Inherit the Wind (1999) Movie Script

Good morning, young ladies and gentlemen.
- Morning.
- Morning.
And visitors.
For our science lesson today,
we shall continue our discussions
of dannin's theory on the descent of man.
As I told you yesterday,
dannin's theory tells us that we evolve
from a lower order of animals,
from the first wriggling protozoa
in the sea,
to the ape and finally to man.
Bertram t. Cates?
Come off it, Sam,
you've known me all my life.
Bertram cates, you are charged
with violation of public act 31428,
"volume 37 in the state code,"
"which makes it unlawful for any teacher
of the public schools"
to teach any theory that denies the
creation of man as taught in the Bible,"
"and to teach instead that man has
descended from a lower order of animals."
Bertram t. Cates,
I hereby place you under arrest.
An American martyr was born this morning
at precisely 8:00 am.
Eastern standstill time.
His name is Bertram cates.
Heavenly hillsboro, if you please.
And the almanac says
the population is 2,164,
elevation 702 feet,
intellectual quotient zero,
will become the news capital
for the entire uncivilized world.
But that won't be the sound of crickets
the blockheads of hillsboro hear,
but the machine gunnery of telegraph keys
beating out the trial of the century.
It's dan/vin versus jehovah,
and the devil take the hindmost.
Now, get me a ticket
on the next train out.
Everybody just calm down.
Now listen to this,
monkey shines in hillsboro."
"The monkey trial.
I'm telling you,
the whole world is laughing at us.
Look, here's another one,
this one's from Chicago.
Heavenly hillsboro,
does it have a hole in its head,
"or is its head in a hole?"
- Now, I'm telling you, we've gone too far.
- Let 'em laugh.
I'm telling you, we are fighting
the lord's battle here.
I'd sight rather have
some heathen laugh at me
than have my sons laugh at my Bible.
They mocked the lord, too, didn't they?
And they spat upon him
and he turned to them his other cheek.
Look, reverend,
we don't want to smite 'em back,
we just want to make them stop.
Tom, you're the prosecuting attorney,
isn't there something we can do?
In view of my position, I hardly think
it ethical to express my opinion.
Maybe you ought to go back
to law school then.
I mean, what do we care what a bunch of
city fellows and foreigners think?
You ever had a frenchman
stay in your hotel?
And what about you, Joe?
When was the last time you sold
a pound of grits
to some fancy man from New York City?
- Now, hold on.
- Friends...
As you know, I deal in figures,
counts, checks, balances.
My bank operates on a principle
of practical reality, and so do I.
Are you aware, my friends,
that the great universities will consider
applicant students from our state
ineligible because of this law?
Now, I don't know whose idea it was
to hang a shingle on hillsboro
spelling "horse and buggy,"
but as for me,
I won't invest in antiquity.
I want my banks holding credit
in New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois,
and I may want my son to go to Yale.
Now, I believe as much as anyone
in this room
in a basic, fundamentalist interpretation
of the Bible,
- but we can't close our eyes to all...
- Wait a minute.
"Brady volunteers to prosecute
in monkey trial."
Matthew Harrison Brady.
God has sent us his right hand.
Matt Brady.
Looks like I'll be working with him.
They'll come pouring out of the hills.
Town'll fill up
like a rain barrel in a flood.
It will be bigger than the state fair.
Aren't they gonna need places to sleep?
All those people, they got to eat.
This will put hillsboro
on the map of this country.
We must give thanks onto the lord.
Let us pray.
You better start praying, son.
Imagine, Matthew Harrison Brady
coming here.
I voted for him for president, twice.
In 1900, and again in '08.
I wasn't old enough to vote for him
first time he ran, but my pa did.
Seen him once in chautauqua meeting
in chattanooga.
When he spoke, the tent Poles shook.
Who's your lawyer gonna be, son?
I don't know yet.
Some organization in New York
is supposed to be sending somebody.
Yeah? He better be loud.
Now, who can that be?
Bert, you don't mind, do you?
Just for the looks of it.
Can't tell who it might be.
Supposed to be in jail,
I better be in jail.
I'm coming. I'm coming.
Who is it?
Mr. Meeker?
Well, hello, Rachel, come on in.
Got a present for Bert?
Mr. Meeker, please don't tell my father
I came here.
The reverend don't tell me his business.
Don't know why I should tell him mine.
- Is Bert all right?
- Don't know why he shouldn't be.
You know, I always figured
the safest place in the world is a jail.
As long as I've been bailiff here,
we never had nothing but drunks,
vagrants, couple chicken thieves.
Seems kind of queer to have
a schoolteacher in a jail.
Might improve the writing on the walls.
You wait here, I'll bring him up.
Don't run off, Bert.
Bert, tell 'em you're sorry,
that it was all a mistake. Please.
Sure, tell them that if they let my body
out of jail, I'd lock up my mind.
Could you stand that, Rachel?
- At least we'd be together.
- It wouldn't be the same.
- But it would be...
- Rach...
Remember those long walks on those
warm, dark nights along the river bank?
Wondering what the stars were for.
What was on the other side of the moon.
There'd be no more of that.
- We could still have that.
- No, no, Rachel.
We couldn't.
You got another visitor, Bert.
So, this is where the fate of learning
will be decided for the next 10,000 years.
Can it be that both beauty and biology
are on our side?
- Who are you?
- Hornbeck's the name. E.K. Hornbeck.
Baltimore herald.
Yes, I've heard of you.
And my typewriter's been singing
a sweet, sad song
about the hillsboro heretic, b. Cates.
Modern day Dreyfus,
Romeo with a biology book.
And you must be Juliet.
My name is Rachel brown.
You make me sound like a martyr.
You could be.
But you haven't won your halo yet.
That comes after you've been tossed
into the arena with the lion.
- You mean Brady?
- Bullseye.
I don't want Bert to be a martyr.
- What are you trying to prove anyway?
- Good question.
All I want to do is teach my students
that man wasn't stuck here
like a geranium in a flower pot.
That life comes from a long miracle,
it didn't just happen in seven days.
Couldn't have said it better.
But it's against the law.
A schoolteacher is a public servant.
He should do what the law
and the school board tell him to do.
I don't see anything funny in all this,
Mr. Hornbeck.
Objection sustained.
Neither do I.
Then why don't you leave us alone?
You newspaper people have already
stirred up enough trouble for Bert.
What do you want anyway?
I came to tell boy socrates here
that the Baltimore herald
is opposed to hemlock.
Don't worry, Juliet.
I may be rancid butter,
but I'm on your side of the bread.
I'm afraid, Bert.
I'm afraid, too.
Friends of hillsboro,
Mrs. Brady and I are delighted
to be among you.
We all voted for you three times.
I sincerely hope it was
in three separate elections.
I can only wish for one thing,
that you had not given us quite
so warm a welcome.
- Here you are, Mr. Brady.
- Bless you. No, thank you.
Mr. Matthew Harrison Brady,
as mayor of hillsboro, may I say,
this municipality is proud to have
within its city limits
a lawyer who has always fought
for us ordinary people.
Why, the lady folks of this town
wouldn't have the vote
if it wasn't for you fighting
to give them all that suffrage.
Mr. President Wilson would never
have gotten to the white house
and won the war if it wasn't for you
supporting him
and being his secretary of state.
In conclusion...
Fan, mister?
Compliments Mason's funeral parlor,
just 5 cents.
I'd rather die first.
To confer upon you a commission
as honorary colonel in the state militia.
Colonel Brady. I like the sound of that.
Who, may I ask,
is the spiritual leader of this community?
The reverend Jeremiah brown.
How do you do, sir?
Would you step right in
and stand on my right?
- My pleasure, sir.
- Thank you.
Friends of hillsboro,
you know why I've come here.
Not merely to prosecute a lawbreaker,
I have come because something has happened
in a schoolroom in your town
that has unloosed a wicked attack
from the big cities of the north.
We did not seek this struggle.
We are simple people who ask only
to live in brotherhood and in peace,
and Cherish our loved ones,
teach our children the ways
of righteousness and of the lord.
But what would they teach them,
these idolaters,
these priests of evolution?
What would they have them do?
They would have them measure the distance
between the stars
and forget him who holds the stars
in his hand.
They would Rob them
of their creator in the beginning
and their hope of heaven in the end.
And for the morality of brotherly love,
they would substitute
the immorality of self-love.
They are lost, my friends, for I tell you,
the man believes he is descended
from the beast.
He must remain a beast!
And as the young wolf turns on the old,
so these innocent ones,
corrupted and despairing of salvation,
will turn upon their fathers.
We will have a land of sodom and gomorrah,
pestilence, fire, hatred and death.
It is for this crime,
this crime against man and god,
that we must make an example
of that teacher who would sow the seeds
of frustration and despair
in the minds of our young ones here.
