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1999: Lemmon, Scott Star in Showtime's 'Inherit the Wind'
May 29, 2012  | By Christy Slewinski
 
On this day in 1999, Showtime premiered its adaptation of the 1955 Jerome Lawrence-Robert E. Lee play, Inherit the Wind. The drama was inspired by the Scopes "monkey trial," in which teacher John Scopes was put on trial for teaching Darwin's theory of evolution in Tennessee.

As David Bianculli wrote in his 1999 review of the show: "The reason to watch Showtime's new adaptation of Inherit the Wind … is as persuasive as it is obvious: to see George C. Scott and Jack Lemmon tackle the leading roles in a classic play. Or, to put it another way, to watch some old pros tackle some old prose."

Showtime's Inherit the Wind also starred John Cullum as the trial judge and Beau Bridges as the newspaperman based on H.L. Mencken, and Tom Everett Scott as the teacher on trial.

Lemmon was nominated for an Emmy for his role in the film, and won the Golden Globe for Best Performance by an Actor in a Miniseries or Made-for-TV movie (beating himself for his role in the telefilm Tuesdays with Morrie). During his acceptance speech, Lemmon praises the cable networks for their commitment to producing quality scripted programs. See his entire speech here:



 
 
 
 
 
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