Inherit the Wind on Blu-ray

Category: Blu-ray's and DVD's

inheritThis 1960 movie is a fictitious version of the events in 1925. The “Scopes Monkey Trial” put Darwin’s theory of Evolution on trial against the teachings of the Bible. Inherit the Wind is a well-acted thought-provoking film starring Spencer Tracy, Fredric March, Gene Kelly, and Dick York.


The Scopes Monkey Trial pitted Clarence Darrow against William Jennings Bryan on opposite sides of the issue of teaching Darwin’s theory in schools. Inherit the Wind has fictitious Henry Drummond in Darrow’s seat and fictitious Matthew Harrison Brady in Bryan’s chair. Spencer Tracy is amazing as Drummond, the attorney who is intent on making the trial about freedom of thought and expression, while Fredric March is just as determined in the role of Brady who insists everything in the Bible is fact and not to be altered in the minds of the school children. Anything other than what is written in the Bible is blasphemy.


This is more than an entertaining film. The acting is phenomenal and the film was nominated for four Academy Awards. The screenwriter used some of the transcripts from the “Scopes Monkey Trial” in this film.


The movie begins with Bertram Cates (York) teaching his class Darwin’s theory. He is immediately arrested in his classroom, setting everything in motion for one of the biggest trials of the century. The movie takes place in the Deep South, and the actual trial took place in Tennessee where teacher John Scopes was put on trial for teaching evolution.


In truth, American freedom was put on trial. Freedom of thought and expression was at the heart of the trial, against the Bible devotees the town and the state. The trial itself is fascinating however, when Drummond (aka Darrow) puts his opponent Brady (aka Brian) on the stand, things really get interesting.


Today’s viewers might get some feelings that this film hits too close to home, in a manner of speaking. The people of the town believe wholly in the Bible and if anyone doesn’t believe the way they do, they are wrong and need to be punished. Does that sound like some of the religious extremists today? Think about it.


Gene Kelly is journalist Hornbeck who takes the side of Cates and Drummond, and Claude Akins is Reverend Jeremiah Brown, a man who would turn against his own daughter for the Bible. Harry Morgan plays Judge Coffey, a man who is torn between the issues but leans toward the majority of the town.
To say this is a classic movie is an understatement. It is brilliantly written, brilliantly acted, and has a message for viewers. Although fiction, the story is based on an important part of American history.
So, if you are wondering where the title comes from, here’s a quote from the King James Bible: He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind: and the fool shall be servant to the wise of heart.


Inherit the Wind is not rated. It is appropriate for most viewers. This Blu-ray edition from Twilight Time is limited to 3,000 units.


About the Author

Francine Brokaw has been covering all aspects of the entertainment business for 20 years. She also writes about technology and has been a travel writer for the past 12 years. She has been published in national and international newspapers and magazines as well as internet websites. She has written her own book, Beyond the Red Carpet The World of Entertainment Journalists, from Sourced Media Books.

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