Inherit the Wind (1960)

Inherit the Wind

Inherit the Wind Review

Inherit the Wind is a 1960 drama film directed by Stanley Kramer and starring Spencer Tracy and Fredric March. It is a perfect example of a great subject matter executed rather poorly.

It is about the 1925 Scopes “Monkey” Trial and it is rather critical of creationism. The subject matter is quite a fascinating one to me as I absolutely love its thought-provoking theme of religion versus science and the teachings of evolution. And the movie does have a couple of truly powerful dramatic moments and also some fine discussions. The whole third act is quite powerful as well. But on the other hand, the whole first half of the movie is rather uneventful and frankly at times even dull and uninspired. It was too thin in terms of substance and too melodramatic and just underused when its themes are concerned. It could have been much better had it been more cinematic and more subtle and had it incorporated more powerful sequences which were present few and far between.

The characters are okay, but nothing particularly memorable. Some are well developed and very memorable such as Henry Drummond, so wonderfully acted by Tracy and Brady is of course really good. Their fights are the standouts here. But others are unfortunately forgettable and the movie definitely has weak supporting characters that don’t add much to the table.

The acting is really good with Spencer Tracy being the highlight. He is really good at these types of roles and he proves it once again here with a standout performance that is the best when comedy is concerned with a couple of funny lines and moments. Fredric March is naturally very good and those two are the finest in the movie. Gene Kelly is surprisingly good in an atypical role for him. And the rest are serviceable.

Inherit the Wind is technically unpolished. The cinematography is weak and the directing is solid, but is far from Kramer’s best work. This is more alongside his ‘Ship of Fools‘ than let’s say ‘The Defiant Ones‘, it is more a bad execution of a good setting or subject matter than an overall great movie. It looks weak and is never in any way memorable and only has a handful of powerful scenes. And I hated the inclusion of so much music in Inherit the Wind! It was so boring and it quickly gets annoying after a while. It uses it in a very bad way, too frequent and never leading to much substance.

Inherit the Wind is very powerful and relevant in its subject matter, it is very well acted and it has its dramatic and great moments, but it is poorly executed with not that good character development, overreliance on melodrama and it uses too much music and is never particularly memorable or energetic. It could have been a much better movie had it had better approach and better executed first half.

My Rating – 3

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      Interior & Exterior Stills from Inherit the Wind

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Posted in 1960, 1960s, Drama, MOVIE REVIEWS and tagged , , , , , .

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