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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
William Jennings Bryan, like his fictionalized alter ego Matthew Harrison Brady, ran for President three times and lost each time. See more »
While questioning Matthew Harrison Brady on the stand, Henry Drummond refers to Charles Darwin's book as "The Origin of the Species". The book's title is actually "On the Origin of Species" (or, more popularly, "The Origin of Species"). See more »
This movie is made by the performances. The material is very good, but at time its a bit melodramatic and obvious, which is the way the play is. Were it not for the collision of Spencer Tracy and Frederick March this would be just an excellent Hollywood film instead of the classic that it is.
I would be tempted to say that all you need is a basic knowledge of the plot and the ability to jump straight to the court room scenes, but that would be unfair. Watch the movie once and then after that you can simply watch the fireworks.
What can I say about the battle between Tracy and March? Nothing. Words fail me. This is one of the great battles on screen in any film. It should be seen by anyone who wants to see how "easy" acting should appear. All the more important is the fact that this is a battle of ideas that still matter today as much as then. If only all of the world's problem could be debated this perfectly we'd live in a happier place.
See this movie.
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