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Inherit the Wind (1960)

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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 »
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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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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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Did You Know?

Trivia

The buzz about Fredric March's and Spencer Tracy's performances spread around the studio lot and Hollywood to the point that a lot of extras made their way to the set just to see the action. In one instance, the extras were applauding so much at one of March's dramatic speeches that they ruined the take by not waiting until the end. See more »

Goofs

During the argument scene between Sarah Brady and Rachel Brown (at around the 1:49 mark), Mrs. Brady's hairstyle-- specifically her bangs-- changes multiple times. 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 ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Public School Presentation (1996) See more »

Soundtracks

We'll Hang Bert Cates to a Sour Apple Tree
(uncredited)
Music by William Steffe
Sung to the tune of "Battle Hymn of the Republic" by marching Townfolks
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Brilliant - One of the finest movies ever made
3 June 2001 | by pcfalconiSee all my reviews

This movie is well acted both March and Tracy perform remarkably. The story line depicts how ignorance and blind faith can generate a mob mentality. It beautifully reflects the social values of the time and depicts very well the attitudes of the time in which the movie was set. Like 12 angry men, it has simple sets and gives hope to the notion that not only can movies be educational and entertaining, there are producers that care about making a meaningful statement using a plot and acting to entertain.


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