8.1/10
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192 user 78 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

Final film of Florence Eldridge. See more »

Goofs

E.K. Hornbeck (analogous to H.L. Mencken) calls the town "the buckle of the Bible Belt". Although this was one of Mencken's signature phrases, he did not start using it until 1926, one year after the events depicted. 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

Spoofed in Planet of the Apes (1968) 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

Stirring performances
28 September 2003 | by Registered_UserSee all my reviews

People like to comment on this film's "overacting". Try watching any of Joan Crawford's movies from this period and then get back to me. Inherit the Wind is a totally compelling story of the traditional school of thought versus a new scientific one. It centers on a small southern town coming to terms with Darwinism and its implications on Christianity. Spencer Tracy is an eloquent defense lawyer fighting to let evolution stay in the public schools. The script is quite good. The court room exchanges are thought provoking and moving especially when one knows about the real people and events behind the story. It's very difficult to come up with a criticism here. Not a weak performance to be seen.


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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 »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,360,000
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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