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Inherit the Wind (1999): I’d Rather Be on the Side of the Apes

Inherit the Wind (Daniel Petrie, 1999)

[originally posted 14Mar2000]

photo credit:

What’s the Matter with Kansas?

Hold the phone. It’s a remake that’s almost as good as the original.

photo credit: me

“I submit to you, the jury, that while anchovies may be not to your personal taste, they are NOT of the devil.”

Much of the brilliance of the new version of Inherit the Wind comes from finding two old fogeys who have the same love/hate chemistry brought to life in the original by Frederic March and Spencer Tracy; in this case, the friendly adversaries are George C. Scott, in his last performance before his death, and Jack Lemmon. Toss in Beau Bridges as the wisecracking journalist and a surprisingly downbeat performance by Thom Everett Scott as the teacher who ends up a guinea pig in one of the biggest trials of the century, and you got yourself a fine film. The comic timing is impeccable on all counts, the lines from the film that have become cliché are delivered with the same freshness that ignited them decades ago, and one can almost believe that Scott and Lemmon actually are Bryan and Darrow haggling it out in a Tennessee courtroom.

photo credit: me

“I did try anchovies once, in college, but I didn’t inhale.”

If you’ve never seen Inherit the Wind, start with the classic Spencer Tracy/Frederic March version from 1960. If you’re a fan of the film already, and have been avoiding this remake because nothing can do the original justice, well, you’re right… but it comes as close as possible. ****


The full film, subtitled in Spanish.

About Robert "Goat" Beveridge

Media critic (amateur, semi-pro, and for one brief shining moment in 2000 pro) since 1986. Guy behind noise/powerelectronics band XTerminal (after many small stints in jazz, rock, and metal bands). Known for being tactless but honest.

One response »

  1. Pingback: Capsule Reviews (vault): July, 2014 | Popcorn for Breakfast

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