Twilight Time Blu-Ray: Inherit the Wind (1960)

Inherit the Wind (1960)

Blu-ray Company Release: Twilight Time

Starring : Spencer Tracy, Fredric March, Gene Kelly, Dick York, Donna Anderson, Harry Morgan, Florence Eldridge, Claude Akins, Elliott Reid, Paul Hartman, Jimmy Boyd, Noah Beery Jr, Norman Fell, Hope Summers, Ray Teal, Renee Godfrey,

Plot: Courtroom drama based on the real-life Scopes “Monkey” Trial of 1925. A defense attorney (Spencer Tracy) faces off against a fundamentalist prosecutor (Fredric March) in the case of a young schoolteacher (Dick York) brought to trial for breaking a “wicked law” that forbids the teaching of evolution in local public schools. Creationism versus evolution is the still-relevant theme of the film, which passionately asserts “the right to think.

My Review and Thoughts:

Film Review: (5/5)

Cinema masterpiece. This is one of great pieces of cinema history. A true triumphant of cinema mastery. Thought provoking and stunningly directed and acted. A story that stays with you and gives a lingering impression of film as true art. I am so happy Twilight Time Blu-ray has honored this great film with the outlet of allowing viewers to experience it in a crisp and vibrant clarity like it’s never been seen before.

Twilight Time did an utterly beautiful job. I can't believe how perfect it looks. This is a film that I have always returned to over and over again. It's a film that showcases what acting truly can be. It's a film defined by history because it traces a moment in history and brings it to life in film form. This is the fictionalized version of a real moment in history the one and only famous 1925 trail known as the Scopes Monkey Trial. Now I live in Tennessee and so this is always a huge subject in my states history. The low down of the story is in real life a substitute teacher named John Scopes taught the idea of evolution. Now this was against the law in 1925 in Tennessee and so there was more or less a big show trail. But the film itself uses this subject but in reality there is another purpose to the film. 

It’s showcases and uses the underling subject of McCarthyism which was one of the worst moments in American History. Now McCarthyism is the idea to accuse one without evidence. Mainly people where accused of being communists and spies and using the idea of treason without any regards to facts. Many people where accused and destroyed and blacklisted during these years of 1950 to 1956. It was a sad day in history with this horrible means of persecution without merit and so Inherit the Wind uses that subject as a backdrop accusing the teacher of teaching evolution. McCarthyism or the Scopes Monkey Trail was basically put, a means to control and halt public knowledge. It was to keep fact covered up by fiction. It was a means to keep the public in the dark and not to further knowledge of the real facts.

Starring some of the all-time greats of cinema. The master and one of a kind performer that I consider beyond the idea of just an actor, and that’s the master of acting, the one and only Spencer Tracy who is the definition of acting. Also starring Fredric March, Gene Kelly, Dick York, Harry Morgan, Donna Anderson, Claude Akins, Noah Beery Jr, Florence Eldridge and Jimmy Boyd. With a cast as important as that there is no need to showcase how important the performances are because there are movies that stand out as being flawless in acting performances and Inherit the Wind is one of the them. Not only is the story important and the overall film and direction to the art of cinema but it’s the acting that aces it. This is a film I hold high on the pedestal in the art of dialogue and interactions between the performers. It’s a fine piece of written word and also a fine piece of performing art.

Directed by a master of cinema the extraordinary Stanley Kramer who has given us the likes of The Defiant Ones and Judgment at Nuremberg and most of all Inherit the Wind. The tour-de-force dialogue and performances give to the viewer a style of real life happenings. Even though the film is a classic black and white, it seems real and it is as important as when it came out, as it is now. Kramer always had away with creating and expressing shocking and touchy subjects. He explored the darker tones of life and subjects that touched the nerves and emotional attitudes of people. He always touched the ideas of racism and war and evolution and the greed of peoples. He created some of my favorite films of all time and Inherit the Wind is one of them. Twilight Time Blu-ray honored Kramer with this excellent special edition Blu-ray. Twilight Time recently released one of his other powerhouses of true thought provoking cinema 1961’s Judgment at Nuremberg which you can read my review here: Like Nuremberg Twilight Time aced and utterly floored me with their mastery for creating a wonderful Blu-ray release of Inherit the Wind.

This is based on the play which has the same name written by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee. I want to make something clear this is not based in historical reality because many things were added and created for entertainment value but the basis of the subject and the idea is real and so the movie expresses itself into a believable reality that shines in an understanding of this dark days of humanity were the logic of science and fact or better yet to accuse and destroy ran rampant in human society. For the film adaption of the screen play Nedrick Young and Harold Jacob Smith brought it to the big screen in script form. I feel the play transcends to film form in a clarity that shines through all four writers. From the play to the screenplay the subject stands out in fascinating ways for the viewer.

This is truly a fascinating film that still causes the viewer an emotional reality as they are watching. It was nominated for four Academy Awards but I still can’t understand how it did not become nominated for best feature film or how it did not win for best actor. It’s a film that should have won every award and more. It’s a touchy subject even today with evolution and creation battling it out and I cannot imagine what it was like back in the day when this movie came out. Being from Tennessee the Scopes Trail was a main subject growing up in my school years. This was a movie that was shown in my history class even though they change a lot of the facts and reality to the real story itself, it is still a representative of the subject and also of the idea of control by not being able to express all sides of beliefs.

Audio/Video: (5/5)

This is the best I have ever seen it. I remember the VHS version and even seeing the DVD version was not anything to talk about but seeing it so lovingly crafted on this Blu-ray is spectacular and truly something to talk about and own.

VIDEO: 1080p High Definition / 1.85:1
AUDIO: English 1.0 DTS-HD MA
1960 / B & W

Extras: (2.5/5)

Something I absolutely love about most of the Twilight Time Blu-ray’s is the special feature of the isolated score. The mastery of the films music score is always a plus. I loved being able to experience the music score in an isolated format on this Special Edition 3,000 unit production. A true plus for any movie buff and most of all music buff.

Hearing Composer and songwriter Ernest Gold’s music mastery on this disc is ear numbing perfection. He had away with capturing ear candy. An excellent means to cause reaction through his musical mastery.

Yeah I would have liked to have a commentary but just having this film on Blu-ray is the greatest special feature ever.

Isolated Music & Effects Track
Original Theatrical Trailer

Booklet insert by film historian Julia Kirgo. Always a treat to read these little insert booklets. I look forward to them.

Overall Product Review: (4/5)

Can’t write my praise more then I already have. It’s a shining Blu-ray that expresses perfection. Something that should be owned. A masterpiece film of acting. An equally masterpiece production of a Blu-ray. 


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