The whole world must see
- how this criminal...
- No!
It isn't true.
Bert cates isn't a criminal.
What is your name, young lady?
Rachel brown.
She's my daughter, colonel Brady.
Your daughter, reverend?
A lovely young woman she is, too.
- You're a schoolteacher, too, I see.
- Yes.
I'm sure that you teach
according to the precepts of the lord.
Yes, I try.
Has this Mr. Gates
ever tried to pollute your mind
with any of his heathen dogma?
Bert isn't a heathen, Mr. Brady.
- He was only...
- Rachel.
No, my friends.
This young woman's inability
to recognize the face of evil
testifies to her own innocence.
My dear, I understand
the feeling of loyalty,
of Christian charity, if you will,
that moves you to defend a colleague
fallen from grace,
and I have no personal malice
toward this misguided young man,
but he is condemned by his own acts.
And no one on earth can defend him
from the just punishment that awaits him.
You taking questions, colonel Brady?
By all means. Do I know you, sir?
Working press, e. K. Hornbeck
of the Baltimore herald.
I've often taken issue
with the mocking tone
of Mr. Hornbeck's columns,
but I will entertain
his query nonetheless.
I wonder if you have any reaction
to who your adversary is going to be
in this case.
Well, I've not yet been informed
who my adversary is,
but given the belief in the righteousness
of our cause,
it hardly makes any difference.
It's Henry drummond, colonel.
Does that make any difference?
Who's Henry drummond?
Henry drummond, the atheist.
He's a vicious, godless man,
a creature of darkness,
an agent of the devil!
- Don't let him in town!
- Keep him out!
Keep him out! Keep him out! Keep him out!
Keep him out! Keep him out! Keep him out!
- Keep him out! Keep him out!
- Dear friends, please, please.
I believe that we should
welcome Henry drummond.
If the enemy
sends his Goliath into battle,
it magnifies our cause.
Henry drummond has stalked
the courtrooms of this land for 40 years.
When he fights, headlines follow!
The whole world
will be watching our victory
over Henry drummond.
If Saint George had killed a dragonfly
instead of a dragon,
who would remember him?
We here in hillsboro
have an opportunity to slay
not only the devil's disciple,
but the devil himself.
I waited supper for you.
It's on the table.
Peace will come, my daughter.
We must thank god
the sinner stands naked and exposed.
Stop preaching, pa.
You're upset, my darling.
- I have something to tell you.
- Let's eat something.
- No.
- We'll talk after.
Right now.
I'm not leaving Bert.
I don't understand.
You heard what Mr. Brady said.
I love him, pa. I love him.
It's a love of Judas.
Rachel, this man has nothing to offer you
but sin.
What's he done?
What's he done that's so terrible?
Why do you hate him so?
Because I love god and I hate his enemies.
Bert loves god.
Then what's he doing with Henry drummond?
Why is he bringing Henry drummond
down here to spew his atheistic filth
into the ears of our people?
Rachel, Rachel, you're a schoolteacher.
You know how easy it is
to mold minds for good
or twist 'em for evil.
Bert didn't twist any minds.
You are infected
with the poison of his agnosticism!
Rachel, Rachel, get down on your knees.
- Beg for forgiveness.
- Forgiveness for what?
Because you betrayed me.
You have betrayed your faith.
I haven't betrayed anybody.
I'm glad your mother's not alive
to hear this.
- Pa, listen to me.
- But if she is watching down from heaven,
I ask her to forgive you, to forgive me.
Forgive her, mother.
- Oh, dear god, forgive me...
- Ever since I was a little girl,
- I'd wake up at night afraid of the dark.
- For I have sinned.
- Like the whole house was upside-down.
- Forgive me. Dear god...
And if I didn't hang on to the mattress,
I'd fall out into the sky.
I wanted to run to you
and have you tell me that I was safe.
For I have tried to be
both mother and father to our child!
I was always more afraid of you
than of falling.
- It's the same way now!
- I have failed! I have failed!
- Pa!
- I have failed!
Tell me what to do!
Guide my faltering steps.
I love my daughter.
- How can I save her? Tell me what to do.
- Pa, get up.
Get up. Please get up.
And I shall sprinkle clean water upon you.
- Get up.
- And you shall be clean.
- And a new heart also will I give you.
- Get up.
And a new spirit will I put within you.
- Thank you.
- Thank you, sir.
Hello, devil. Welcome to hell.
Hello, hornbeck.
Hey, you know where the mansion house is?
That's where I'm staying, follow me.
Hillsboro, the heavenly hillsboro,
the buckle on the Bible belt.
- Popcorn.
- Popcorn!
Cotton candy!
Cotton candy!
- Want some?
- No.
Quite a circus, huh?
Look at this.
Welcome to hillsboro!
Did you come to testify
for the prosecution or the defense?
You're on the jury, kid.
Hey, you Henry drummond?
- Yes, I am.
- I'm Royce McHenry, farmer hereabouts.
Nice to know you, Mr. McHenry.
I want to tell you,
we just plain folk down here.
We don't need no outsiders
telling us how or what to think.
Well, that's not my mission, Mr. McHenry.
Well, why don't you go back
where you came from?
They get a little riled up, don't they?
Their Messiah arrived yesterday.
Might as well
give your ulcers a break, drummond.
Go home. You'll win no victories here.
Listen, I've been a lawyer long enough
to know you don't win
any total victories anywhere.
Total victories?
There's only one man in this town
who knows how to think, and he's in jail.
Well, that's why I'm here.
Local greeting committee.
Mr. Drummond, we're members
of Mr. Cates' homeroom and biology class.
We like Mr. Cates.
We hope you do right by him.
I do, too, son. I do, too.
Thank you.
Then we would carry the fight
to the people of each sovereign state.
Sarah, you're looking as lovely as always.
- It's so good to see you, Henry.
- Excuse me, gentlemen.
I only wish it weren't
under these circumstances.
Henry drummond!
- How are you, Henry?
- Hello, Matt.
Well, I see that
you've already made friends
with some of the younger set.
Well, youth appeals to me these days.
We're not getting any younger, Henry.
You're not eating again. Matt...
You know what the doctor said
about overeating in this heat.
Don't worry, mother, we need strength
for the fight ahead!
Here's your room key.
It's you again, Mr. Hornbeck.
I read your article yesterday.
Very biased reporting, I must say.
It is a newspaper's duty
to comfort the afflicted
and afflict the comfortable.
See you in court, counselor.
I don't like that fellow.
Come on, Henry, let me introduce you
to some of the good people
of hillsboro.
This is Mr. Carter, the mayor.
Welcome to hillsboro, Mr. Drummond.
Thank you, Mr. Mayor.
The prosecuting attorney
for this district, Mr. Davenport.
We'll be working together.
Mr. Drummond, sir, I want to assure you
that while we may not
agree with your ideas,
we certainly respect your right
to voice them.
Good boy.
Mr. Drummond and I
have fought side by side
in a good many battles for the rights
of the common people of this country.
Twice he campaigned for me
when I ran for president.
- Isn't that right, Henry?
- That's right, Matt.
Now, after all these years,
we find ourselves on the opposite side
of an issue.
Well, that's evolution for you.
Good afternoon, gentlemen, thank you.
You may take a seat
in the jury box, Mr. Jenkins.
Mr. Meeker, call a venireman
to fill the 12th seat on the jury.
Jesse h. Dunlap. You're next, Jesse.
There'll be no more
of that picture-taking, I warned you.
And I will tolerate no disturbance
or demonstrations in this courtroom.
This is a trial, not a dog and pony show.
Stuffing his face with fried chicken
and belching platitudes.
You reporters, keep your voices down
or I'll ban you from the court.
I just got the hook. I'll call you later.
I wonder, before we continue,
if the court will entertain a motion
on a matter of procedure.
Will the learned prosecutor
state the motion?
It's been called to my attention
that the temperature in this room
is now 97 degrees fahrenheit.
And it may get hotter.
I don't think
the dignity of the court will suffer
should we dispose
of a few superfluous outer garments.
Does the defense have any objection
to colonel Brady's motion?
No, but I just wonder
if the dignity of the court
can be upheld
with these gallouses I got on.
We'll take that chance, Mr. Drummond.
Those who wish to remove their coats
may do so.
Is the council for the defense
showing us the latest fashions
from the great metropolitan city
of Chicago?
I'm glad you asked that.
You see, I brought these along special.
Just so happens, I purchased 'em
at the general store
in your hometown, Mr. Brady,
weeping water, Nebraska.
Let us proceed with the selection
of the final juror.
State your name and occupation.
Jesse h. Dunlap, farming implements.
We sell tractors...
Sit down, Jesse.
Do you believe in the Bible, Mr. Dunlap?
I believe in the holy word of god
and Matthew Harrison Brady.
