Watch This: Monkey trials stand in for witch hunts in this famed courtroom drama
Every day, Watch This offers staff recommendations inspired by the week’s new releases or premieres. This week: The Oscar-nominated Trumbo and the Coens’ ’50s-set Hollywood farce Hail, Caesar! have us thinking back on films by or featuring artists blacklisted during the Red Scare.
Inherit The Wind (1960)
Director Stanley Kramer solidified his reputation as Hollywood’s preeminent producer of socially conscious mainstream entertainments with Inherit The Wind, his critically hailed 1960 adaptation of the 1955 Broadway play that was loosely based on the controversial 1925 “Scopes monkey trial.” As with his source material, Kramer’s film takes great liberties with that real-life case, and thanks to the contributions of screenwriter Nedrick Young—who, like many others, suffered greatly thanks to the anti-communist Hollywood blacklist—it also doubles as an allegorical condemnation of the Red Scare era. Nominally about the battle over teaching evolution in classrooms, Young’s script resonated …