8.1/10
26,214
186 user 77 critic

Inherit the Wind (1960)

Trailer
2:17 | Trailer
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 »
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

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
Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

In 1948, an American court in occupied Germany tries four Nazis judged for war crimes.

Director: Stanley Kramer
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Burt Lancaster, Richard Widmark
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Powerful but unethical Broadway columnist J.J. Hunsecker coerces unscrupulous press agent Sidney Falco into breaking up his sister's romance with a jazz musician.

Director: Alexander Mackendrick
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Susan Harrison
White Heat (1949)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A psychopathic criminal with a mother complex makes a daring break from prison and leads his old gang in a chemical plant payroll heist.

Director: Raoul Walsh
Stars: James Cagney, Virginia Mayo, Edmond O'Brien
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Two employees at a gift shop can barely stand each other, without realizing that they are falling in love through the post as each other's anonymous pen pal.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Margaret Sullavan, James Stewart, Frank Morgan
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

In a murder trial, the defendant says he suffered temporary insanity after the victim raped his wife. What is the truth, and will he win his case?

Director: Otto Preminger
Stars: James Stewart, Lee Remick, Ben Gazzara
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Two escaped convicts chained together, white and black, must learn to get along in order to elude capture.

Director: Stanley Kramer
Stars: Tony Curtis, Sidney Poitier, Theodore Bikel
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A couple's attitudes are challenged when their daughter introduces them to her African-American fiancé.

Director: Stanley Kramer
Stars: Spencer Tracy, Sidney Poitier, Katharine Hepburn
Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A frustrated former big-city journalist now stuck working for an Albuquerque newspaper exploits a story about a man trapped in a cave to rekindle his career, but the situation quickly escalates into an out-of-control circus.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: Kirk Douglas, Jan Sterling, Robert Arthur
Certificate: Passed Comedy | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

During the Nazi occupation of Poland, an acting troupe becomes embroiled in a Polish soldier's efforts to track down a German spy.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch
Stars: Carole Lombard, Jack Benny, Robert Stack
Drama | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A senator returns to a western town for the funeral of an old friend and tells the story of his origins.

Director: John Ford
Stars: James Stewart, John Wayne, Vera Miles
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Brick Pollitt (Paul Newman), an alcoholic ex-football player, drinks his days away and resists the affections of his wife, Maggie (Dame Elizabeth Taylor). His reunion with his father, Big Daddy (Burl Ives), who is dying of cancer, jogs a host of memories and revelations for both father and son.

Director: Richard Brooks
Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Paul Newman, Burl Ives
Crime | Drama | Film-Noir
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A private eye escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. Now he must return to the big city world of danger, corruption, double crosses and duplicitous dames.

Director: Jacques Tourneur
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas
Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The character of E.K. Hornbeck was based on American journalist H.L. Mencken, who had notably covered the John Thomas Scopes trial. See more »

Goofs

When the Bradys walk toward the hotel porch after the revival meeting, the lights and buildings of the town are clearly seen behind them. But when Drummond leaves Brady on the porch a few minutes later, the scene behind them, facing the same direction, is completely blank beyond a few bushes. 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 Pinky and the Brain: Inherit the Wheeze (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Battle Hymn of the Republic
(ca 1856) (uncredited)
Music by William Steffe
Lyrics by Julia Ward Howe (1862)
Sung by Leslie Uggams at the end of the movie
See more »

User Reviews

 
Tracy at his zenith
2 July 2004 | by stanford-4See all my reviews

We have been blessed with many, many wonderful films over the decades, and we have also been blessed with seeing many, many fine actors and actresses. Here you have a film, with a host of stars; brilliantly portraying characters from a true story, with acting that is sublime. The dialogue is sharp, witty, and each performance is gripping. Small town America, religious bigotry are all handled in a sympathetic manner by the use of powerful acting. I gave this film a 10 purely because it is one of those rare gems that stay in the mind forever. It is truly memorable, and one can watch it time and time again to marvel at the superb portrayals. There is a saying that they don't make 'em like they use to. No sir, they certainly don't!


122 of 144 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 186 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

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 »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed