Nov 17 2012
10:18 am
By: R. Neal  shortURL

Somehow I had never seen this movie before and had been meaning to watch it. There was nothing on TV so we were trying out Amazon Prime free movie streaming and stumbled across it. Great movie.

There's some powerful acting and amazing dialogue, some of it taken from the Scopes Monkey Trial transcript according to IMDB. Some of the production and scenes are a little over the top, but so was the whole ridiculous affair. The shocking thing is how little has changed since 1925, or since 1960 when the movie was made.

IMDB: Inherit the Wind

redmondkr's picture

TCM ran it a week or so ago

TCM ran it a week or so ago and I re-watched it. It's a feather in Spencer Tracy's cap and yes, pretty well describes today's Tennessee.

Hildegard's picture

Go down to the Rhea County

Go down to the Rhea County Courthouse in Dayton one weekday and visit the Scopes Museum on the basement floor. You can also see the courtroom and lawn where it all transpired. Then buy a copy of Summer of the Gods, the best nonfiction account of how the whole thing got set up to bring revenue to Dayton.

Edit: It's only open during business hours Mon.-Fri., same as the offices.

trobinson's picture

Saw it on TCM too. What a

Saw it on TCM too. What a great movie. It sent me to the internets and I found an interesting fact: the Butler Law, that made the teaching of evolution illegal, was not repealed in TN until 1967! Thank reason, the federal govt. passed a law that allowed text books to stress evolution in 1958, thus I was able to learn about evolution as a young tyke in the 60s.

Of course, with the new super majority in the TN legislature, our young ones might not be so lucky!

Rachel's picture

Oh my, you'd never seen this

Oh my, you'd never seen this movie? That's serious, dude.

I watch it every time it's on, mostly for the pleasure of watching Spencer Tracy and Gene Kelly (I'm sure you know that Spencer's character was really Clarence Darrow but do you know that Kelly's was H.L. Mencken?)

Mike Cohen's picture


Great movie,

I once saw Henry Fonda do a one man show as Clarence Darrow that included passages from the Scopes trial. Very moving.

WhitesCreek's picture

Here's a link to WJB's final speech which he never delivered...

To me it is a fine example of how movingly stated a completely false argument can be:


WhitesCreek's picture

And here is the transcript of Darrow examining Bryan.

The movie is a dramatization. The real trial was absolutely fascinating. Most people don't know it was a Chamber of Commerce stunt.


Hildegard's picture

The problem with the movie (I

The problem with the movie (I don't know if it's in the play, which I've never read or seen), is the unnecessary interweaving of the romance b/w the Cates (Scopes) character and the preacher's daughter. It's so effin' Hollywood and it really detracts from the film's power. It didn't need "humanizing" with relationship tension. Faith and individual belief or nonbelief is about as personal and human as it gets, and that's what the story should stick with.

Again recommend Summer for the Gods (for, not of, as I misstated above) as a great treatment of the subject, and a smart book about this part of Tennessee state history. Won the 1998 Pulitzer Prize.

Average Guy's picture

Old notions

An 88 year old case and a 53 year old movie.

Yet here America is; (link...)

Marginally better than Turkey, far behind the rest of the world. The more uneducated and religious an area, the less the acceptance of evolution. Which sets Tennessee even further back against a world that is becoming more global in its personal and commercial interaction.

And with the Republican super-majority, we ain't seen nothing yet.

He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind:
and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart

The "heart" isn't what worries me. What this legislature is planning on putting in the "heads" of our youth is what keeps me up at night. Invisible and fleeting - the "wind" indeed.

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