8.1/10
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188 user 77 critic

Inherit the Wind (1960)

Trailer
2:17 | Trailer
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 »
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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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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A biblical orator opposes a liberal lawyer defending a man for teaching Darwinism in the 1920s South.

Director: David Greene
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Jason Robards, Darren McGavin
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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:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film is included on Roger Ebert's "Great Movies" list. See more »

Goofs

The signage on the buildings shown through the windows behind the judge's bench changes from day to day during the trial (i.e. the "hot and cold" sign). See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Bertram T. Cates: [addressing his class as Mayor Jason Carter, Reverend Jeremiah Brown, Jessie Dunlap, and Deputy Sam enter the classroom to arrest him] Good morning visitors. For our science lesson for today, we will continue our discussion of Darwin's Theory of the descent of man. As I told you yesterday, Darwin's Theory tells us that man evolved from a lower order of animals: from the first wiggly protozoa here in the sea, to the ape, and finally to man. As some of you fellas out there probably ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in L.A. Law: The House of the Rising Flan (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

(Gimme Dat) Old Time Religion
(uncredited)
Traditional spiritual
Sung by Leslie Uggams at the start of the movie
Reprised often by the Townfolks
Variations included often in the score
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User Reviews

 
If there is such a thing as a perfect movie, this is it.
18 June 1999 | by jcorkrumSee all my reviews

After recently watching each remake of this film, one can easily appreciate what an incredible film the 1960 version is. It is the perfectly made film and should be held up to all as the pinnacle of film making. It has the perfect director and the perfect actors. It probably has the best behind-the-scenes crew ever assembled including the perfect film editor. The choice of black and white is also perfect. This is one of those few gems where every element of film making came together to make the perfect movie.

The story is very thought provoking from both points of view, the evolutionist and the fundamental Christian. While I am not even close to being a Christian of any kind, I am haunted by the speech given by Matthew Harrison Brady that says how our children will turn into a godless mob with no direction without the teachings of the Bible (paraphrasing). But, isn't that what has happened some 80+ years after the story takes place? The actors effortlessly sell each character's point of view.

There is very little that can be said about Spencer Tracy, Frederick March and Gene Kelly that hasn't already been said. When you see the new version of this film, you can really understand why these actors are held in such high esteem. These guys are actors!

In short, this is one of the finest films ever made and should be seen by everyone.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 August 1960 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Inherit the Wind 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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