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Label:
Name: TWILIGHT TIME
Number: TWILIGHT127-BR

INHERIT THE WIND (1960) (BLU-RAY)
Starring:  Harry Morgan, Gene Kelly, Spencer Tracy, Fredric March, Dick York, Donna Anderson, Claude Akins
Directed By:  Stanley Kramer
Composed By:  Ernest Gold

“What is astonishing in this 1960 film is the gutsy way it engages in ideas, pulls no punches in its language, and allows the characters long and impassioned speeches...Both Tracy and March vent an anger and passion through their characters that ventures beyond acting into holy zeal.” —Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

“Mr. Kramer has wonderfully accomplished not only a graphic fleshing of his theme but he also has got one of the most brilliant and engrossing displays of acting ever witnessed on the screen.” —Bosley Crowther, The New York Times

Producer-director Stanley Kramer’s Inherit the Wind (1960) is a classic courtroom drama based on the real-life Scopes “Monkey” Trial of 1925. Here, a Clarence Darrow-like defense attorney (Spencer Tracy) faces off against a fundamentalist prosecutor (Fredric March) in the case of a young schoolteacher (Dick York) brought to trial for breaking a “wicked law” (in the words of Tracy’s civil libertarian lawyer) that forbids the teaching of evolution in local public schools. Creationism versus evolution is the still-relevant theme of the film, which passionately asserts “the right to think.” Nominated for four Academy Awards®.

LANGUAGE: English
VIDEO: 1080p High Definition / 1.85:1
AUDIO: English 1.0 DTS-HD MA
SUBTITLES: English SDH
1960 / B & W
127 MINUTES
NOT RATED
REGION FREE

Special Features: Isolated Music & Effects Track / Original Theatrical Trailer

Limited Edition of 3,000 Units

  
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Reviews and Comments: (1)
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Posted by Mark Turner on October 23, 2017 4:31 PM
By now many are well aware of the play and movie versions of the tale INHERIT THE WIND. The story based on the Scopes monkey trial has found receptive audiences on stage, screen and TV versions. But for me the best rendition of the tale was in this film, a classic if ever there was one.

The actual trial took place in 1925 when the movie is set and involved a school teacher who had the audacity to teach evolution in his classroom. The true tale found him defended by one of the most brilliant minds in defense law Clarence Darrow while the man facing off against him was three time presidential nominee William Jennings Bryan. From this story the play and then movies were made.

Bertram Cates (Dick York) is accused of teaching evolution against the law of the state of Tennessee. Condemned by both the local politicians as well as the leading town minister Rev. Jeremiah Brown (Claude Akins) it appears that he will have no luck finding an impartial jury. When newsman E.K. Hornbeck (Gene Kelly) hears of the story he turns it into a cause and gets plenty of support from his newspaper.

The story grows and rather than allow the local prosecutor try the case a special prosecutor is brought in. Matthew Harrison Brady (Frederic March) is an ex-presidential nominee and popular Chautauqua speaker and well-loved by many. When Hornbeck hears this he convinces his newspaper to pick up the defense for Cates and they bring in Henry Drummond (Spencer Tracy), a noted rabble rousing defense attorney who is quite successful but not as adored by the townsfolk as Brady is. The two are long-time friends and Drummond is greeted fondly by both Brady and his wife Sarah (Florence Eldridge).

The build up to the trial takes up a good portion of the film. Rev. Brown incites the townsfolk against Cates much to the chagrin of his daughter Rachel (Donna Anderson) who is engaged to Cates. It is not a relationship that will bode well with the events taking place. And Rev. Brown seems more interested in making a name for himself than in his daughter.

Eventually the trial progresses and it is here that much of the best of the film is seen. The back and forth between the two lead characters of Brady and Drummond is amazing to watch and listen to. The legal back and forth as well as the ponderance of the question at hand, is it possible evolution is real, make for fascinating. By the end of the film no matter what your belief is you will find something to question on both sides.

What the movie boils down to is two very different yet compelling performances by two of the greats of classic cinema. Both March and Tracy were well past their prime popularity wise but find in this vehicle something with which to reclaim their fame as two of the best actors of their age or any other. March is wonderful to witness here but I’ve long been a fan of Tracy, one of the most underrated actors of all time. Kelly does a great job here as well playing something different for a change, a sleazy slime ball of a character looking to gain prestige at the cost of others involved.

The movie is a joy to watch from start to finish and Twilight Time has done a great job with their presentation here offering the cleanest version of the film to date. Extras are very limited to just an isolated music & effects track and the original theatrical trailer. But as with all of their releases it is limited to just 3,000 copies so movie lovers should pick this up before they are gone.

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