Number of Times Seen – between 5-10 times (Cable, video, DVD and 5 Mar 2014)
Brief Synopsis – A dramatization of the famous Scopes monkey trial of 1925.
My Take on it – I was first exposed to this movie in high school, when we had to read the play in English Lit in 10th grade. I loved the witty way that it was written and was enthralled when we finished the assignment and watched the story unfold on a TV screen.
I have seen it numerous times since then and believe that this is one of the best made courtroom drama. The characters each have their principles and are willing to go to great lengths to show that their cause is a right and just cause.
The event that this movie is based on was championed by two of the greatest intellectual minds of the 1920’s, Clarance Darrow and William Jennings Bryant (who ran for President 3 times and lost every time). I doubt that the real trial was as “entertaining” as the script makes it, but apparently the final parts of the trial in the movie are supposedly very close to being accurate.
The acting here is superbly led by Spencer Tracy, Fredric March and Gene Kelly. During filming there was much commotion around the set because so many people came to watch the 3 great actors work together sometimes ruining a perfect “take” due to cheering and applause.
The supporting cast is also great and contain many future television greats like Harry Morgan, Dick York, Donna Anderson, Claude Akins and Norman Fell.
It’s quite ironic that this movie’s premise (a law against teaching evolutionary science as opposed to creation science) is mainstream today and there have even been a few recent court cases against the teaching of creation science in classrooms.
Bottom Line – One of the best courtroom dramas ever made. Amazing and witty script based on the play. Highly Recommended!
Rating – Oscar Worthy
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