8.1/10
26,551
189 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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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:

Passed | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original Broadway production of "Inherit the Wind" by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee opened at the National Theater on 21 April 1955, ran for 806 performances, and won two acting Tony Awards in 1956. The opening night cast included Paul Muni as Drummond (Melvyn Douglas later took over the role when Muni developed a cataract), Ed Begley as Brady and Tony Randall as Hornbeck. There have been 2 Broadway revivals; in 1996 with Charles Durning and George C. Scott and in 2007 with Brian Dennehy and Christopher Plummer. See more »

Goofs

During the voir dire phase of the trial concerning jury selection, Henry Drummond is forced to use his limited number of peremptory challenges to disallow prospective jurors who are obviously not interested in being impartial in any way to the point where one likens Prosecutor Matthew Brady to God. In that situation, Drummond should have called for such obviously biased prospective jurors to be struck for cause, a motion that can used an unlimited number of times with the permission of the court. If the court, which itself has obvious signs of partiality itself in the story, had rejected such a motion, Drummond could have resorted to using his peremptory challenges. 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

Featured in Precious Images (1986) 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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User Reviews

 
acting tour de force.
28 September 2004 | by paulsp2See all my reviews

I have recently seen this movie on t.v. and was highly impressed with direction, photography and of course the acting! Spencer Tracy is one of my all time greats along with Frederic March so imagine seeing them together! Some may thing March a little over the top but personally I find his performance one of the most riviting and engaging I have ever come across in film, he should have received an Oscar for this. Somehow although acting styles have become more naturalistic over the years the spark and energy given by the greats of the past is simply missing in the vast majority of modern performances. That God they are preserved on film.


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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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