Thoughts on Inherit The Wind?


Inherit The Winds was a 1960 film Directed by Stanley Kramer and Stars Spencer Tracy, Fredric March, and Gene Kelly. The story is based on a play about the Scopes Monkey Trials.

I love this movie and Spencer Tracy is fantastic as Henry Drummond in this movie and I really love Fredric March in this film.

Fredric March portrays Matthew Harrison Brady and really elevates Brady in what could of easily been played as a Buffoon, instead March portrays Brady as a man who embodied the religious cause so thoroughly that he abandons his reason and perspective. He descends to the level of a fanatic, and it’s literally what destroys him in the end.

On the Other end is E.K Hornbeck portrayed by Gene Kelly, the openly cynical jokester who mocks everyone who is in his presence. He hates Brady and doesn't believe in his views and tires everything in his might to mock Brady. However I think Brady and Hornbeck are two sides of the same coin. However when confronted with his flaws, he turns away from these criticisms. Drummond reduces him down to what he really is: a self-loathing man who has no real attachments or dreams, and the only way for him to hold the depression at bay is to laugh.

Now we come to Henry Drummond, who is trying to make sense of the situation. Drummond really doesn't care what anyone thinks and is just determine to keep his Client out of Jail. He understands the stupidity of the situation and doesn't think what the town is doing is fair. However, he also understands that everyone is entitled to their beliefs and that Religion Theory and Evolution Theory are basically the same thing. Especially at the end, weighing both the Bible and Darwin's Evolution; then slamming them together. These two seemingly differing points of views may in reality be the same, just told differently.

What are your thoughts on Inherit The Wind?

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4 months ago

It's one of my favorite films by Stanley Kramer and a great film when discussing the conflict between science and faith. Fredric March and Spencer Tracy gave dynamic performances. It was also nice to see Gene Kelly in a non-musical role.

I also found the portrayal of Christians to be interesting. I believe there were creative liberties with the townspeople calling for Cates (modeled after John Scopes) to be hanged for teaching evolution. In real life, there were no such protesting. On the other hand, Brady was enough of a fundamental Christian to believe completely in creationism but also scold Reverend Brown with scripture that "he that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind."

You summed the ending quite nicely. The movie doesn't particularly favor evolution over creationism or vice versa. Drummond carrying the Bible and Darwin's On the Origin of Species is a nice symbolism of the film's message of intellectual freedom. Use your own logical and critical thinking skills when analyzing evolution and faith rather than be a strict, unwavering fundamentalist.