I believe this man is acceptable
to the prosecution, thank you.
Mr. Drummond?
No questions, not acceptable.
Does Mr. Drummond refuse this man
a place on the jury
simply because he believes in the Bible?
If you can find an evolutionist
in this town, you can refuse him.
I object to the counsel
for the defense rejecting
a worthy citizen without so much
as asking him a question.
All right, Mr. Brady,
I'll ask him a question.
- How are you?
- Kind of hot.
So am I. Excused.
You are excused from jury duty,
Mr. Dunlap.
- You may step down.
- And I object to the note of levity.
Counsel for the defense is introducing
into these proceedings.
The bench agrees with you in spirit,
colonel Brady.
Really? Well, I object
to this damn "colonel" business.
Apparently, I'm not aware of
the military record of Mr. Brady.
Well, he was made honorary colonel
in our state militia
the day he arrived in hillsboro.
Well, that title automatically
prejudices my client's case.
It conjures up some image of
the prosecutor astride a white horse
decked out in full regalia
of a militia colonel,
with all the forces of right
and righteousness amassed behind him.
Well, we certainly want to give you
a fair hearing in this courtroom.
We don't want anything prejudicial
to your client.
What do you suggest we do, counselor?
Break him. Make him a private.
I have no serious objection
to the honorary title of private Brady.
Your honor...
You know our mayor, Mr. Drummond?
He has a suggestion to make.
By the authority of...
Well, I'm sure the governor
won't have any objection.
I hereby appoint you, Mr. Drummond,
a temporary honorary colonel
in the state militia.
What can I say?
It is not every day, sir,
that one attains the exalted rank
- of temporary honorary colonel.
- Colonel.
Thank you, sir.
They ought to get him
a uniform of tar and feathers.
- That'd teach him some respect.
- Colonel Brady,
colonel drummond,
you will examine the next venireman.
George sillers, come to the stand.
State your name and occupation.
- George sillers. I work at the feed store.
- Be seated, George.
Tell me, sir,
would you call yourself a religious man?
Well, I guess I'm as religious
as the next man.
In hillsboro, sir,
that means a great deal.
Mr. Sillers, do you have any children?
Not as I know of.
If you had a son or a daughter,
what would you think
if that sweet child came home
from school one day,
and told you that a godless teacher...
Objection! We're supposed
to be selecting jurymen.
Prosecution is already denouncing
my client
before the trial has even started.
Objection sustained.
Mr. Sillers, do you have any opinions
in regard to the defendant
that might prejudice you on his behalf?
I don't hardly know him.
Come in and bought some peat moss once.
Paid his bill on time.
Mr. Sillers impresses me as an honest,
god-fearing man. I accept him.
Thank you, colonel Brady.
Colonel drummond?
Mr. Sillers,
now, you said that you are
a religious man.
Now, tell me, you work at it very hard?
Well, I'm pretty busy down there
at the feed store,
so my wife tends to the religion
for the both of us.
I see. You take care of this life,
she takes care of the next one?
That is objected to
as immaterial and argumentative.
Objection sustained.
While your wife is tending
to the religion,
did you ever bump into
a fella named Charles Darwin?
Not till just recent.
Well, from what you've heard
about this Mr. Dan/vin,
do you think he's someone your wife
would have over for Sunday dinner?
Your honor, my worthy opponent
from Chicago is cluttering up the issue
with hypothetical questions.
I have already established
that Mr. Sillers
is not working very hard at religion.
Now, for your sake, I'm trying to find out
if he's working hard at evolution.
I'm just working at the feed store.
Mr. Sillers, do you think that you can
render an impartial decision...
Out of order. Prosecution
has already accepted this man.
- All I want is a fair trial.
- So do I.
Unless the state of mind
of the members of the jury
conforms to the laws
and patterns of society...
Oh, conform, conform!
What do you wanna do,
run the entire jury through a meat grinder
so they'll all come out the same?
Take a box seat, Mr. Sillers.
- Your honor...
- Gentlemen, you are both out of order.
The bench rules
that the jury has been selected.
Due to the excessive heat,
the court will adjourn
until tomorrow morning at 10:00.
Reverend brown wanted you to read this.
One moment, one moment.
The reverend brown has asked me
to read this announcement.
"There will be a prayer meeting tonight
in the town square"
"to pray forjustice and guidance.
All are invited."
I object to this commercial announcement.
Commercial announcement?
Yes, for reverend brown's product.
Why don't you announce
a meeting for evolution?
I have no knowledge of such a meeting.
Well, that's understandable.
Your honor, it's bad enough
that everybody coming into this courtroom
has to walk in under a banner
that says, "read your Bible."
I want that banner taken down.
Or else another one put up
that's just as big,
and with letters just as big,
that says, "read your Darwin."
- That's preposterous!
- It certainly is.
Order! Order!
Ladies and gentlemen, friends, order, now.
We want the learned counsel from the north
to receive every fairness
and consideration in this trial.
We must not forget that he is our guest.
Guest? Hell! I'm a lawyer in a courtroom!
- Well, then behave like a lawyer.
- You're both out of order.
Stop using this courtroom as
a sounding board for your obscene ideas,
dirtying the minds
of our young people here.
You're both out of order.
Court stands adjourned.
My conduct as a lawyer
is not in question in this courtroom,
- least of all by you.
- Well, your language is.
Look, I don't swear
just for the hell of it.
Language is a poor enough
form of communication.
We need every damn word that we've got.
And there's damn few of those words
that everybody understands.
I'll fix you, Bert cates. Atheist!
All right, folks, that's about enough.
All right, folks, let's clear
the courtroom, now. Everybody go home.
Just remember
the Baltimore herald is with you,
right up to the lynching.
Bert, you gotta call the whole thing off.
Now. Right now.
Excuse me, who are you, young lady?
This is Rachel brown. We're engaged.
Reverend brown's daughter.
Don't you see what's happening?
They're using you as a weapon
against your own people.
What you think or believe
isn't the point anymore.
You're helping something bad.
It's not quite that simple, young lady,
you know.
Good or bad, black or white, night or day.
Did you know at the top of the world,
that the twilight is six months long?
Bert and I don't live on top of the world.
We live in hillsboro,
and when the sun goes down, it's dark.
And why do you have to come here
and make it different?
I didn't come here
to make hillsboro different.
I came here to fight for his right
to be different.
That's the point.
Now, what do you say, boy?
I don't know what the point is anymore.
I tried to teach their kids.
I tried to open the minds of their kids.
Their kids.
I tried to give them knowledge
that they could use.
And they're using it
as a stranglehold on me.
You're learning, cates.
Disillusionment is what
little heroes are made of.
You're off to a good start.
Well, where do I finish? Dead?
With a paper medal on my chest?
"Bert cates, world's biggest chump.
He died fighting." Let's face it.
To him, I'm a headline,
and to you, I'm a cause.
And to yourself?
You chose to get into this,
not for his headline or for my cause,
maybe not even for their kids.
Every Saint is self-employed.
You did it for yourself
because you found something to believe in.
I didn't believe
that it would happen this way.
These people look at me
as if I were a murderer.
Well, you are, in a way.
You tear down
one of their little fairy tales,
they'll come down on you
with the wrath of god, Brady,
and the state legislature every damn time.
Anyway, it's up to you, cates.
I can change your plea.
We'll just forget about
the whole business, on one condition.
You tell me
you really think the law is right
and you are wrong.
I'll pack my grip, go back to Chicago,
where it's a cool 100 in the shade.
Bert, I've gone to my father's church
every Sunday
for as long as I can remember.
This is where I live.
This is where my children will be born.
But what kind of life could we have
if I give up now?
Your father's kind?
Hallelujah and ignorance, here we come?
I can't live that way.
Sorry, Bert. I got to take you back now.
You ever been in love, hornbeck?
Only with the sound of my own words,
thank god.
Thank you, o lord, dear father,
from whom all blessings flow,
for thy bounty.
Make us worthy of thy grace. Amen.
Go ahead, Henry.
I said grace for you, too.
Got any idea how long the trial will last?
Month, maybe longer. It depends
whether they let us call witnesses.
Single state in this union
where the evolutionists have a majority.
I'll congratulate them
as soon as I finish this soup.
Mr. Brady, how do you account
for the unfavorable comment...
Excuse me, gentlemen.
Sarah, why don't you sit with me?
- He's gonna be a while.
- Lovely.
Thank you.
- Could I order you something?
- No, thank you.
Now, whatever happened
to the hat with the blue feather?
Blue feather?
You used to wear it
to all the conventions,
and it was much too becoming.
Whatever happened
to that skinny black tie you used to wear?
Not very attractive. Like an old shoelace.
Yeah, it went back in the shoe.
Now, how are you?
- How are you, Sarah?
