Considering its position within the First World and how much power and influence it has on the global stage, the United States of America is a peculiar country when it comes to religion. Whilst most educated people around the world accept, at least partially, the theory of evolution, America is still having the argument between creationism and evolution. It’s a discussion which has been rumbling for decades and provides the theme for Stanley Kramer’s 1960 film Inherit the Wind.
Bertram Cates (Dick York) is a teacher in a small Southern American town and is engaged to Rachel Brown (Donna Anderson), the daughter of Reverend Brown (Claude Akins). The townsfolk have been whipped-up into a fever after discovering that he’s teaching the writings of Charles Darwin to his students, and he’s about to stand trial for his crime. Acting for the prosecution is Matthew Brady (Fredric March), a renowned statesman, former presidential candidate and Biblical scholar. Cates has the equally famous and controversial Henry Drummond (Spencer Tracy) from Chicago to defend him, thanks to an eminent newspaperman (Gene Kelly) who will ensure that the country is watching.
Based on a play of the same name, Inherit the Wind is a powerful drama about competing ideologies and the clash between religion and science. Based on the ‘Scopes Trial’ of 1925, which was largely engineered to bring publicity to a small town, Kramer pits old sparring partners Brady versus Drummond in a titanic battle of wills, words and differing mindsets. Both Tracy and March give a masterclass in acting. Watching them go at each other is mesmeric and brilliant cinema. Inherit the Wind is a courtroom battle of epic proportions.
Dual format special features:
· Limited Edition Collector’s Booklet (First Pressing Only)
· Uncompressed LPCM audio (on the Blu-ray)
· Optional English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
· A new video interview with film scholar Neil Sinyard
· Original theatrical trailer
Inherit the Wind is released on Dual Format by Eureka Classics on 21 May.