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Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (2008)

Ben Stein examines the issue of academic freedom and decides that there is none when it comes to the debate over intelligent design.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Himself - Host
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lili Asvar ...
Peter Atkins ...
Himself
Hector Avalos ...
Himself
Doug Axe ...
Himself
Adam Behr ...
Multiple animation voices (voice)
David Berlinski ...
Himself
Walter Bradley ...
Himself
Bruce Chapman ...
Himself
...
Himself (archive footage)
Caroline Crocker ...
Herself
Richard Dawkins ...
Himself
William Dembski ...
Himself (as William Albert Dembski)
Daniel C. Dennett ...
Himself (as Daniel Dennett)
Michael Egnor ...
Himself
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Storyline

Academic freedom is being suppressed, says Ben Stein. He contends that professors from around the United States are being fired from their jobs for promoting, or even exploring the possibility of, intelligent design as an alternative to Darwinism. Stein interviews the expelled academics and other supporters of intelligent design. He also interviews the scientists in the mainstream, who support Darwinism. Stein links Darwinism to Nazism, Communism, eugenics and abortion. Vintage clips of educational films and Hollywood movies are used to illustrate points in a satirical way. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Big science has expelled smart new ideas from the classroom...What they forgot is that every generation has its Rebel!

Genres:

Documentary

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for thematic material, some disturbing images and brief smoking | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

18 April 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Crossroads  »

Box Office

Budget:

$3,500,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$2,970,848 (USA) (18 April 2008)

Gross:

$7,499,617 (USA) (23 May 2008)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(European Film Market)

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)|

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie was promoted by Motive Marketing, who created several novel initiatives to raise interest in the movie. The "Expelled Challenge" provided schools with $5 to $10 for each "Expelled" ticket stub from the first two weeks of the film's release, up to a maximum of $10,000. To "maximize your school's earning potential" they suggest a "school-wide mandatory field trip". "Adopt-A-Theatre" will provide $1000 to the five largest group ticket bookings. Anyone who took a group of 25 or more to see the movie could send in for a free Ben Stein "bobblehead" doll. See more »

Goofs

While walking through Paris, a camera man can be seen walking backwards in front of them holding a large black umbrella. See more »

Quotes

Ben Stein: What if after you died you ran into God, and he says, what have you been doing, Richard? I mean what have you been doing? I've been trying to be nice to you. I gave you a multi-million dollar paycheck, over and over again with your book, and look what you did.
Richard Dawkins: Bertrand Russell had that point put to him, and he said something like: sir, why did you take such pains to hide yourself?
Ben Stein: [voice over] But, if the Intelligent Design people are right, he isn't hidden. We may even be able to encounter God ...
See more »

Connections

Features The Challenge of Ideas (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

Personal Jesus
Written by Martin Gore
Performed by Johnny Cash
Courtesy of Universal Music Entertainment
Under license from EMI Music Publishing
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Dishonest
5 May 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Among this films multitude of sins you can count quote mining (contorting information from even Darwin himself), the blatant misrepresentation of it's supposed subject matter, evolution (which has nothing to say about the origin of life), and the offensive suggestion that being an atheist denotes a lack of morality to the extent that we all harbour genocidal tendencies.

Amazingly, the film doesn't even bother to define what the terms 'Intelligent Design' (read: 'God Did It') or 'Darwinism' mean, most likely to deliberately muddy the waters and reframe the discussion as one of free speech rather than evidence vs. magic. In terms of propaganda, this was probably a shrewd move on the part of the filmmakers because if they did actually shed any factual light on the precepts of ID it would disintegrate like a vampire. To set the record straight the term 'Darwinist' is redundant. There is only the theory of evolution. It is not a cult of personality but rather a hard-studied scientific construct supported by the work of thousands of scientists over hundreds of years. Furthermore, it is a bit rich to make an emotive plea for free speech in terms of a 'level playing field' considering that religion has a less than stellar history in such matters. In science if you can't back up what you have to say with evidence then it is of no use to the system. This uselessness is unintentionally (and ironically) embodied in Expelled as it is thick on rhetoric and wafer thin in terms of actual substance.

Plagued by dishonesty and misinformation throughout this film lacks the very moral values of transparency and fairness it claims to promote (for examples check out the trivia on IMDb.com). As well as being hypocritical it is also kind of cowardly. If you are going to make a documentary on this stuff at least have the integrity to say what you actually believe in instead of obfuscating the issues at hand and, frankly, lying. People deserve better which is precisely why rationalists balk at the idea of letting these folks loose in the science classroom. Overall, having set the bar so low, I would say that Expelled deserves to be looked back on by future generations and ridiculed and puzzled over in equal measure. 'Did people really think like that?' I am afraid so.


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