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Inherit the Wind Review

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THE SCOPES MONKEY TRIAL

Officially known in legal literature as The State of Tennessee vs John Thomas Scopes, this landmark 1925 trial was instantly labeled by the press across America“The Monkey Trial” and dozens of national reporters flocked to the small town of Dayton, Tennessee, to cover the proceedings. Scopes, a high school science teacher, was charged with violating the state’s Butler Act, which prohibited the teaching of evolution in the public schools. Scopes was defended by Clarence Darrow, the most famous and controversial attorney of his time. Presenting the prosecution’s case was equally famous William Jennings Bryan, three-time Democratic candidate for President of the U. S. Scopes was found guilty and the state Supreme Court upheld the conviction upon appeal. However, possibly due to the ridicule the state had been subjected to across America, the Supreme Court recommended that the state Attorney General use a legal technicality to dismiss the charges and end “this bizarre case.” He quickly complied. Tennessee repealed the Butler Act in 1967

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Title:   INHERIT THE WIND

"Do you think maybe He pulled off another creation in the next county?"

                   

A powerful adaptation of the Jerome Lawrence - Robert E. Lee play based on the infamous "Scopes Monkey Trial" in 1925. Although using different names, Spencer Tracy and Frederick March are superb as Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan, who represented the defense and the prosecution in the actual trial. Gene Kelley, under a different name, portrays acid-penned writer H. L. Mencken, a reporter for the newspaper that hired Darrow to defend Scopes. The trial involves a school teacher who defied state law by teaching his students about Charles Darwin's ideas on evolution and natural selection. Sadly, this excellent film is as relevant today as when the trial took place in 1925. The issue is still in contention.
 
1960, Directed by Stanley Kramer.

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