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Inherit the Wind (1988)

Not Rated | | Drama, History | TV Movie 20 March 1988
A biblical orator opposes a liberal lawyer defending a man for teaching Darwinism in the 1920s South.

Director:

David Greene

Writers:

Jerome Lawrence (play), Robert E. Lee (play) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Won 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kirk Douglas ... Matthew Harrison Brady
Jason Robards ... Henry Drummond
Darren McGavin ... E.K. Hornbeck
John Harkins ... Judge
Megan Follows ... Rachel Brown
Kyle Secor ... Bertram Cates
Michael Ensign ... Reverend Brown
Don Hood ... Mayor
Jean Simmons ... Lucy Brady
Josh Clark ... Davenport
Scotch Byerley Scotch Byerley ... Meeker
Ebbe Roe Smith ... Dunlap
Douglas Dirkson ... Mr. Bannister
Richard Lineback ... Sillers
Tom McCleister ... Bailiff (as Thom McCleister)
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Storyline

A teacher has taught about evolution in a small town in Tennessee. He has violated state law by doing this. Two great lawyers appear, one to assist in his defense, the other to help prosecute him. The town is divided in many ways which become apparent as the trial progresses. This is a dramatization of the Scopes Monkey Trial that pitted William Jennings Bryan against Clarence Darrow in a real case. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 March 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Brady-Skandal See more »

Filming Locations:

Jacksonville, Oregon, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The real William Jennings Bryan ran for President three times: 1896, 1900, and 1908. Bryan was the first Presidential candidate to extensively barnstorm during a Presidential campaign in an era when most candidates did not. Although it's suggested that he might be contemplating a run in the next election, which would have been in 1928, it's highly unlikely. He did serve in public office twice - as Congressman from Nebraska from 1891 to 1895 and as Secretary of State under Woodrow Wilson from 1913 to 1915, when he resigned over the country's policy toward Germany after the Lusitania was sunk. Despite his fundamentalist Christian beliefs, he was considered as Liberal and Progressive, supporting anti-Imperialist policies and trust-busting. See more »

Quotes

E.K. Hornbeck: [to Drummond after the judge rules against the admission of scientific testimony] Step right up and get your tickets to the Middle Ages.
See more »

Connections

Version of Inherit the Wind (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An interesting misfire on the Lawrence - Lee play
20 February 2006 | by theowinthropSee all my reviews

This 1988 version of INHERIT THE WIND tried a slightly different approach to the story than the film or the 1965 versions. Apparently there was a deeper delving into the historical material (and - unlike the period of the film and the first dramatic version on television - the resurgence of anti - evolutionary voters in the country) to make the story fairer.

Jason Robards played Drummond/Darrow very well - in the tradition of Muni, Tracy, and Melvyn Douglas. But it was the performance of Kirk Douglas as Brady/Bryan that was unique. As I have mentioned elsewhere in these reviews, Bryan did have valid reasons to dislike Darwinism aside from religious feelings. The issue of Social Darwinism, created by an English elitist snob named Herbert Spencer, had been grabbed by various people in power positions in big business and politics that suggested that the best people were the top of the evolutionary tree - and that big business had the right to destroy small competitors due to "survival of the fittest". Bryan hated this idea, as opposite to Jeffersonian Democracy. He actually intended, after his own humiliation on the witness stand by Darrow to put Darrow on the stand to explain his acceptance of Social Darwinism. Judge Raulston, the trial judge, refused to allow this.

If that had been brought out in this production, it would have set it apart and given a more balanced view of the two parties who clashed in Dayton. Instead, Douglas played Brady like a revivalist (similar to Begley, without Begley's physical resemblance to Bryan). But he also kept trying to keep up the friendly feelings that Darrow and Bryan had when both were fighting on the same side on political issues from 1893 to 1908. While all the productions include those moments of nostalgia between them, this attempted to suggest that Douglas/Brady hoped to "save" the soul of Robards/Drummond. It was a curious idea, but it just did not seem realistic (given their diametrically opposite views on evolution and the Tennessee law). I give this a 7 for the production but the approach was a misfire.


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