Talk:Inherit the Wind (1960 film)
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References to use
- Please add to the list references that can be used for the film article.
- Aquino, John T. (2005). "Scopes 'Monkey Trial' (1925) / Film: Inherit the Wind (1960)". Truth and Lives on Film: The Legal Problems of Depicting Real Persons and Events in a Fictional Medium. McFarland. pp. 112–117. ISBN 0786420448.
It's a drama, not a documentary. Comments like the following reek of bias: "implied message that the creation worldview is erroneous, and the evolution worldview valid. Most commentaries on the play/movie make much of this distortion, but few have thoroughly examined its important propaganda use in the creation versus evolution debate." —Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.127.116.11 (talk) 14:52, 10 August 2010 (UTC)
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The specific differences between the events of the Scopes trial and the dramatized versions of events in the play and in the film are as follows:
- (P) = the published play
- (M) = the 1960 movie
- (M/P) = both versions
- (M) When Bertram Cates is arrested in the classroom and the sheriff asks his name, Cates replies "Come off it Sam, you've known me all my life." In reality, Scopes was born in Kentucky, went to high school in Illinois, and moved to Dayton in 1924 after graduating from the University of Kentucky.
- (M/P) Brady, in answer to Drummond's question about the Origin of Species, says he has no interest in "the pagan hypotheses of that book". In reality, Bryan was familiar with Darwin's writings and quoted them extensively during the trial.
- (M/P) In answer to a question from Drummond, Brady declares that the original sin is sexual intercourse. In reality, the confrontation between Bryan and Darrow never mentioned sex, and virtually all forms of Christianity approve marital intercourse.
- (P) Brady dogmatically affirmed Bishop Ussher's belief that the world was created on October 23, 4004 B.C. In the actual trial, Darrow introduced Ussher's dates, not Bryan. When Darrow asked Bryan if he was aware of the bishop's calculations, Bryan replied, "Yes, but I do not consider them accurate."
- (M/P) Brady betrays Cates' girlfriend, the local preacher's daughter, by questioning her in court about information she told him in confidence. In real life, Scopes did not have a girlfriend, and Bryan did not ask anyone who was under oath to betray any confidences.
- (M/P) When the verdict is announced, Brady protests, loudly and angrily, that the fine is too lenient. In reality, Scopes was fined the minimum the law required, and Bryan offered to pay the fine. In addition, contrary to assertions made in the movie, the law did not provide for imprisonment.
- (M) The plot line regarding Mr and Mrs Stebbins and the death of their son by drowning is allegedly based on a true incident. In fact the event occurred several years earlier — before Scopes ever moved to Dayton — and is believed to have motivated George Rappleyea to turn against fundamentalist Christianity.
- (M/P) After the sentence is pronounced, Brady protests loudly and collapses from an apparent heart attack. A short time later, Drummond and Hornbeck are informed that that Brady is dead. In fact, Bryan died in his sleep during an afternoon nap five days after the trial had concluded.
- (M/P) Even though Cates is found guilty, Drummond declares victory because he had made a mockery of the state's law against the teaching of evolution. In fact, Scopes' conviction was later overturned on a technicality (the judge had determined the fine instead of the jury). Tennessee's law against the teaching of evolution was not repealed until 1967.
- (M/P) After the trial and Brady's death, Drummond says that Brady had once been a great man. E.K. Hornbeck brushes that aside saying that the man had died of a "busted belly." According to Jeffery P. Moran's The Scopes Trial, it was Darrow who claimed that Bryan had died of a busted belly, with Mencken gloating "Well, we killed the poor man."
- (P) Hornbeck is depicted as an atheist. H. L. Mencken was in fact an agnostic whose writings attacked only certain aspects of Christianity, such as infant damnation, Biblical literalism, predestination, and hostility to Darwin. But he had no real quarrel with the Protestant mainstream of his day, and admired Catholic ritual.
- (M) Cates is held in jail before and during the trial. Scopes was never held in detention; a local businessman posted the necessary bond to allow his freedom after his arrest.
Theory of Film as McCarthyism Parable
While I'm sure the playwright was thinking about the McCarthy trials at the time, I'm not convinced it is truly a "Red Scare" parable. The article cites "'The Inherit the controversy' By BILL BLANKENSHIP The Capital-Journal Published Friday, March 02, 2001 which contains many of the above-mentioned differences between play and movie, but does not make a case for specifically referencing McCarthy in any way. "'The crux of the matter virtually has nothing to do with evolution but instead is about an individual's right to think independently,' Goheen said." Although this evokes a lesson applicable to the McCarthy trials, there is no reference or other similarity, apart from being set in courtrooms. One would expect the article and the differences noted above would contain something to make the trials scenes more like the McCarthy witch-hunt. None of them do. Tumacama (talk) 20:39, 18 June 2010 (UTC)