January is my birthday month, so I decided that I would try and do something quite unique and special for this milestone in my life. I will be turning 46, so I decided to watch 47 (46+1 for good luck) of my all time favorite movies in a random order over the course of this month. I have reviewed every one of these films already, but I will now give new perspectives on them all. Every one of these films received a 10/10 scoring from me. Some of these reviews will contain spoilers so if you have never seen them before, I recommend that you read some of my previous reviews of the film that were spoiler free before reading on…
Hope you enjoy!
This is film #6 of the 47.
Initial Viewing Memories – Saw this for the first time on video in 1990 in 19th grade English class after having read the play in class.
“Progress has never been a bargain. You have to pay for it. Sometimes I think there’s a man who sits behind a counter and says, “All right, you can have a telephone, but you lose privacy and the charm of distance. Madam, you may vote but at a price: you lose the right to retreat behind the powder puff or your petticoat. Mister, you may conquer the air, but the birds will lose their wonder and the clouds will smell of gasoline.” – Henry Drummond
Number of Times Seen – Between 5-10 times (Video in School, Cable, video, DVD, 5 Mar 2014 and 2 Jan 2020)
Link to original review – Here
Brief Synopsis – After a science teacher is put on trial for teaching Evolution two famous lawyers travel to this small town in order to argue for and against this crime.
My Take on it – Amazing court room drama that works so well due to the superb dialogue.
The cast is amazing with Spencer Tracy, Fredric March and Gene Kelly all giving stellar performances while debating the various issues presented.
The irony of this film is that by the time it was made, the country already started to see things in the opposite direction and it was more common for evolution to be taught than creation science.
By today’s standards, nearly a century after the trial this story was based on, it is virtually impossible to learn creationism in schools.
The way that these characters deliver their line is so impressive t watch because it is mostly done in a rapid fire fashion which enhances the way one looks at this kind of story.
Great seeing Dick Sergeant (of Bewitched fame) and Harry Morgan (of TV’s MASH) in the key roles of the accused teacher and the judge.
In addition, Claude Atkins (of BJ and the Bear fame) is also great as the town preacher.
This is a film with a great message about society and also how the judicial system works.
The film is extremely poignant in the way that it presents the true nature of men as we get to see how they each acts in these situations that are put forth for them along the way.
The two main characters in this story are based on Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryant who were the lawyers in the actual Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925 and this movie allows us to see how a court case involving these two great men could potentially be so engrossing and entertaining to watch take place.
This is one of the very best courtroom dramas ever written and stays engaging the whole way through.
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – To heighten the tension of Spencer Tracy’s final summation to the jury, the scene was filmed in a single take. (From IMDB)
Rating – Oscar Worthy (10/10) (no change from original review)
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