- A little grayer.
- And you?
- A little grimmer.
I don't believe it.
I watched you in court today.
You seemed to be enjoying yourself
as much as ever.
Well, that's Matt.
He brings out the worst in me.
We've missed you, Henry.
You don't make many good friends
in this lifetime.
I never dreamed
our ideas could separate us.
I have been to their cities,
the altars upon which they sacrifice
the futures of their children
to the gods of science.
- He still has a loud voice.
- Confusion, self-destruction,
new ways to kill each other in wars.
I tell you, the way of scientism,
is the way of darkness.
He still has something to say.
You know, looking back, I don't think that
Matt would have made a great president.
But I would have voted for him for king
if I knew I was gonna get you as queen.
And what would you be?
Your majesty's loyal opposition.
That'll be all
for this evening, gentlemen.
Henry, you must understand.
There's nothing personal in all of this.
Of course, Sarah.
It's almost time, dear.
Henry, I do hope that you'll attend
reverend brown's prayer meeting.
It may bring you some enlightenment.
Yes, Henry. Do come along.
The air will do you good.
Harken to the word!
The word tells us
the world was created in six days.
In five days,
he created the earth and the stars,
and the continents, and the seas,
and all the creatures therein,
the beasts and the fishes.
- Hallelujah!
- Hallelujah!
On the morning of the sixth day,
the lord Rose, and his eye was dark
and a scowl lay across his face.
Why? Why was the lord troubled?
- Tell us!
- He looked about him, did the lord,
at all his handiwork
bowed down before him,
and he said, "it is not good."
"It is not finished!"
"I shall make me a man!"
Yes! Yes!
- And the lord made man...
- Whatever happened to silent prayer?
- Do we believe?
- Yes!
- Do we believe the word?
- Yes!
- Do we believe the truth of the word?
- Yes! Yes!
Do we curse the man who denies the word?
Do we call down hellfire on the man
- who has sinned against the word?
- Yes!
O lord of the tempest and the thunder,
o lord of righteousness and wrath,
we pray that thou wilt make us a sign!
Strike down this sinner
as thou didst thy enemies of old
in the days of the pharaoh.
Let him feel
the terror of thy sword.
For all eternity,
let his soul
writhe in anguish
- and damnation!
- Yes!
No! Don't pray to destroy Bert!
Get away!
Lord, we call down the same curse on
those who would ask grace for the sinner.
Though they be blood of my blood,
flesh of my flesh...
Reverend brown!
Brown, I know that it is
the great zeal of your faith that makes
you utter this prayer,
but sometimes it's possible
to be overzealous,
so we destroy that which we hope to save
and leave nothing but emptiness.
Remember the wisdom of Solomon
in the book of proverbs.
"He that troubleth his own house
shall inherit the wind."
The Bible also tells us
that god forgives his children
and we, as god's children,
should forgive each other.
My dear friends, return to your homes,
go home.
May the blessings of the lord
be with you all.
If I have sinned, I am punished.
- We'll take you home, my dear.
- I can't go home. He hates me.
No, he doesn't hate you.
But he damned me.
My own father damned me to hell.
No man has the power to damn.
But he's always done it.
He did it to Bert, and he did it
to the little stebbins boy.
- The stebbins boy?
- That's how the whole thing started.
That's why Bert left the church.
Mrs. Stebbins' boy
was just an innocent child.
God has no wrath for the innocent,
my dear.
That's what Bert said.
If I can only explain it clearly,
they'd understand, Mr. Brady.
We're going to help you in any way
we possibly can.
- Come along, let's go home now.
- Come on, clear.
Thank you.
- Hello, Henry.
- Sarah.
- I'll be right up, dear.
- All right.
- Good night, Henry.
- Good night, Sarah.
- You're up late.
- Too hot to sleep.
No use kidding ourselves, Henry.
We are not the men we used to be.
Well, from the size of that meal
I saw you eat tonight,
I think you haven't changed in 40 years.
That's funny.
Two people can start from the same place
and just drift apart.
I think it's the life process.
There used to be
a mutuality of understanding
and admiration between us, Henry.
Tell me, my old friend, why have you
moved so far away from me?
Well, all motion is relative, Matt.
Maybe it's you who have moved away,
by standing still.
If progress means abandoning god,
abandoning the faith of our fathers...
I saw an example of that faith tonight.
That's a pretty deadly instrument
if you ask me.
What you saw was a reflection
of the violence
and hatred in the world around them,
Henry. Your world.
But they were driven to it
because their faith was challenged.
These are simple people, poor people.
They work hard.
They need something to believe in,
something beautiful.
They're seeking something more perfect
than what they have.
Window shopping for heaven.
Why do you want to take it away
from them, Henry?
It's all they have.
It's like a golden chalice of hope.
- Like my golden dancer.
- Your what?
Golden dancer, she was in the big
side window
of the general store in wakeman, Ohio.
I used to stand on the street and look in
and say, "if I could just have
the golden dancer",
"I'd have everything in this world
that I want."
The golden dancer. I was seven years old.
I was a very good judge of rocking horses.
Big red mane, blue eyes,
gold all over with purple spots.
Oh, boy,
and when the sun hit her stirrups,
she was a dazzling sight to see.
But she was a week's wages to my father,
so there was always a plate glass window
between me and the golden dancer.
Till one morning...
Couldn't have been Christmas.
Must've been my birthday.
Anyway, I woke up, and there at the foot
of my bed was the golden dancer.
My mother had skimped on the groceries,
my father had worked nights for a month.
Well, ijumped into the saddle
and I started to rock.
And it broke in two.
Wood was rotten. The thing was
put together with spit and sealing wax.
All shine and no substance.
So, Matt, whenever I find anything nice
and shiny and bright and seemingly perfect
and painted all gold with purple spots,
I look behind the paint.
If what I find is a lie,
I show it up for what it really is.
You say you're giving the people hope?
I say you're stealing hope
from the people.
And as long as the prerequisite for
your shining paradise is ignorance
and all that ignorance breeds,
poverty, bigotry and hate,
I say the hell with it.
Now, Howard, tell them what else Mr. Cates
said to you in the classroom.
Well, he said at first the earth
was too hot for any life.
And then it cooled down a mite
and cells and things begun to live.
- Cells?
- Little bugs like, in the water.
And after that, the little bugs got to be
bigger bugs and they sprouted legs
and crawled up on the land.
And how long did this take,
according to Mr. Gates?
Couple million years, maybe longer.
Right there, gentlemen.
Then come the fishes and the reptiles
and the mammals.
- Man's a mammal.
- Along with the dogs
and the cattle in the fields,
did he say that?
Yes, sir.
Now, Howard, how did man come out
of this slimy mess of bugs and serpents,
according to your professor?
Man was sort of evoluted
from the old world monkeys.
Did you hear that, my friends?
Old world monkeys.
According to Mr. Cates, you and I are not
even descended from good American monkeys.
Howard, listen carefully now.
All this talk of bugs and evolution,
of slime and ooze...
Did Mr. Cates ever make
any reference to god?
Not as I remember.
And the miracle he achieved in seven days
as described in the beautiful
book of Genesis?
No, sir.
- Ladies and gentlemen, I...
- Objection!
I ask that the court please advise
the learned counsel
that this is not a chautauqua tent.
He is supposed to be submitting
evidence to a jury,
and there are no ladies on the jury.
Your honor, I have no intention
of making a speech. There is no need.
I am sure that everyone on the jury,
everyone within the sound
of this boy's voice
has been moved by his tragic confusion.
He's been taught that he wriggled up
like an animal
out of the filth and the muck below.
I tell you, these Bible haters,
these evolutionists
are brewers of poison.
And the legislature of this sovereign
state has had the wisdom to demand
that the peddlers of poison,
be it in bottles or in books,
clearly label the product
they attempt to sell.
If this law is not upheld, this boy will
find himself one of a generation
shorn of its faith by the teachings
of godless science.
But if the full penalty of the law
is meted out to Bertram cates,
the faithful all over the world,
who are watching us
and listening to our every word,
will rise up
and call this courtroom blessed.
Boy, I am glad that colonel Brady
didn't make a speech.
Now, Howard, I heard you say
the world used to be pretty hot?
That's what Mr. Cates said.
You think it could've been any hotter
than it is now?
Must've been.
Mr. Cates read it to us from a book.
Is this the book, Charles Darwin's
origin of species?
Yes, sir.
Now, Howard...
Do you think there was anything
wrong with that?
- Well, I don't know...
- Objection!
Your honor, the defense is asking that
a high school boy hand down an opinion
on a question of morality.
I am trying to establish, sir,
that Howard, or colonel Brady,
Charles Darwin, anyone in this courtroom,
or you, sir, has the right to think.
Mr. Drummond, the right to think
is not on trial here.
