Saturday, January 21, 2017

Inherit the Wind

"He who troubles his own house will inherit wind, and the foolish will be servant to the wisehearted."
-Proverbs 11:29

A dramatization of the 1925 Scopes Monkey Trial as a backwoods school teacher finds himself under arrest after deliberately teaching evolution and knowing the consequences. He finds himself defended by the most reputed and aggressive defense attorney in the country (Spencer Tracy) as the local religious majority rallies behind a long-winded three-time Presidential candidate (Frederic March). Made with Stanley Kramer's typically overlong progressive moralizing, Inherit the Wind is nonetheless intelligently written and just as salient today as it was when released or set, and even retains much of its edge. A smarmy Gene Kelly is badly miscast in the H.L. Mencken role and exists solely for comic relief and to push the story along but Tracy and March both have their moments of humor and power.

*** out of ****