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Inherit The Wind [DVD]

52 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Spencer Tracy, Fredric March, Gene Kelly, Dick York, Donna Anderson
  • Directors: Stanley Kramer
  • Writers: Harold Jacob Smith, Jerome Lawrence, Nedrick Young, Robert E. Lee
  • Producers: Stanley Kramer
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: Twentieth Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: 3 May 2004
  • Run Time: 124 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001P1BQ6
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,284 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Film adaptation of a stage play based on the Scopes 'Monkey trial' of 1925. When Tennessee schoolteacher Bertram T. Cates (Dick York) is put on trial for teaching Darwin's theory of evolution, the prosecuting counsel appointed is fundamentalist politician Matthew Harrison Brady (Fredric March). While Brady stirs the town up into a religious fervour against Cates, the liberal Henry Drummond (Spencer Tracy) earns the wrath of the townsfolk by defending the teacher. Cynical journalist E.K. Hornbeck (Gene Kelly) is sent to cover the trial, which takes place in a sweltering courtroom where passions run as high as the temperature.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By bernie TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 Jun. 2003
Format: VHS Tape
This film is based on the play by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee about the 1925, Scopes Monkey Trial. It is tricky to keep the differences between this play and the real trial apart in one's mind. Spencer Tracy (Henry Drummond) and Fredric March (Matthew Harrison Brady) spar over the legality of teaching of evolution in Tennessee. This combination is guaranteed to keep you glued to your seat. In this movie Scopes, while teaching evolution to a high-school biology class is arrested and placed in jail.
Some time the other characters get lost in the shuffle yet one other will show through. That is Gene Kelley who plays E. K. Hornbeck who reports the trial.
I will not give a blow by blow of the trail but to say it gets rather heated and is broken up with several adjournments with time to reflect on what was said and going to be said.
If you are interested in the real thing then read Scopes Autobiography "Center of the Storm."
Pr 11:29... "HE WHO TROUBLES HIS OWN HOUSE WILL INHERIT THE WIND,"
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47 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Dr. George L. Sik on 12 Oct. 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
As courtroom dramas go, this is unsurpassable: 'JFK', 'Anatomy of a Murder', even Spencer Tracy's later masterful performance in 'Judgement at Nuremberg'...none are quite as good as this. What makes it remarkable is that the trial of John Scopes for teaching evolutionary theory in Tennessee happened in 1925 and ought to feel like old history - but it isn't! America is still full of creationists who believe every word of the Old Testament is literally true - in many polls, it is the MINORITY in the States who side with Darwin.

In fact, this film is very balanced in terms of faith and science: it doesn't kick the Book of Genesis out completely. From today's perspective, here in a largely secular UK, parts of it seem a little quaint, not least the final revelation that Spencer Tracy's defence lawyer is actually a bit of a Bible buff deep down. Clarence Darrow, the real lawyer on whom Tracy's character is based, was rather less sentimental. I also suspect that Gene Kelly's big city journalist was intended at the time to be unpleasantly cynical, but by today's standards he seems spot on - his parting line is brilliant!

Of course, the film plays a little fast and loose with what happened in the real trial (which is presumably why all the names have been changed). It is still, however, a masterful piece of work, with scintillating dialogue and real drama - as topical today as when it was made.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Seatinthestalls on 12 Sept. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Hot on the heels of his `On The Beach', Stanley Kramer brings us `Inherit The Wind'.

This is a fine courtroom drama and much more, pitting theology against science. Filmed in B&W, Spencer Tracy heads an entirely believable cast of characters, who work a witty and insightful script to the full. An unexpected surprise is Gene Kelly featured in a rare straight role as a cynical reporter. The plot is based upon a true case of a US teacher prosecuted for teaching evolution at school (in the 20th century, would you believe).

Kramer's is a timeless movie where the pyrotechnics are exclusively cerebral. If anyone thinks that special-effects and big bangs are needful entertainment, this is the stuff to prove the opposite. I just thought the ending flagged a little.

The DVD supplied by Amazon was satisfactory in all respects. Soundtrack is claimed to have been restored, but is still in original mono. Run-time is given as 123mins, Viewer rating is `U'. There are no extras.

Recommended. Less than [] quid at time of purchase.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Spike Owen TOP 500 REVIEWER on 9 Mar. 2012
Format: DVD
B.T. Cates is arrested for teaching Darwin's theory on evolution in his classroom. Famous lawyer Henry Drummond is brought in to defend his right to teach such a theory. In opposition on the prosecution side is preaching fundamentalist/ politician Matthew Brady, whom the town dearly loves.

Inherit The Wind is based on the real life {farcical} case in 1925 Tennessee, where John T. Scopes stood trial for violating state laws appertaining to material taught to children in class. It became known as The Monkey Trial, and here we get the film version of that trial, cobbling together bits from the transcript of the trial and using dialogue taken from the play by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E Lee. Inherit The Wind perfectly captures the stupidity of that court case, excellently photographed by Ernest Laszlo, and directed with aplomb by Stanley Kramer {to me a career high}, it ultimately climbs thru the roof of greatness on account of two blunderbuss performances from Spencer Tracy & Fredric March as Drummond and Brady respectively. Anyone proclaiming these two performances as overacting should quite frankly be punched repeatedly in the face, for it's a lesson in emotional driven acting of the highest order. Bolstering the show is Gene Kelly offering slimy comic relief out in the wings, Harry Morgan as the judge caught between the two balls of fury, and a smashing little turn from Fredric March's real life wife Florence Eldridge, as ironically, Brady's erstwhile spouse.

Inherit The Wind was nominated for four Academy Awards, not winning any in what was a great year for cinema, but really it doesn't matter because the film stands up even today as a monument of great acting and a lesson in just how skew whiff things can get in the name of tired old beliefs and religion gone berserker.
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