With all respect to the bench, sir,
I say that the right to think
is very much on trial.
It is fearfully in danger
in the proceedings of this court.
- A man is on trial.
- A thinking man.
And he is threatened with fine
and imprisonment for choosing
to speak what he thinks.
Mr. Drummond, will you please
rephrase your question?
All right, Howard, let's put it this way.
All this fuss and feathers about
evolution, do you think it hurt you?
Harm you in any way. I mean,
you seem reasonably fit, you know.
Did what Mr. Gates told you
affect your ball game at all?
- Or did it injure your pitching arm?
- No, sir. I'm a leftie.
You're southpaw. Well...
And you still honor
your father and mother?
- Haven't murdered anybody since breakfast?
- Objection! That is an absurd
- piece of jactitation.
- Of what?
Would you rephrase your objection,
Mr. Davenport?
Jactitation, a false claim,
in this instance,
as to the murder
of known or unknown persons.
Objection sustained.
Ask him if his faith
in the holy scriptures has been shattered.
When I need your valuable help,
colonel Brady, you can rest assured
- I shall humbly ask for it.
- Any time, colonel drummond. Any time.
He's the only man I've ever known
who can strut sitting down.
Do you believe everything
that Mr. Gates told you?
- I'm not sure. I gotta think it over.
- Good for you.
- Your father's a farmer, isn't he?
- Yes, sir.
- You got a tractor?
- Brand new one.
You figure a tractor is sinful because
it's not mentioned in the Bible?
You know, Moses never made a phone call.
Does that make the telephone
an instrument of the devil?
- I never thought of it that way.
- Neither did anybody else
- according to Brady.
- Your honor,
the defense makes the same old error
of all godless men.
They confuse material things
with the great spiritual realities
of the revealed word.
Why do you bewilder this boy?
Does right have no meaning to you, sir?
At the risk of prejudicing the case
of my client,
I must tell you that right has absolutely
no meaning to me whatsoever.
Truth has meaning,
as a direction, gentlemen.
But one of the peculiar imbecilities
of our time is the grid of morality
we have placed on human behavior,
so that every act of man must be
measured against an arbitrary
latitude of right
and a longitude of wrong,
in exact minutes, seconds and degrees.
You understand what I'm talking
about, Howard?
No, sir.
Well, maybe someday you will.
You're excused, son.
This boy may not understand, but I do.
I've seen what you can do to a jury,
twisting and tangling them.
No one's forgotten the endicott
publishing case,
where you made the jury believe
that the obscenity was in their own minds.
It was immoral what you did to thatjury.
Tricking them, judgment of confusion.
You think you can get away with that here?
I'm not trying to get away
with anything, counselor.
All I want to do is prevent
the clock-stoppers
from dumping a lot of medieval garbage
into the United States constitution.
This is not a federal court.
Well, damn it,
you got to stop them somewhere.
Your honor, it's obvious
what he's trying to do.
He's trying to make us forget
the lawbreaker, and put the law on trial.
Well, we have the answer for you, sir,
in our next witness.
Will you please call miss Rachel brown
to the stand?
Did you know about this?
Miss Rachel brown! Will miss Rachel brown
come to the witness stand?
My dear, just repeat some of the things
you told me last night.
- Rachel, what did you tell him?
- Take it easy.
Raise your right hand, Rachel.
You swear to tell the truth,
the whole truth and nothing but the truth,
- so help you god?
- Yes.
Be seated.
Miss brown, you're an old friend
of the defendant, Bertram cates?
We're engaged to be married.
- Do you attend the same church?
- Yes. We did.
- Do you now?
- What?
- Attend the same church?
- No.
Did Mr. Cates leave the church?
No. Not really. Not the spirit of it.
But the body of it. Correct?
Mr. Cates left the church that
you and he once attended together?
- Yes. why?
Because of what happened
to the stebbins boy.
The stebbins boy.
Would you tell us about that, please?
It was two summers ago.
The little stebbins boy
was just 13 years old.
He was one of Bert's students.
He used to come over to
look through Bert's microscope.
Bert said he had a quick mind,
and he might even be a scientist
when he grew up.
One day, he went swimming
in the river with the other boys.
He got a cramp and drowned.
Go on.
At the funeral, pa preached that Tommy
didn't die in a state of grace
because his father wouldn't allow him
to be baptized.
Why don't you tell them
what your father really said.
That Tommy's soul was damned,
writhing in hellfire.
Religion is supposed
to comfort people, isn't it?
It's not supposed to frighten
them to death.
We will have order, please.
Don't you see? He felt it wasn't fair
that a child could not go to heaven.
It wasn't god he abandoned,
it was only the church.
It is true, then, that because of what
happened to the stebbins boy,
Bertram cates left the church.
You've said nothing wrong.
We are merely beginning to get
some insight into the experiences
that sometimes can lead
a young man astray.
I object. Whether or not my client
went astray is a matter of interpretation.
- Strike it from the record.
- Objection sustained.
The jury is directed
to disregard the remarks of counsel.
Miss brown, will you tell the jury
some more of Mr. Cates' opinions
on the subject of religion?
Objection! Objection!
Hearsay testimony is not admissible.
The court has no objection to this line
of questioning. Proceed, colonel Brady.
Just repeat, in your own words,
some of the conversations
you've had with the defendant.
- Rachel, you can't.
- Order!
The things that I said to you
were questions.
Questions that you ask your own heart.
If you say those things out loud,
he'll make them sound like answers...
- Order! Order!
- Crucify me.
You won't hurt him, Rachel.
This is for his good.
- Speak up.
- Mr. Brady...
- Please, I confided in you...
- Rachel, we are here to serve the truth.
I can't remember.
May I remind you, miss brown,
that you are testifying under oath,
and it's unlawful to withhold
pertinent information.
Just tell the court
your innermost feelings
when Bertram cates said to you,
"god did not create man. Man created god.
Bert didn't say that. Please! He was just
bitter because of the stebbins boy.
He said man created a vengeful god
out of his own bigotry,
and the devil out of his own hell.
And when he was wondering what was
on the other side of the moon,
did he ever once mention the possibility
of heaven? Did he ever mention that?
Or did he say that there was nothing
except a world
of stars and moons and galaxies
and universal dust?
Tell us, what did he say
about the holy state of matrimony?
Did he compare it with the breeding
of animals?
- Objection! Objection!
- Order! Order!
Don't you want the good people
of this town to understand what happened
to his mind so that they can bring him
back to his senses? Don't you?
Come on, tell it. Tell it! Tell it all!
- Order! Order!
- Matt...
Under the circumstances, I believe
the witness should be excused.
And will the defense have no chance
to challenge the statements that
the prosecutor has put into the mouth
- of the witness?
- Let her go.
- You've got to.
- I've got to what? Let you go to jail?
Now, stop tying my hands.
Let her go or I'll change
my plea to guilty.
No questions.
For the time being,
the witness is excused.
Does the prosecution
wish to call any further witnesses?
Not at the present time, your honor.
The prosecution rests.
We shall proceed with the case
for the defense. Colonel drummond.
Yes, the defense wishes to call
Dr. Amos d. Keller,
head of the department of zoology
at the university of Chicago.
- Objection.
- On what grounds?
I fail to see what relevance
the testimony of a zoology professor
could have
- on this trial.
- It has every relevance.
My client's on trial
for teaching evolution.
Any testimony related to the alleged
infringement of the law
- must be admitted.
- Irrelevant, immaterial, inadmissible!
Why? If Bertram cates were accused
of murder,
would it be irrelevant to call for expert
witnesses to examine the weapon?
Your honor, the defense wishes to place
Dr. Keller on the stand
so that he may explain to
the gentlemen of the jury
just exactly what
the evolutionary theory is.
They don't need to have it explained,
the people of this state have made it
very clear that they do not want
this zoological hogwash
slobbered all over the school rooms,
and I refuse to allow these agnostic
scientists to use this courtroom
as a platform from which they can shout
their heresies
into the headlines.
Colonel drummond, the court rules
that zoology is irrelevant to the case.
Very well.
I call Dr. Allen page,
Deacon of the congregational church
and professor of geology and archeology
at oberlin college.
- Objection.
- Objection sustained.
In one breath, does the court deny
the existence of zoology,
geology and archeology?
We do not deny the existence
of these sciences,
but they do not relate
to this point of law.
I call Walter aaronson, philosopher,
anthropologist, author
and one of the most brilliant
minds in the world today.
- Any objections, Mr. Brady?
- Objection.
All right. Your honor,
the defense has brought
to hillsboro, at great inconvenience
and great expense,
five noted scientists, and their testimony
is essential.
It will show that what Bert cates spoke
one quiet spring morning
in hillsboro high school is no crime.
It's as incontrovertible as geometry is
to every enlightened community of minds.
