Inherit The Wind Scene Analysis

2043 words - 8 pages

Inherit the Wind - Scene Analysis

 

The scene that introduces the audience to Matthew Harrison Brady, in Inherit the Wind, (Dir. Stanley Kramer. With Spencer Tracy, Frederic March, and Gene Kelly. MGM. 1960) uses dialogue, composition, camera work and music to develop Matthew Brady. Kramer reveals important information about the plot of the film in this scene. The scene opens with a bird's eye view shot of the town of Hillsboro, and focuses in on the movement of the parade below. The camera comes to rest on the convertible that transports Brady and his wife. The town of Hillsboro welcomes the well-known politician. He will serve the town by being the prosecutor in a trial about evolution, similar to that of the historical Scopes Trial. This scene, where we first meet Brady, reveals his strong character, and the role of savior that the town expects him to play. Through the development of Brady, Kramer also introduces us to the issues of religion and politics. Stanley Kramer, the director, introduces the audience to two key ideas in the very first shot of the scene. He does this through the use of background tools, like music and scenery. As the camera fades in from the previous scene, music begins to play, and a group of women sing a religious hymn, "Give me that old time religion." The extremely loud music continues for the duration of the parade. At first the audience doesn't know the source of the music, but as the parade comes to an end, the camera focuses on a group of militant looking women, who march and sing. This song draws the audience into the impending controversy over religion. It expresses the entire town's point of view on the issue. The audience can see that religion affects the social stability of the town. The song impacts the audience so much that after the film the audience can't help but continue to sing it. Kramer wants the audience to realize the importance that religion has to these towns' people. When a threat against religion appears, the people will stand ready to fight for their religion.

 

Kramer likes to use unexpected methods to impose more of his ideas on the viewer. Kramer uses the scenery or background props in order to establish the influence and power that Brady has over the town. The opening shot contains a banner, draped in the trees, that reads "BRADY BRADY." This banner reaches from one end of the frame to the other. Even before the audience meets this character, the banner establishes his influence over the town. By positioning this banner here and focusing on it, the viewer immediately sees that the town views Brady as their savior. They believe that Brady will save their town from the threats made by the devil, or Darwin, and his theory of evolution. As the camera continues through the parade, posters and signs that praise Brady fill nearly the entire frame. This public display expresses the towns support for Brady and his campaign. Kramer also...

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