- Rated: PG
- Run Time: 2 hours, 7 minutes
- Video: Black & White
- Released: July 24, 2007
- Originally Released: 1960
- Label: MGM (Video & DVD)
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Packaging: Keep Case
- Single Side - Dual Layer
- Aspect Ratio: Anamorphic Widescreen - 1.85
- Aspect Ratio: Full Frame - 1.33
- Mono - English, French, Spanish
- Additional Release Material:
- Trailers: Original Theatrical Trailer
Performers, Cast and Crew:
A teacher is jailed for teaching evolution in the South bringing two legal giants, one an athiest and one a creationist, to battle for more than the teacher's fate in a sweltering southern courtroom. This first rate drama was based on the real "Scopes Trial" in which Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryant were the attorneys. Gene Kelly plays H.L. Mencken. Academy Award Nominations: 4, including Best Actor--Spencer Tracy, Best (Adapted) Screenplay.
This gripping adaptation of the Jerome Lawrence-Robert E. Lee play examines an issue that still causes great controversy: the role religion should play in the schools.
Bertram T. Cates is arrested and put on trial for teaching Darwin's theory of evolution in his classroom. The incident causes a furor in the religious southern community he lives in and Matthew Harrison Brady, a famous fundamentalist attorney, arrives to prosecute the young teacher. Luckily for Cates, the equally-acclaimed lawyer Henry Drummond agrees to defend him.
As a result, the two master attorneys square off in the courtroom while the teacher's life hangs in the balance.
- Florence Eldridge, who plays Fredric March's devoted wife in the film, was the actor's real-life wife. This was the seventh movie they appeared in together.
- The film and the play it was adapted from were based on the real-life 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial that took place in Dayton, Tennessee. Henry Drummond, Matthew Harrison Brady, reporter E. K. Hornbeck and teacher Bertram T. Cates were modeled after Clarence Darrow, William Jennings Bryan, Baltimore reporter H. L. Mencken and teacher John T. Scopes, respectively. The trial was labeled the "Monkey Trial" by some of the country's newspapers because of the concept of evolution which was at issue.
- Screenwriter Nathan E. Douglas also goes by the name Nedrick Young.
- A Lomitas production.
- The film was remade for TV in 1988, with Kirk Douglas and Jason Robards in the Fredric March and Spencer Tracy roles.
- The play "Inherit the Wind" was produced and directed on stage by Herman Shumlin.