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Inherit the Wind (Jun-1960)

Director: Stanley Kramer

Writers: Nedrick Young; Harold Jacob Smith

From a play by: Jerome Lawrence; Robert E. Lee

Music: Ernest Gold

Producer: Stanley Kramer

Keywords: Drama, Monkeys, Courtroom

Dramatization of the Scopes Monkey Trial, where religion and science battle in the courtroom after a high school biology teacher is accused of the dastardly crime of teaching evolution. Because participants were still alive, names of the leading characters were changed. Spencer Tracy won the Best Actor Oscar, and the film received three additional nominations.

NameOccupationBirthDeathKnown for
Claude Akins
25-May-1926 27-Jan-1994 Misadventures of Sheriff Lobo
Noah Beery, Jr.
10-Aug-1913 1-Nov-1994 Rocky on The Rockford Files
Jimmy Boyd
9-Jan-1939 7-Mar-2009 I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
Norman Fell
24-Mar-1924 14-Dec-1998 Mr. Roper on Three's Company
Paul Hartman
1-Mar-1904 2-Oct-1973 Emmett Clark on Mayberry R.F.D.
Gene Kelly
23-Aug-1912 2-Feb-1996 Singin' in the Rain
Fredric March
31-Aug-1897 14-Apr-1975 The Best Years of Our Lives
Harry Morgan
10-Apr-1915 7-Dec-2011 Col. Sherman T. Potter on M*A*S*H
Elliott Reid
16-Jan-1920 21-Jun-2013 Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Hope Summers
7-Jun-1896 22-Jun-1979 Clara Edwards on The Andy Griffith Show
Ray Teal
12-Jan-1902 2-Apr-1976 Sheriff Roy Coffee on Bonanza
Spencer Tracy
5-Apr-1900 10-Jun-1967 Two consecutive Best Actor Oscars
Dick York
4-Sep-1928 20-Feb-1992 Darrin #1 on Bewitched


Spencer Tracy   ...   Henry Drummond
Fredric March   ...   Matthew H. Brady
Gene Kelly   ...   E. K. Hornbeck
Dick York   ...   Bertram T. Cates
Donna Anderson   ...   Rachel Brown
Harry Morgan   ...   Judge
Claude Akins   ...   Rev. Jeremiah Brown
Elliott Reid   ...   Davenport
Paul Hartman   ...   Meeker
Philip Coolidge   ...   Mayor
Jimmy Boyd   ...   Howard
Noah Beery, Jr.   ...   Stebbins
Norman Fell   ...   Radio Announcer
Gordon Polk   ...   Sillers
Hope Summers   ...   Mrs. Krebs
Ray Teal   ...   Jessie H. Dunlap
Renee Godfrey   ...   Mrs. Stebbins
Florence Eldridge   ...   Mrs. Brady


Review by Anonymous (posted on 20-Aug-2007)

Excellent film based not so much on the actual Scopes trial but on the play "adaptation" of the actual events. The play (and the film for that matter) was made as a critique of McCarthyism and the Cold War climate of the time, not so much as a direct foray into the Religion/Politics debate. Stanley Kramer's direction is overly theatrical and it works. Spencer Tracey and Fredic March are both superb in their respective roles as Clarence Darrow and Matthew Harrison Brady (a fictionalized William Jennings Bryant). The film illustrates the dangers of fanaticism using religous fervor as a primary example. The film does not promote atheism over religion, nor Darwinism over creationism, rather it tries to explore the dangers of suppression of free thinking. Kramer would follow this film with another courtroom drama, the classic Judgment at Nuremberg.

Review by anonymous (posted on 12-Feb-2007)

The film did a good job of stereotyping southern Christians as boobs and fanatics, without properly addressing the philosophical issues that Darwin's theory of evolution raised. For example, it provided the intellectual justification for eugenics, population control, forced sterilization and genocide. (There exists nothing in science or Darwinism that condemns genocide as bad. Genocide follows logically from the theory.) It falsified the original Scopes trial, but most viewers will never learn that. But, as a Hollywood movie, it was good entertainment. So, who is going to criticize good entertainment?

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