Inherit the Wind


Mary D. Fisher Theatre Fri, Sep 16 7:00 PM
Film Info
Event Type:Narrative Feature
Release Year:1960
Run Time:128 minutes
Production Country:United States
Original Language:English
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Stanley Kramer
Cast:Spencer Tracy
Fredric March
Gene Kelly
Dick York
Donna Anderson
Harry Morgan
Claude Akins


Democrats of the Red Rocks (DORR) is sponsoring the showing of “Inherit the Wind” at the Sedona International Film Festival’s Mary D. Fisher Theatre on Friday, September 16 at 7 pm.

The classic 1960 film “Inherit the Wind” is a fictionalized version of the famous 1925 Scopes “Monkey Trial” that challenged a Tennessee state law banning the teaching of the theory of evolution in public schools. During an early trial scene there is a speech by the defense attorney (played by Spencer Tracy) that unfortunately has resonance today. “Don’t you understand that if you take a law like evolution and you make it a crime to teach it in the public schools, tomorrow you can make it a crime to teach it in the private schools? And the next day you may make it a crime to read about it. And soon you may ban books and newspapers . . .”

The actual so-called “Monkey Trial” of 1925 put a high school teacher named John T. Scopes on trial for violating a state law prohibiting the teaching of any theory that denied the biblical account of divine creation. Charles Darwin's theory of evolution was also on trial. Two of America’s most famous lawyers contested the case; Scopes defended by the legendary Clarence Darrow, and the prosecution led by three-time presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan (played in the film by Frederic March).

Almost 100 years since the Scopes trial, America is once again dealing with efforts in many states to reject scientific theories and the banning of books in schools and libraries.

The film version of “Inherit the Wind” was based on a 1955 stage play by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee. Directed by Stanley Kramer, the film earned four Academy Award nominations, including Spencer Tracy for “Best Actor.”

There will be a panel discussion and Q & A session following the film featuring DORR Board members Stephen Hanks, Kathy Kinsella and local attorney Mik Jordahl.

Democrats of the Red Rocks is an all-volunteer organization serving Sedona, the Village of Oak Creek, and the Verde Valley communities that has championed voter rights since 2003. Among DORR’s events are a monthly “Zoom Breakfast,” featuring Sedona-area and Arizona political figures and issues, and a monthly “Zoom Film Club,” where attendees engage in lively discussion. DORR welcomes all independent-minded citizens and volunteers at its office located at 105 Roadrunner Drive, Suite 2A in West Sedona. For more information on DORR membership, programs, and events, visit or email at or call 928-212-1357.