In this community, colonel drummond,
and in this sovereign state,
exactly the opposite is the case.
The language of the law is clear.
We do not need experts to question
the validity of a law
that is already on the books.
In that case, let's stop wasting our time
and build the gallows to hang him from.
That remark, sir, is an insult
to this entire community.
This entire community is an insult
to the civilized world.
- We're not going to stand for that.
- Your honor, I request permission
- to withdraw from this case.
- Order.
- Colonel drummond, you can't quit now.
- Why not?
You were ready to quit five minutes ago.
Mr. Drummond. Mr. Drummond,
what reasons can you possibly have?
There's a hundred of them, right there!
And if that's not enough,
I have one more. I think my client
has already been found guilty.
Is Mr. Drummond saying
that this honest expression
of emotion will in any way affect
the court's impartial
administration of the law?
I say you cannot administer impartially
a wicked law.
You can only punish, only destroy.
And I warn you,
a wicked law, like cholera,
will destroy everyone it touches.
- Mr. Drummond?
- Can't you understand
that if you can take something
like evolution and make it a crime
to teach it in a public school,
then tomorrow
you can make it a crime to teach it
in a private school.
And next year, you can make it a crime
to read about it.
And then, maybe you can start banning
books and newspapers.
And soon, you may set
catholic against protestant,
protestant against protestant,
and try to foist your own brand
of religion upon the mind of man.
If you can do one, you can do the other,
because ignorance and fanaticism
is forever busy.
It needs feeding.
And soon, your honor, with banners
waving and drums beating,
we are marching backwards
to the glorious 16th century,
when bigots condemned Galileo
for daring to bring intelligence
and enlightenment to the human mind.
I hope counsel does not mean to imply
this court is bigoted?
Your honor has the right to hope.
I have the right to do more than that.
You have the power to do more than that.
And I exercise that power.
Colonel drummond, I order you to show
cause tomorrow morning at 10:00
why you should not be held
in contempt of this court.
And in the meanwhile, I order that
you be held in custody of the bailiff.
- Bail is fixed at $2,000.
- 2,000? Why don't you make it four?
I do make it four.
Your honor, my paper will post the bond.
Can you prove legal authorization to make
such a commitment for your employer?
- I'll wire my paper immediately.
- Fine.
Until then, colonel drummond can
always avail himself
of our municipal accommodations.
Your honor, sir, I'll put up my farm
for Mr. Drummond.
It's worth at least that much.
We have no way of ascertaining the value
of your farm, sir.
The law demands that bond be
posted in cash.
Your honor. Your honor, my bank will
honor the offer on security of this farm.
He has considerably more equity
in it than that.
Very well.
Make arrangements with the court clerk.
Excuse me, who are you?
My name is John stebbins.
Court is adjourned and will reconvene
tomorrow morning at 10:00 am.
It'll be a hot time
in the old town tonight.
Yeah. All right.
- Hooligans of the world unite!
- Good god.
You've got nothing to burn
but your intellectuals.
These are the boobs who make our laws.
It's the Democratic process.
Looks like you're going out
in a Blaze of glory, counselor.
Hey, why don't you just shut up?
"And after a while, your honor,
you'll be setting man against man,
"and creed against creed. Unquote.
Wake up, Henry. Dan/vin was wrong.
Man is still an ape,
and his creed is still a totem pole.
The minute he achieved
the upright position,
he took a look at the stars
and thought they were something to eat.
And when he couldn't reach them,
he decided they were groceries
belonging to a bigger animal,
and that's how jehovah was born.
God, I wish I had your worm's-eye
view of history.
It would make things a lot easier.
Not for you.
You'd still be trying to make sense
out of what is laughingly referred to
as the human race.
Take your blinders off.
I'll tell you,
the future is already obsolete.
You think man still has a noble destiny.
I tell you, he's already started
on his backward march
to the salt and stupid sea
from which he came.
- What about a man like Bert cates?
- Cates?
The monkey who tried to fly.
He climbed to the top of the totem pole,
and then he jumped.
And there was nobody there to catch him.
Not even you.
Me? Now, what do you want me to do?
You saw what they did to my witnesses.
What you need is a drink.
What I need is a miracle.
Well, here is a whole bag full.
Courtesy Matthew Harrison Brady.
Your honor.
I feel I owe you an apology, sir.
Whatever remarks that were made that
led to the contempt citation, I regret.
I know your honor was trying to be fair.
I apologize for those remarks
that were made in the heat of the moment.
My friends and colonel drummond,
the man that I believe came
into the world to save mankind from sin
taught that to forgive is godly.
I believe in his principles.
I accept colonel drummond's apology,
and I withdraw the contempt citation.
Thank you, your honor.
Your honor, I should also like to add
in the spirit of forgiveness,
I have no animosity toward
the learned counsel from Chicago.
He has been known to ride
hobbyhorses before.
Perhaps he will return to his home
having learned a lesson.
And we here commend him
to learn in his heart
the words of he who said,
"if you thirst, come unto me,"
"and I will give you life."
Perhaps there is much to learn from
the learned counsel for the prosecution.
Your honor, there is one other remark
I made yesterday
that I would like to withdraw.
If the court pleases,
I would like to withdraw my withdrawal
and continue as counsel for Bertram cates.
I see no reason why colonel drummond
should not be permitted
to continue as counsel for the defense.
- Proceed, colonel drummond.
- Very well.
Since the court has ruled out
testimony on science or darwinian theory,
would the court be willing to admit
expert testimony regarding
a book known as the holy Bible?
Colonel Brady, you have any objections?
If counsel can advance the case
of the defendant
by use of the holy scriptures,
the prosecution takes no exception.
I would like to call to the stand
one of the world's foremost experts
on the Bible and its teachings.
Matthew Harrison Brady.
Your honor, this is preposterous.
Brother, let us pray.
It's highly unorthodox.
I've never known an instance where
the defense called the prosecuting
attorney as a witness.
Your honor,
this entire trial is unorthodox.
But if the interests of truth and justice
will be served, I will take the stand.
The court will support you if you wish
to decline to testify
as a witness against your own case.
Your honor,
I shall not testify against anything.
But I will speak out,
as I have all of my life,
on behalf of the living truth
of the holy scriptures.
Mr. Meeker, you better swear in
the witness, please.
It won't be necessary to swear him in.
I can make affirmation.
I've no objection to swearing to god.
I trust you will tell the truth.
Am I correct, sir,
in calling on you
as an authority on the Bible?
I do not think it is boastful to say
that I have studied the Bible
as much as any layman,
and have tried to live
according to its precepts.
Bully for you.
And I suppose you can quote me
chapter and verse
right straight through
the king James version, can't you?
There are many portions of the holy Bible
I have committed to memory.
I don't suppose you have memorized
many passages
from the origin of species.
I have not the least interest in
the pagan hypotheses of that book.
- You mean you never read it?
- And I never will.
Then where in perdition
do you get the gall
to whoop up this holy war
against something you know nothing about?
How can you be so cocksure
that the body of scientific knowledge
systematized in Charles dannin's writings
is in any way
irreconcilable with the spirit
of the book of Genesis?
Would you state
that question again, please?
All right, let's put it this way.
On page... I think 19... yes.
I object to this, your honor.
Colonel Brady has been called
as an authority on the Bible.
Now, the gentleman from Chicago
is using this opportunity
to read into the record
scientific testimony,
which you, your honor,
have previously ruled is irrelevant.
If he is gonna examine colonel Brady
on the Bible,
let him stick to the Bible,
the holy Bible and only the Bible.
You will confine your questions
to the Bible.
All right. Forget it.
We'll play in your ballpark, colonel.
Let's get this straight, this is the book
that you are an expert on?
That is correct.
Now, tell me,
do you feel that every word written
in this book should be taken literally?
Everything in the Bible should be
accepted exactly as it is given there.
How about this spot here
where the whale swallows Jonah?
You think that actually happened?
The Bible does not say a whale.
It says a big fish.
Is that it?
Matter of fact, it says "a great fish."
How do you feel about it?
I believe in a god who can make a whale
and a man,
and make them both do as he pleases.
God bless you, Matthew Harrison Brady.
We're with you, colonel Brady.
Order! Order!
He's right, he's right.
Now, colonel, I recollect a story
in which Joshua made the sun stand still.
As an expert, do you tell me that
that's as true as the Jonah business?
Yeah? That's a pretty neat trick.
I do not question or scoff at the miracles
of the lord, as do ye of little faith.
Well, have you pondered what would
naturally happen to the earth
if the sun stood still?
You can testify to that
if I get you on the stand.
If they say the sun stood still,
they must have had some kind of notion
that the sun moves around the earth.
Do you think that's really
the way of things,
or do you actually think
that the earth moves around the sun?
