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Church and State Movies & TV

Inherit the Wind (1960)

Spencer Tracy, Fredric March, and Gene Kelly star in this classic account of the 1925 Scopes Trial, in which the teaching of evolution was put on trial in Tennessee. Director Stanley Kramer’s cultural politics are transparent, and he monkeys around with the historical details. But Drummond’s character—anti-creationist lawyer Clarence Darrow—evolves brilliantly, and the courtroom scenes are inspired.

The Constitution—That Delicate Balance: School Prayer, Gun Control and the Right to Assemble (1984)

Politicians, lawyers, journalists, and a judge discuss some of the contemporary issues surrounding the Bill of Rights. It’s a bit dated, and the format is dry—but if you like this sort of thing you will find it interesting.

Monkey Trial (2002)

This episode in the award-winning PBS series American Experience explores the Scopes evolution trial of 1925. There is also a useful companion site at http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/monkeytrial/

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