Inherit the Wind (1960)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Courtroom Drama, Message Movie  |   Release Date - Oct 12, 1960 (USA)  |   Run Time - 127 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Stanley Kramer's Inherit The Wind is the topical movie that has aged better than almost anything else in Kramer's directorial output. In contrast to most of the social-issue films that he directed, including On the Beach, Inherit the Wind often seems as immediate and gripping as it did in 1960, mostly because its issues have not gone away. Adapted from the hit play by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee, the film is exceptionally true to its source, with virtually all the second half confined to the courtroom. It is a tribute to Kramer's often underrated skill as a director, as well as to the material and the cast, led by Spencer Tracy, Fredric March, and Gene Kelly, that the movie never lets up in tension or focus. The film also benefits from some vivid and convincing performances by the supporting cast: March's wife Florence Eldridge as Brady's wife, Donna Anderson as the woman betrothed to the accused school teacher, Claude Akins as her minister father, Dick York as the accused teacher, and Hope Summers, Ray Teal, and William Fawcett as various small town types. This is a model of how every faithful screen adaptation of a play should look.