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In 1925, a schoolteacher is arrested for teaching Darwinism in the community of Hillsboro, where such scientific refutations of the Bible are illegal. Scott plays prosecutor Matthew Brady (based on politician Williams Jennings Bryan), bringing majesty and tragedy to a character many would find repugnant, as he prophetically bemoans a society moving "from love of God to love of self." Jack Lemmon plays attorney Henry Drummond (based on the legendary Clarence Darrow) and brings his trademark portrayal of the "little guy" to a man determined to protect a citizen's basic right to freedom of thought, proclaiming, "An idea is a greater monument to God than a cathedral." The wonderful supporting cast, including Beau Bridges, Piper Laurie, and John Cullum, all demonstrate their love of a multilayered drama filled with conundrums of faith and contradictions of philosophy. Veteran director Daniel Petrie helms with little flash, but his production offers so many concepts and emotions that the high points of drama remain with the viewer after the film is over. --Lloyd Chesley