Inherit The Wind

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Inherit the Wind is a fairly easy film to follow, and apart from the changed names of characters (this review will use the actual ones here to avoid confusion) sticks to the happenings of the Scopes Monkey Trial as they were recorded. It sketches the events of the first creationism vs. evolution legal battle, pitting the underdog, an aging agnostic lawyer (Darrow), against a successful fundamentalist one (Bryan). John Scopes, a high-school science teacher, is arrested for teaching evolution in a government funded school. He is to be tried in court, and quickly both sides of the case and the lawyers (Darrow fights for Scopes, while Bryan argues against him) are established. Both Scopes and Darrow are shunned by townspeople under the theological…show more content…
It is doubtful that Darrow was as white or Bryan as black, or even Scopes himself as absolutely ignorant and innocent in resolute belief as is depicted. Characters such as the newspaper reporter and Scopes’ love interest have been given more ‘spirit’ to help the plot through. This, however, opened up the film to possibilities of backlash. It is fairer to approach the criticism, perhaps, in the words of the critics themselves. Robert Harsh, for example, declares in ‘Exposing the Lie: Inherit the Wind’ that "Christians, particularly William Jennings Bryan, are consistently lampooned throughout, while the skeptics and agnostics are consistently portrayed as intelligent, kindly, and even heroic. I simply cannot escape the conclusion that the writers of the screen play never intended to write a historically accurate account of the Scopes trial, nor did they seriously attempt to portray the principal characters and their beliefs in an unbiased and accurate way." Another perspective of critical sentiment is voiced by Carol Inannone in ’First Things’ when she states that "Inherit the Wind reveals a great deal about a mentality that demands open-mindedness and excoriates dogmatism, only to advance its own certainties more insistently... A more historically accurate dramatization of the Scopes Trial might have been far richer and more interesting - and might also have given its audiences a genuine dramatic tragedy to watch. It would not have sent its audience home full of moral superiority and happy thoughts about the march of progress." And so the film has had its share of controversy and
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