STANLEY KRAMER’S INHERIT THE WIND — A MINI-REVIEW BY NICK CLEMENT

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Stanley Kramer’s timeless drama Inherit the Wind still has the capacity to rouse and startle, and remains scarily relevant in today’s increasingly Idiocracy-leaning society. Co-written by blacklisted screenwriter Nedrick Young and Harold Jacob Smith, the film was based on the play by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee and inspired by the famous “Scopes Monkey Trial” in 1925, where creationism vs. evolution was up for debate. Starring Spencer Tracy, Fredric Marsh, Gene Kelly, Dick York, Donna Anderson, Claude Akins, Harry Morgan, and Elliot Reed, there’s not a bad performance in the entire bunch, and the film’s black and white photography by Ernest Laszlo is consistently dynamic, which was no small feat considering that much of the action takes place in a courtroom. I was introduced to this film by my father early in my formative movie-buff years, and I’ve revisited it numerous times as it always provides an intellectual punch, and serves as a potent reminder of how mixing religion with law is a terrible idea.

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