Monday, February 8, 2016

Inherit the Wind

The Scopes trial definitely has the material for a great film, the problem we always get the same thing, an adaptation of Inherit the Wind. Inherit the Wind is not a great play. Rather than making us see the viewpoint of skeptic through overcoming the opposition of an educated religious man, the film just makes every religious person an over the top idiot, even the educated Matthew Brady based upon William Jennings Bryan. They are almost one note, save for Brady, but he goes from slightly sympathetic to full blown hammy madness at the drop of the hat. The film tries to have to both ways with Gene Kelly's character being rebuked at the end, but that honestly the moment is not really earned since we really only saw Brady in one light. The real story offered something far more interesting this is just the depiction of the taking down of a straw man. Now it has some nicely written moments in terms of the spoken words, Tracy and Kelly are both good, but this is mostly negated by just how ridiculous everything else is in the film Fredric March's performance included. Stanley Kramer, though he can make a courtroom visually compelling, was not the right choice as he was never one for subtle messages so he only amplifies the extreme nature of the source material.

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