I have faith in the Bible.
Well, you sure don't have much
faith in the solar system.
- The sun stopped.
- Good.
Because if what you say actually happened,
if Joshua stopped that sun in the sky,
then the earth stopped spinning
on its axis,
the continents toppled
all over one another,
mountains flew into space,
the earth shriveled to a cinder
and crashed into the sun.
Now, how come we missed
that little tidbit of news?
You missed it because it didn't happen.
It had to happen, colonel,
according to natural law.
Or don't you believe in natural law?
Would you ban copernicus from
the classroom along with Charles dan/vin?
Or pass a law that erases all scientific
developments since Joshua?
Revelations, period?
Natural law was born in the mind
of the heavenly father.
He can change it, cancel it,
do with it as he pleases.
It constantly amazes me
that you apostles of science,
with all of your supposed wisdom,
fail to grasp that simple fact.
Can I have the Bible?
All right, colonel.
Genesis 4:16.
"And Cain went out
from the presence of the lord"
"and dwelt in the land of nod,
on the east of Eden."
"And Cain knew his wife."
- Where the hell did she come from?
- Who?
Mrs. Cain. Cain's wife.
I mean, if in the beginning there was
just Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel,
then where did
this extra woman spring from?
Did you ever figure that out?
No, sir.
I leave the agnostics to hunt for her.
- It never bothers you?
- Never bothered me.
- You never bothered to find out?
- No.
Just thought that maybe they pulled off
another miracle in the next county, huh?
The Bible satisfies me. It is enough.
You know, it frightens me to think
of the state of learning in this world
if everybody had your driving curiosity.
This book now goes into a lot of begats.
"And arphaxad begat salah,
and salah begat eber."
And so on and so...
Are these pretty important folks?
They are the generations
of the holy men and women of the Bible.
How did they go about all that begatting?
What do you mean?
Well, I mean did they begat then
about the same
as people get themselves begat today?
I believe the process is about the same.
I don't think that your scientists
have improved on it any.
In other words, these folk
were conceived and brought forth
through the normal biological function
known as sex?
What do you think of sex, colonel?
In what spirit is this question asked?
Well, I'm certainly not gonna ask you
what you think of sex as a husband
or a father or a presidential candidate.
You're here as an expert on the Bible.
What is the biblical evaluation of sex?
It is considered original sin.
Those holy people were all
begat through original sin?
Well, all that sinning
make them any less holy?
Your honor, what does this have to do
with the state v. Bertram cates?
Colonel drummond,
the court must be satisfied
that this line of questioning
has some bearing on the case.
You ruled out all my witnesses.
You must allow me to examine
the one witness you've left me
my own way, your honor.
Your honor, I'm willing to sit here
and endure Mr. Drummond's sneering
and disrespect because he is pleading
the case of the prosecution
by his contempt for all that is holy.
- I object, I object, I object!
- On what grounds?
Is it possible there is something holy
to the celebrated agnostic?
Yes. The individual human mind.
In a child's power
to master the multiplication table
there is more sanctity
than in all of your shouted amens,
holy holies and hosannas.
An idea is a greater monument
than a cathedral.
And the advance of man's knowledge
is more of a miracle
than any sticks turned into snakes
or the parting of waters.
And are we to stop the march of progress
because Mr. Brady frightens us
with a fable?
progress has never been a bargain.
You have to pay for it.
Sometimes I think there's a man
behind a counter.
He says,
"all right, I'll give you a telephone,"
"but you lose your right to privacy,
the charm of distance."
"Madam, you may vote, but at a price."
"You lose your right to retreat
behind a powder puff or a petticoat."
"Mister, you may conquer the air,"
"but the birds will lose their wonder"
"and the clouds will smell like gasoline."
Dan/vin led us to a hilltop,
from where we could look back
upon the way from which we came.
But for that view,
that insight,
that knowledge,
we must abandon our faith
in the pleasant poetry of Genesis.
We must not abandon faith.
Faith is the most important thing.
Then why did god plague us
with the power to think?
Mr. Brady, why do you deny
the one faculty that lifts man
above all other creatures on earth,
the power of his brain to reason?
What other merit have we got?
The elephant is larger.
The horse is swifter and stronger.
The butterfly more beautiful.
The mosquito more prolific.
Even the common sponge is more durable.
Or does a sponge think?
I don't know. I'm a man, not a sponge.
Do you think a sponge thinks?
If the lord wishes a sponge to think,
it thinks.
Does a man have the same privileges
as a sponge?
Of course.
This man wishes to be accorded
the same privilege as a sponge.
He wishes to think.
But your client is wrong. He is deluded.
He has lost his way.
It is sad that we are not all gifted
with your positive knowledge
of right and wrong, Mr. Brady.
Thank you.
How old do you think this rock is?
I am more interested in the rock of ages
than the age of rocks.
Dr. Page of oberlin college tells me
that this rock is over
10 million years old.
Well, well, Mr. Drummond,
you finally managed to sneak in
some of that scientific testimony
after all.
Now, look at this, Mr. Brady.
These are the fossil remains
of a prehistoric marine creature
that lived here millions of years ago
when these very mountain ranges
were still submerged in water.
I know, the Bible gives
a very fine account of the flood.
But your professor's a little mixed up
on his dates.
That rock is no more than 6,000 years old.
How do you know?
I know because a fine biblical scholar,
bishop ussher, has determined for us
the exact date and hour of the creation.
It occurred in 4004 bc.
Yeah, well, that's
bishop ussher's opinion.
It's not an opinion.
It's a literal fact...
- Thank you.
- Which the good bishop arrived at
by the careful computation
of the ages of the prophets
as set down in the old testament.
As a matter of fact, he's determined
that the lord began the creation
on October 23rd, 4004 bc, at 9:00 am.
Eastern standard time,
or rocky mountain time?
It wasn't daylight savings time, was it?
Because the lord didn't make the sun
until the fourth day.
That is correct.
Now, that first day,
was that a 24-hour day?
The Bible says it was a day.
Yeah, but there was no sun.
How could you tell?
The Bible says it was a day.
Yeah, but a literal day, a normal day,
a 24-hour day?
- I don't know.
- Well, what do you think?
I do not think about things
I do not think about!
Well, you ever think about the things
you do think about?
Isn't it possible that that first day
could have been 25 hours long?
There was no way to measure it,
no way to tell.
Could it have been 25 hours?
It is possible.
So, you interpret that the first day,
recorded in the book of Genesis,
could be of undetermined length?
I merely wish to state
that the day referred to
is not necessarily a 24-hour day.
It could have been 25.
It could have been 30 hours.
It could've been a month.
Or a year.
Or a hundred years.
Or 10 million years.
I protest!
This is not only irrelevant
and immaterial, but it is illegal.
I demand to know the purpose
of Mr. Drummond's examination.
What is he trying to do here?
I'll tell you what he's trying to do.
He's trying to destroy everybody's belief
in the Bible and in god.
The Bible is a book.
It's a good book.
But it's not the only book.
It the revealed word of the almighty god,
as spake to the men who wrote the Bible.
How do you know that god didn't spake
to Charles dan/vin?
Because god tells me to oppose
the evil teachings of that man.
- God speaks to you?
- Yes.
- He tells you what's right and wrong?
- Yes.
- And you act accordingly?
- Yes!
Then you, Matthew Harrison Brady,
through oratory, legislation or whatever,
pass along the word of god
to the rest of the world!
Well, meet the prophet from Nebraska!
Is this really the way of things?
That god tells you what is good,
and to be against Brady
is to be against god?
No, no, every man is a free agent.
Then what is Bertram cates
doing in a hillsboro jail?
What if Mr. Gates had enough influence
and lung power
to railroad through the state legislature
a law that only Darwin
can be taught in the schools?
Ridiculous! There is only
one great truth in the world.
Of course, the truth according to Brady!
God speaks to Brady,
Brady tells the world!
Brady, Brady, Brady almighty!
The lord is my strength!
What if a lesser human being,
a cates or a Darwin,
were to have the audacity
to think that god might whisper to them,
that an UN-Brady thought might be holy?
Must a man go to jail because he's at odds
with the self-appointed prophet?
Let's extend the testaments.
We'll have a book of Brady.
We'll slip you in neatly
between numbers and deuteronomy.
My friend, your honor...
- Ladies and gentlemen...
- The witness is excused!
You know what I stand for,
what I believe in.
I believe in the truth
of the book of Genesis...
- Your honor, this completes the testimony.
- Exodus, leviticus, numbers, deuteronomy.
- Joshua, judges, Ruth, first Samuel...
- The witness is excused.
- Second Samuel, first kings, second kings.
- You are excused, colonel Brady.
Isaiah, Jeremiah, lamentations,
Court is adjourned
until tomorrow morning at 10:00.
Well done, Henry, well done.
