MotR 2018, Week 5: INHERIT THE WIND
Though ostensibly about the Scopes Monkey Trials, "Inherit the Wind" was understood in its day to be a political commentary of the 1950s era anti-intellectualism. Adapted from an extremely popular (and also politically charged) play of the same name, director Stanley Kramer pointedly chose two 'blacklisted' screenwriters for the project.
The opportunity to play a character based on Clarence Darrow, one of the ACLU's greatest orators, showcases Spencer Tracy's talent splendidly, and Gene Kelly (who doesn't dance at all in this movie) takes an unexpected role as a judgmental, brilliant reporter modeled after the real life H. L. Mencken. The acting is superb, the political commentary cutting, and the heated courtroom suspense palpable.
Nominated for four Academy Awards, including Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay, this is a movie to have in your viewing repertoire!