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Inherit the Wind?


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#1 of 9 OFFLINE   benbess

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Posted February 05 2013 - 12:11 PM

Any word on this title from 1960? Since it was originally released by United Artists, who owns it today? This classic film was directed by Stanley Kramer, and stars Spencer Tracy, Frederic March, Gene Kelly, Donna Anderson, Dick York, Harry Morgan, etc. It was nominated for 4 Oscars, including for Tracy, Best Screenplay (Nedrick Young and Harold Jacob Smith), Best Cinematography (Ernest Laszlo) and Best Editing (Frederic Knudtson). The film was not a big box office success, but has for several decades been considered a classic. I saw it in high school in c. 1981. Watching it again with my teenage son last night in the SD version available at Amazon Prime made me realize that my childhood memory that it was a very good film stood up. Anyone else like this film? It does have a 90% "fresh" rating at Rotten Tomatoes. Here's the original trailer, introduced by Kramer himself:

#2 of 9 OFFLINE   benbess

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Posted February 05 2013 - 12:38 PM

Spencer Tracy is excellent in this film, but just as good is Fredric March, in a difficult role. He really throws himself into it, and through make-up and performance looks quite a bit like William Jennings Bryan—although his character in the film is named Matthew Harrison Brady....Top image March c. 1940, middle: still from film; bottom: Clarence Darrow and Bryan at Scopes trial in 1925. There are a lot of differences between the real events and the film. Picasso once said about art that it is "a lie that tells the truth"—and so it is with many good dramas and films, like this one.

#3 of 9 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted February 05 2013 - 02:08 PM

It's a favorite of mine, too, and I've watched the MGM/UA non-anamorphic DVD quite a bit. I would imagine MGM still controls rights to this one meaning if it comes to a Blu-ray release, Fox would distribute it.

#4 of 9 OFFLINE   Reed Grele

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Posted February 05 2013 - 02:34 PM

This film deserves the Criterion treatment.

#5 of 9 OFFLINE   MatthewA

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Posted February 05 2013 - 02:55 PM

This has been one of my favorites ever since I read the play for 8th grade English. So many great performances in one film. Whoever ends up releasing it has at least one sale from me.


MGM HD aired a gorgeous transfer of this a few years ago, but Criterion could definitely do them one better.


Enough is enough, Disney. No more evasions or excuses. We DEMAND the release Song of the South on Blu-ray along with the uncut version of Bedknobs and Broomsticks on Blu-ray. I am going to boycott The Walt Disney Company until then.


#6 of 9 OFFLINE   Johnny Angell

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Posted February 05 2013 - 03:25 PM

This film deserves the Criterion treatment.

Yes, yes, yes!
Johnny
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#7 of 9 OFFLINE   Matt Hough

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Posted February 06 2013 - 12:23 AM

I agree. I'd love to see what Criterion could do with it particularly in regard to the extras.



#8 of 9 OFFLINE   benbess

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Posted February 06 2013 - 02:32 AM

The Criterion idea seems like it makes sense. Inherit the Wind would make a good companion with the other classic black-and-white courtroom dramas from this era released by Criterion—12 Angry Men, and Anatomy of a Murder. Here's a few trivia tidbits on the film from imdb: http://www.imdb.com/...t0053946/trivia The title of the movie comes from the Book of Proverbs, 11:29: "He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind." Was the first in-flight movie ever shown on Trans World Airlines. When Stanley Kramer offered the role of E.K. Hornbeck to Gene Kelly, Kelly initially turned it down. Kramer told him that his co-stars would be Fredric March and Spencer Tracy, and Kelly changed his mind. This was a risky move on Kramer's part, as he had not yet asked March or Tracy to participate. To heighten the tension of Spencer Tracy's final summation to the jury, the scene was filmed in a single take. Writers Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee named the overzealous prosecutor "Matthew Brady". When Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle was tried for manslaughter three times in 1921/22, the real overzealous prosecuting San Francisco District Attorney was named Matthew Brady. Matthew Brady was also the name of the famous portrait and landscape photographer of the American Civil War. When Drummond's attempt to call scientific experts to the stand to testify in behalf of the defense is thwarted, Stanley Kramer adds a couple of elements from the actual Scopes Trial, combining the fiery closing of Clarence Darrow's speech on the motion to quash the indictment with the change in which Judge Raulston cited Darrow for contempt. In the scene where Drummond (Spencer Tracy) tells the story of his rocking horse "Golden Dancer" to Brady (Fredric March), they are sitting in rocking chairs on the porch of the boarding house. The actors are both rocking their chairs but are never in sync with each other to emphasize their differences of opinion. Because of the criticism directed at producer Stanley Kramer by the American Legion for hiring Nedrick Young, who they considered subversive, Moss Hart as president of The Authors League of America sent Kramer a telegram: "The Authors League of America council, which has always unalterably opposed any form of blacklisting of writers, unanimously voted at a meeting today to commend and applaud you for your courageous stand in rejecting publicly the effort to interfere, on pseudo-patriotic grounds, with the right of writers to work." The real-life John Scopes upon whom the Bertram Cates was based had an unusual epilogue of his own. After the famous trial, he was approached by a representative of the University of Chicago, which offered him a scholarship for graduate study in geology. Scopes then did geological field work in Venezuela for Gulf Oil of South America, and went on to make a name for himself in the field of geology. Although the defense lost the actual Scopes Monkey Trial, it was later reversed on a technicality....

