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Inherit the Wind (1960)

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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.

Director:

Stanley Kramer

Writers:

Nedrick Young (screenplay), Harold Jacob Smith (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Spencer Tracy ... Henry Drummond
Fredric March ... Matthew Harrison Brady
Gene Kelly ... E. K. Hornbeck
Dick York ... Bertram T. Cates
Donna Anderson ... Rachel Brown
Harry Morgan ... Judge Mel Coffey
Claude Akins ... Rev. Jeremiah Brown
Elliott Reid ... Prosecutor Tom Davenport
Paul Hartman ... Bailiff Mort Meeker
Philip Coolidge ... Mayor Jason Carter
Jimmy Boyd ... Howard
Noah Beery Jr. ... John Stebbins
Norman Fell ... WGN Radio Technician
Gordon Polk Gordon Polk ... George Sillers
Hope Summers ... Mrs. Krebs - Righteous Townswoman
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Storyline

Teacher B.T. Cates is arrested for teaching Darwin's theories. Famous lawyer Henry Drummond defends him; fundamentalist politician Matthew Brady prosecutes. This is a very thinly disguised rendition of the 1925 "Scopes monkey trial" with debates between Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan taken largely from the transcripts. Written by Ed Stephan <stephan@cc.wwu.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It's all about the monkey trial that rocked America.


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

November 1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Heredarás el viento See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

There are references to the "Chautauqua meetings at Chattanooga" at the beginning of the film. It is interesting that these lines are in the movie, because the city of Chattanooga, Tennessee is only a 45 minute drive from Dayton, Tennessee, the real city where the actual Scopes Monkey Trial took place in 1925. See more »

Goofs

As Matthew Brady ends his arrival speech to a crowd of supporters on the street, the 'old time religion' song is sung by the throng, but the extras following behind the car, are either completely out of sync with the song or they are merely mouthing along with the singing because they don't know the words. Some of the extras are not singing at all. See more »

Quotes

Matthew Harrison Brady: We must not abandon faith! Faith is the most important thing!
Henry Drummond: Then why did God plague us with the capacity to think? Mr. Brady, why do you deny the one faculty of man that raises him above the other creatures of the earth? The power of his brain to reason. What other merit have we? The elephant is larger; the horse is swifter and stronger; the butterfly is far more beautiful; the mosquito is more prolific. Even the simple sponge is more durable. But does a sponge think?
Matthew Harrison Brady: I don't know. I'm a man,...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Phantom Planet (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Battle Hymn of the Republic
(ca 1856) (uncredited)
Music by William Steffe
Lyrics by Julia Ward Howe (1862)
Sung by Leslie Uggams at the end of the movie
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A Towering Masterpiece of American Cinema
14 August 2004 | by middleburgSee all my reviews

To see brilliant acting at by well-seasoned professionals at their very peak, rent or buy this great American film classic. Timing that is impeccable, nuance as subtle as could be, bravura declamations that are almost stunning in their power and intensity--this film has it all. It should be studied and analyzed by any serious actor in the profession. (It should also be studied and analyzed by any trial attorney as well!) Who'da thought that Fredric March's raging bull

personality could at times be so touching and tragic--or that Spencer Tracy's character should show such emotional and heartfelt depth when he is simply

grilling witnesses on the stand. The trial is the very heart of the movie--and yet it is supported by a wealth of early 20th century Americana--the fire-and- brimstone preacher, the look and feel of that hot Tennessee Summer, the

boistrous singing of "Gimme that Ole Time Religion" that makes the audience

want to join right in, these are all terrific details that add to the keen enjoyment of this film. But the trial's the thing. And it is riveting!


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