jason Robards Jr failed to so in 1988,
this version doesn't come close to the brilliance of the Fredric
March-Spencer Tracy version on 1960.
Scott doesn't seem to know how he wants to play Matthew Harrison Brady, the Biblical prosecutor of heavenly Hillsboro. He doesn't seem emotional at the right times. Lemmon, on the other doesn't try to be Tracy and thus his performance as Henry Drummond is more believable than Scott's. The two best performances are by Beau Bridges as EK Hornbeck and by John Cullum as the judge.
The biggest sins are committed by the secondary leads, Tom Everett Scott as Bertram Cates and Lane Smith as Reverand Brown can't find the fire displayed by Dick York, and Claude Akins in the Stanley Kramer Classic. And despite the fact that Donna Anderson was weak as Rachel Brown in the original, Kathryn Morris in this version, was weaker, in fact one can't feel any sympathy for Rachel after watching Ms Morris.
Still, it's tough to ruin a great story. Inherit The Wind is a classic that is successful despite subpar acting and a directing job that virtually duplicates Stanley Kramer's film, scene for scene.
The question is, why bother?
OK. I use classic as an adjective when I have good reason to believe it
would stand the test of time. This one would.
Lemmon and Scott clash again after 12 Angry Men. The movie is very relevant and a must see for school kids.
Essentailly the part played by Scott as the theologian is much tougher to play and how he makes a complete fool of himself toward the end of the movie is very convincing. Despite the obvious mistakes he (the chracter) makes, you cannot help but feel sorry for the chracter.
See it without commercial breaks (DVD?)!
The original version of 'Inherit the Wind' teamed two acting
heavyweights, Spencer Tracy as Henry Drummond, and Fredric March as
Matthew Harrison Brady. It was a fabulous film and boasted an
Now this script has come to television (for the second remake), and boasts two top actors who came to prominence in the 1950s - Jack Lemmon as Henry Drummond, and George C Scott as Matthew Harrison Brady. Both inhabit their characters perfectly, and it is always a joy to see two old-timers sparring on the screen when their styles gel so well.
Both looking old and tired (Scott died shortly after completing this, Lemmon in 2001), their battle in court has a different kind of emphasis than the original, where the leads appeared in better health and were that bit younger. However, even at the end of their careers, Scott and Lemmon are really excellent, and Beau Bridges is also memorable in a role first played by dancer-turned-actor Gene Kelly, while Piper Laurie provides good support.
TV remakes are often redundant but this one passes the quality test and is well worth a look, especially if you are a fan of either of the leads. It's also an interesting complement to the remake of Twelve Angry Men in which they both appeared a couple of years earlier.
Scott and Lemon do a curious reversal of the 1960 film with March and
Tracy in the same roles. Tracy played the Darrow character (defending
Scopes) as a cool, rational lawyer (capable of indignation when
defending 'truth') contrasted with March (prosecuting attorney) as an
emotionally-driven politician with an enormous personal stake in
The 1999 remake has Scott defending literalism as the rational position, with Lemon dancing about railing against religious belief. This interpretation is neither true to the original trial, the text of the play, nor to the issues involved.
In my review of the original I've note the historical inaccuracies of the play, which are no more bothersome than the impossibility of cloning dinosaurs from mosquito blood meals in Jurassic.
I wish someone would do a play based on the Dover trial: the Nova special shows its inherent drama.
To see the two great actors, George C. Scott and Jack Lemmon, in this drama is worth being subjected to the greatly sentimentalized and wholly ahistorical script. This film has little to say about the real "Scopes Monkey Trial" and the citizens of the town where it took place are crudely caricatured as only script writers and directors unfamiliar with the South can do. The original Spencer Tracy film remains the best but this remake is worth seeing too.
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