#9 of 9 OFFLINE   benbess

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Posted February 06 2013 - 02:51 AM

Florence Eldridge, who plays Matthew Brady's wife Sarah in the film, was actually married to Fredric March. Rare in Hollywood, theirs was a marriage that lasted their whole lives. They were married in 1927 until March died 50 years later. She is crucial to at least 4 scenes in the film.... Here's a mini bio of this fine actress from imdb: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0253158/bio Florence Eldridge Date of Birth 5 September 1901, Brooklyn, New York, USA Date of Death 1 August 1988, Long Beach, California, USA (heart attack) Birth Name Florence McKechnie Height 5' 4½" (1.64 m) Mini Biography Versatile character actress Florence Eldridge seemed often better served by the stage than by her roles in motion pictures. On the boards from the age of seventeen as a chorine in "Rock-a-Bye Baby" in 1918, she acted with touring companies and on Broadway and soon found herself playing leading parts. The Brooklyn-born was bitten by the acting bug at an early age and joined the Theatre Guild immediately after graduating from high school. She first came to note in the play "Ambush"in 1921 and quickly rose to stardom as the heroine Annabelle West in "The Cat and the Canary" (1922), and as the stepdaughter in "Six Characters in Search of an Author" (1922). She also portrayed the fickle Daisy Fay Buchanan in "The Great Gatsby" (1926). While on tour, Florence met the actor Fredric March whom she married after appearing with him on stage in "The Swan"(1927). Thereafter, the couple were no longer permitted to appear together on stage, their repertory company deeming it 'unromantic' for married people to portray lovers. To overcome this problem Florence and Fredric went to Hollywood in 1928, where actors with theatrical training were much in demand since the arrival of talking pictures. From here on, however, Florence would largely subordinate her career to that of her husband. Florence had been on screen as early as 1923, her first credit being Six Cylinder Love (1923), shot in New York - a role she had previously enacted on stage. In 1929, she appeared in three films, first co-starring with her husband in The Studio Murder Mystery (1929). In the similarly titled The Greene Murder Case (1929), she bested Jean Arthur in a fight to the death on rooftops above the Hudson River. While most of her subsequent roles were small, there were two notable exceptions: Les Misérables (1935), as Fantine (again with March) , and Mary of Scotland (1936) as an implacable Queen Elizabeth I vis-à-vis Katharine Hepburn's Mary Stuart. The inseparable Marches travelled extensively during World War II, entertaining American troops overseas. In 1942, they also made headlines on Broadway during performances of "Skin of Our Teeth", conducting a much-publicised on-stage feud with co-star Tallulah Bankhead. For the remainder of the decade, Florence alternated between stage and films. At the end of the decade, she was given one of her best screen roles, that of Lavinia Hubbard in Lillian Hellman's Another Part of the Forest (1948), with Fredric March playing husband Marcus. She played his screen wife again for the excellent filming of the Scopes Trial, Inherit the Wind (1960). Florence's most celebrated performance came late in her career, on Broadway, as drug-addicted Mary, half of the battling Tyrones, in Eugene O'Neill's "Long Day's Journey into Night" (1956). For this, she won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award as Best Actress.




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