Matt, let's go home.
- Home?
- Back to the hotel.
You were always a good man.
That's what I loved most in you.
Even from the very beginning.
People said you made mistakes,
wrong decisions.
You could have been president
three times over.
I never doubted you,
because your decisions were always honest
and unselfish.
You never compromised your principles
just to win.
A victory here would be a monument to god
that would last 1,000 years.
Matt, they turned away from you
this afternoon.
They didn't understand.
They have to understand.
I'll make them understand.
My speech.
Where is my speech?
I've got to find my speech.
I've got to make them listen.
They're gonna have to listen!
They will listen!
Here it is. Here it is.
I've got it all here down on paper.
Sarah, it isn'tjust this case.
It's god himself who's on trial.
They'll listen to you, dear.
They laughed at me.
I love you, baby.
I can't stand it when they laugh at me.
It's all right, baby.
It's all right.
Come in.
Mr. Mayor.
I've been on the phone with the
lieutenant governor all morning, merle.
Newspapers haven't been very kind to us.
Boys at the capitol seem to think
it wouldn't do any harm
to just let the whole business
kind of simmer down.
Just a minute, mayor.
I have an obligation to the law.
Of course you have, merle.
You got to follow the law
regardless of the fact
that we're both up for re-election
in November.
No, sir.
That can't be a factor.
Hello, miss brown.
I left my father, Bert.
I messed things up for us pretty badly,
didn't I?
It's not your fault, rach.
Brady can twist things.
It wasn't him.
I should've done this in the beginning.
- I should've...
- You don't have to say anything.
I'm just glad you're here.
Come sit with us.
Well, welcome back to our side.
Hello. Hello. Testing. Testing.
One, two, three, four, testing.
Testing, one, two, three, four.
Hello. Hello.
Hello, what is that?
An annunciator.
- You're gonna broadcast?
- We have a direct wire to wgn in Chicago.
Whole country's gonna hear this.
When the jury gets back in,
we'll announce the verdict.
My god, you're really gonna
knock some walls down. Radio.
You're not supposed to say
god" on the radio.
Why the hell not?
You're not supposed to say "hell" either.
Well, this is going to be
a barren source of amusement.
Looks like they've reached a verdict, son.
Jury's coming back in.
What do you think?
Can you tell from their faces?
Everybody rise!
Hear ye! Hear ye!
Court will reconvene in the case
of the state v. Bertram cates!
Be seated!
Ladies and gentlemen,
this is Harry easterbrook,
speaking to the vast audience
across america
from the courthouse in hillsboro,
where the jury is just returning
to the courtroom
to render its verdict
in the famous hillsboro monkey trial case.
The judge has just taken the bench,
and in the next few minutes we shall learn
whether Bertram cates will be found
innocent or guilty.
Gentlemen of the jury,
have you reached a decision?
Yes, sir, your honor, we have.
The jury's decision is unanimous.
Bertram cates is found guilty as charged.
Quiet, please!
- Order! This court is still in session.
- Operator?
The prisoner will rise
to hear the sentence of the court.
Mr. Cates, do you wish to make any
statement before sentence is passed?
Your honor, I'm not a public speaker.
I don't have the eloquence
of some of the people
that you've heard in the last few days.
I'm just a schoolteacher.
But I feel I'm...
I've been convicted
of violating an unjust law.
And I will continue in the future
to oppose this law
in any way that I can.
Bertram cates, you have been found
guilty of violating public act volume 37,
statute number 31427, as charged.
This violation is punishable
by fine and/or imprisonment.
But since there has been
no previous violation of this statute,
there's no precedent
to guide the bench in passing sentence.
The court deems it proper
to sentence Bertram cates
to pay a fine of
Order! Order!
- Did your honor say $100?
- That is correct.
That seems to conclude
the business of this trial.
Your honor,
the prosecution takes exception.
When the issues are so Titanic,
a more drastic punishment...
- I object.
- Must be meted out.
To make an example of this transgressor.
To show the world...
The amount of this fine
is of no interest to me.
Bertram cates has no intention whatsoever
of paying this or any other fine.
He wouldn't pay it
if it was a single dollar.
We will appeal the case
to the supreme court of this state.
Will this court please Grant us 30 days
to prepare the appeal?
Granted. Court fixes bond at $200.
I believe this concludes the business
of this trial.
Therefore, I declare
this court is adjourned.
Your honor!
If the court please,
I should like to read into the record
a few short remarks that I have prepared.
Mr. Brady can read all the remarks
that he wishes
in a chautauqua tent
or in a political campaign,
but our business in hillsboro
is concluded.
The defense asks
that the court be adjourned.
I have a few remarks.
And we are all anxious to hear them, sir.
But colonel drummond's
point of procedure here is well taken.
I'm sure everyone here will wish to remain
after court is adjourned
to hear your address.
I hereby declare
this court is adjourned sine die.
- My friends!
- Lemonade!
- Get your nice, cold, lemonade.
- Your attention, please!
My friends, fellow citizens.
- Friends of the unseen audience...
- That's disconnected, sir. It's not on.
From the hallowed hills of sacred sinai,
from the days of remote antiquity
came the law which has been
our bulwark and our shield.
It's all over but the shouting.
Age upon age, men have looked to
the law as they would to the mountains
whence cometh our strength.
Here in this courtroom,
we have been vindicated.
We have been vindicated.
From the hallowed hills of sacred...
Mr. Chief justice,
citizens of these United States,
in my terms in the white house,
I pledge to carry out my programs
for the betterment of the common people
of this country.
As your new president,
I say what I have said
all of my life!
Dear god in heaven.
See you next time.
He's dead.
Matt Brady had a beautiful soul.
Yes, Sarah.
He was ill.
I tried to get him to stop,
but he couldn't.
I'm telling you this
because I don't want you to think
- that you had anything to do...
- No.
I'm just so sorry.
Can't imagine this world
without Matthew Harrison Brady.
Mr. Drummond?
I don't understand. Did we win or lose?
You won.
- But the jury found...
- The jury? What jury? That 12 men.
Millions of people will say that you won.
They'll read their paper tonight,
see that you smashed a bad law.
You made a joke of it.
Yeah, but the laugh's on me.
No job, they probably won't let me back
into the boarding house in this town.
You can pick up and go
from one cause to another,
but we have to live our lives out here.
Is that what you believe, miss brown?
I believe in Bert.
You're a lucky man, Bert.
Mr. Drummond, thanks.
For what it's worth, you're welcome.
Look at them.
He loves she, she loves he.
Now they'll begat a family.
It's a merry-go-round, counselor.
The life cycle of the gnat,
a louse, and a maggot, and a human.
What did he die of? Did they say?
He died of a busted belly.
There was much greatness in that man.
Can I quote you in the obituary?
You can write any damn thing you please.
How do you write an obituary
for a man who's been dead 30 years?
What did he say to reverend brown?
It fits. He delivered his own obituary.
Where did you put it, huh?
Here it is.
His book.
Proverbs, wasn't it?
"He that troubleth his own house
shall inherit the wind."
"And the fool shall be servant
to the wise in heart."
Well, colonel drummond,
we're growing an odd crop
of agnostics this year.
You know, I'm really getting
damn sick and tired of you, hornbeck.
Because you never pushed a noun against
a verb except to blow something up.
That's a typical lawyer's trick,
accusing the accuser.
- What am I accused of?
- Contempt of conscience.
Sentimentality in the first degree.
Because I won't erase an entire lifetime?
No. Because you know what I thought of him
and I know what you thought,
so let's leave the lamentations
to the illiterate.
What is this? Be kind to bigots week?
Why should we weep for him?
Because he's dead?
He cried enough for himself.
The national tear duct
from weeping water, Nebraska.
He flooded the nation
like a one-man Mississippi.
You know what he was,
a Bible-beating bunko artist.
A giant once lived in that body.
But he got lost.
Because Matt Brady was looking
for his god too high up
and too far away.
Why, you hypocrite. You fraud.
The atheist who believes in god.
You're just as religious as he was.
Don't you understand the meaning
of what happened here today?
What happened here today has no meaning.
You have no meaning.
Your whole life has no meaning.
You're like a ghost pointing
an empty sleeve,
and smirking at everything that
people feel and need
and struggle for.
I pity you.
- You pity me?
- Isn't there something?
What touches you, warms you?
Every man has a dream.
What do you dream about?
What do you need?
You don't need anything, do you?
Love, an idea maybe, just to hold on to?
You poor slob. You have nothing,
you believe in nothing.
You're alone.
And when you go to the grave,
there will be nobody
to pull the grass up over you.
Nobody to mourn you.
Nobody to give one damn.
You will be what you've always been.
You're wrong, Henry.
You'll be there.
You're the type.
Who else would defend
my right to be lonely?