March 31, 2004
It would be very hard to imagine that the world would accept any change with ease. That could be any process in which something passes by degrees to a different stage especially a more advanced or mature stage. Some are afraid of dealing with the change, whatever that change may be, and that is why one does not even bother interpreting it, not to say accepting it.
Inherit the Wind has all the components of a fantastic movie, one that illustrates that some changes may even be worth fighting for. It provides the information of adapting to the change because that is just what life is.
Firstly, the movie has a winning cast. Jack Lemmon and George C. Scott, two legendary actors, take the lead roles as opposing lawyers in a landmark trial. Beau Bridges, another acting heavyweight, plays a news reporter working for the Baltimore Herald. And off course Lane Smith, gives an intense and impressive performance as a small town reverend.
The second great strength of this film is the story line, which is inspirational, gripping, and layered. Inherit the Wind was adapted from the play of the same title written by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee. Placed in the 1920s, the story opens with the arrest of Bertram T. Cates, a young schoolteacher in the town of Hillsboro. He is arrested for teaching Darwinist theories in his biology class. Under the law in Hillsboro, it is a crime to go against the bible and thats how his teaching is interpreted. During this time period, Darwins theory of evolution was accepted by scholars and was being taught in the public schools of larger American cities like New York, Chicago, and Baltimore. But, Hillsboro, the buckle of the Bibles belt, was one of the many smaller towns that thought Darwins ideas were evil. Word of this arrest and pending trial reaches the major cities and the trial becomes of national interest. Matthew Brady, a former presidential candidate comes to Hillsboro to fight for the church. Henry Drummond, a pronounced atheist, comes to Hillsboro to fight for Bertram.
The main focus of the movie is the trial. The intricacies of the courtroom dramatics are what make the script so interesting. In courtroom dramas, the us against them mentality of most legal systems is usually the focus. Inherit the Wind does not avoid these realities, but it also manages to bring out the gray areas of law and moral issues, thus making it more relevant to those who are watching.
Something evolved from nothing, that something adapted to this other something and evolved to this new something the world has been changing and will continue to change not just environmentally but mentally as well.