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Inherit The Wind

review by Zach B.


Not Rated

Running Time: 128 minutes

Starring Spencer Tracy, Fedric March, Gene Kelly, Dick York, Donna Anderson with Harry Morgan and Florence Eldridge

Screenplay by Nedrick Young and Harold Jacob Smith
Based upon the play by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. lee

Directed by Stanley Kramer

Studio: MGM

Retail Price: $14.98

Features: Theatrical Trailer

Specs: 1.66:1 Non-Anamorphic Widescreen, English Mono, French Mono, Spanish Mono, French Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, English Closed Captions, Scene Selections (16 Scenes)

Released: December 11th, 2001

"Inherit The Wind" is loosely based on a true story, even if large chunks of the dialogue are based on the actual vents of the "Scopes Monkey Trial" from 1925. After teacher Bertram Cates is arrested for teaching Darwin's theory of evolution, Henry Drummond, a lawyer, defends him. However, the strict fundamentalist leader Matt Brady. As the trial goes into play, the plot begins to explode, thicken and rivet in a rather amazing story about how small things and doing the right thing can be so much.

As time passes, "Inherit The Wind" becomes a bigger and bigger classic. It's truly one of my favorite classic movies and of Stanley Kramer's best films he's ever directed in my opinion. It's just really, really well done. Everything comes together perfectly in this film with its strong production values and cast. Kramer directs this with much passion. His great shots, the characters he builds and shows off and the tension he creates is hard to match.

The acting is also superb. A nice performance from Dick York is featured, but the stand-outs of course are Oscar® winners Fredric Marck and Spencer Tracy in their performances. There is so much will and strength in their performances and they really carry the movie with much grace and spirit.Gene Kelly also has a part in it, which did earn him some great reviews in a rather dramatic role. There are a variety of supporting roles and all of them are truly great. The cast here is simply phenomenal and I couldn't imagine a better cast for the film. It's even like magic.

Though perhaps the strongest aspect of the film is the sharp writing from Young and Smith, who adapted the stage play. The two capture so much with the characters and plot, it's really some classic writing here. Sure there are fine monologues, but they capture the themes and morals of what all of this is trying to teach us. There are so many issues to consider within the film. The school board's rules, free spech, what is true and what's not... and something small leads to something big.

There's no wonder why "Inherit The Wind" was nominated for four Oscars®. If you've never seen it, or ever heard of it, it's a must see. Sit back, relax and enjoy some great, dramatic filmmaking.


"Inherit The Wind," sadly, is yet another MGM title that is 1) recent 2) not anamorphic and 3) deserves a much better restoration. The 1.66:1 letterbox transfer pretty much seems to have had no care or love. Shimmering and noise is all over this transfer and is rather annoying. Pieces of dirt, blemishes, scratches and other distractions do appear on the print as well. Still, I've seen worse. I was just a bit disappointed that it was not anamorphic. It also needed some more cleaning up.


English, French and Spanish mono tracks are offered, and they are rather good. I was surprised how high fidelity turned out to be, and how clean the sound elements did sound considering the age of the movie (its over 40 years old). Dialogue and all the other sounds are pretty crisp and are easy to hear. I didn't hear any distorition or cracked sound. This mono is very good and works... and that's important. French and Spanish subtitles, plus English closed captioning is on this release.


The Theatrical Trailer in full frame. Pure vintage stuff! Kramer introduces it. It actually plays more like a newsreel. I wish there was some documentary, or background on the real trial or something. Oh well.

"Inherit The Wind" is some great filmmaking and it's a great story no less. It's one superb film I urge everyone to see. The acting is really incredible too. While the transfer is a bit disappointing, and the extras are bare bones, the sound is decent and the price is right. Fans of the film or cinema lovers, do pick this one up!

(4.5/5 - NOT included in final score)




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