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New film on the Scopes trial

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There’s a new film out about the Scopes trial (the most misreported trial in American history, about which a critic says,

If you like history this film is for you. This DVD will correct some of the many incorrect beliefs about the famous 1925 Scopes trial. One fact that it covers was the importance of racism as a motivating factor of W. J. Bryan to involve himself in the trial. Those who have read the trial transcript will soon realize how distorted the public view of the trial is, especially the play inherit the wind. This film is embellished slightly, but such is necessary to get a story out of a trial. Nonetheless the basic story is accurate and the acting and cinematography is great!!! A must see film.

The big misrepresentation, which we hope the film will correct, was that Darwinism in those days had anything to do with science; it was actually about eugenics. The poisonous textbook teacher John Scopes was charged with teaching from would never be allowed in any school district today!

According to sources, the film went directly to DVD, a common fate nowadays because distributors did not wnt to pay for theatre showings, but “But the film did show at quite a few film festivals, and it even won awards at some of them.” Details later, we think.

9 Replies to “New film on the Scopes trial

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Here is the trailer:

    Alleged The Movie – Trailer
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1b8g8rUA6k

    here is the ‘official trailer’ that should appeal very personally to Ms. O’Leary:

    Alleged – OFFICIAL TRAILER
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuG3oJrKrPE

    The movie took top honors at

    Flint film Festival 2011
    http://www.theflintfilmfestival.com/

    & Top honors at:

    Anthem Libertarian Film Festival 2011
    http://anthemfilmfestival.com/Awards.aspx

    Maybe more awards???

  2. 2

    Colm Meany of Star Trek fame and Brian Denehy – not exactly stars with top billing potential, which is probably why it doesn’t get a theatrical release. Good actors, nonetheless. “Creation, Evolution, Bible, Media, Bias.” Looks like a good start.

  3. 3
    NickMatzke_UD says:

    Hmm. Well, if it talks about eugenics and fails to mention how Clarence Darrow himself was a prominent and vocal opponent of eugenics, and at the same time as the Scopes litigation — a point which all creationist commentaries on eugenics and the Scopes Trial have henceforth missed — then it’s not good history.

    Clarence Darrow’s (1926) essay “The Eugenics Cult” now online
    http://pandasthumb.org/archive.....arrow.html

    Darrow’s 1925 and 1925 essays on eugenics:
    http://dododreams.blogspot.com/search?q=darrow

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    American Eugenics on the Eve of Nazi Expansion: The Darwin Connection – Michael Flannery October 18, 2011
    Excerpt: For example, Harry Laughlin (1880-1943) helped create a “Model Sterilization Law” that was vindicated in the Buck v. Bell decision (1927). In Germany, one of the first legislative acts of Hitler’s National Socialist government was to pass in the summer of 1933 a “Law for the Prevention of Genetically Diseased Offspring” modeled upon this American precedent. It was the influential American physician George Dock (1860-1951) who translated the German document for the Human Betterment Foundation.

    “I think the reference to the California work [in the German law], and the work of the Foundation is a very significant thing,” exclaimed Dock. “The matter,” he added, “has given me a much better opinion of Mr. Hitler than I had before” (Better for All the Word, p. 273). Likewise, Laughlin, noted with some pride, “To one versed in the history of eugenical sterilization in America, the text of the German statute reads almost like the ‘American model sterilization law.'” No wonder that in 1936 the Nazi regime awarded Laughlin, under the aegis of the University of Heidelberg, an honorary doctorate for his contributions to “racial hygiene” (Better for All the World, p. 17).
    http://www.evolutionnews.org/2.....51991.html

  5. 5
    PaV says:

    Nick:

    Has anyone made the connection between Darrow and eugenics? Not here at UD.

    The connection that has been made is that between Wm J. Bryan and eugenics. That is, Bryan’s concern regarding eugenics, and the connection he saw between the Darwinian Theory of Evolution and Eugenics, is what got him involved in the trial.

    Maybe you’re not aware of it, but in Gunnar Myrdal’s, “An American Dilemna”, dealing with the plight of blacks in our country, and published in 1939, called for the sterilization of blacks (the colored). This seminal text of 60’s radicals, called for, basically, forced sterilization—and, of course, on eugenicist grounds.

    Aw, the compassionate Left . . . . .

  6. 6
    Joseph says:

    Darrow was Scopes’lawyer- he sided with the theory of evolution so it is fitting that he agreed with it

  7. 7
    goodusername says:

    “Has anyone made the connection between Darrow and eugenics?”

    –Close… someone did say (bizarrely): “The big misrepresentation, which we hope the film will correct, was that Darwinism in those days had anything to do with science; it was actually about eugenics.”
    Which is made all the more bizarre by the fact that the lawyer for Scopes in the trial was himself an ardent Darwinist and ardently anti-eugenics.

    “The connection that has been made is that between Wm J. Bryan and eugenics. That is, Bryan’s concern regarding eugenics, and the connection he saw between the Darwinian Theory of Evolution and Eugenics, is what got him involved in the trial.”

    –Well, it was claimed that racism was a factor in Bryan getting involved in the trial. I looked over Bryan’s statements at the trial, and his public statements regarding the trial, and can’t find anything regarding racism or eugenics. Does anyone have a source for Bryan getting involved in the trial for either reason?

    “Maybe you’re not aware of it, but in Gunnar Myrdal’s, “An American Dilemna”, dealing with the plight of blacks in our country, and published in 1939, called for the sterilization of blacks (the colored). This seminal text of 60?s radicals, called for, basically, forced sterilization—and, of course, on eugenicist grounds. Aw, the compassionate Left . . . . .”

    –Do you have a source for that? I hadn’t heard of him before, so I was looking over the book. It looks like he was presenting a list of possible solutions to have less racism in America, and he seemed to think that one possible solution was if there were fewer African Americans that there would be less racism (yeah, strange). He then lists possible ideas for shrinking the African American population, and on a single page of the 1300 pg book, he brought up the issue of sterilization and quickly dropped it (pg176) as being impractical since few would back it –and that was true for even “entirely voluntary” sterilization, let alone forced. (Of course, one can question whether the issue should have been brought up at all, but I notice while skimming through the book that it’s remarkably ummm – clinical? Then again, that was sort of the purpose of the book.) He then eventually drops of the idea of shrinking the African American population as itself being impractical and moves on to other (more practical) solutions (the problem as he sees it seems to boil down to prejudice, which increases poverty among the African Americans, which in turn increases prejudice, and so the solution to the problem is to educate white Americans on the conditions of what African Americans are going through. But, again, that’s from a brief scan of the book.)

  8. 8
    goodusername says:

    “The poisonous textbook teacher John Scopes? was charged with teaching from would never be allowed in any school district today!”

    –I’m in full agreement there. Yes, the textbook in question had quite a bit of garbage in it, and I would quite prefer that the students not learn about evolution at all than learn from that book. One big problem was that even by the standards of the time (or even by the standards of 1914 when the book was published) the material was shockingly outdated (apparently the problems plaguing school textbooks goes back quite a ways).

    Here’s an example:
    “The Races of Man. — At the present time there exist upon the earth five races or varieties of man, each very different from the other in instincts, social customs, and, to an extent, in structure. These are the Ethiopian or negro type, originating in Africa; the Malay or brown race, from the islands of the Pacific; The American Indian; the Mongolian or yellow race, including the natives of China, Japan, and the Eskimos; and finally, the highest type of all, the caucasians, represented by the civilized white inhabitants of Europe and America.”

    This comes from a work by Blumenbach – in the 18th century! You can see the same list here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J.....Blumenbach

    Such classification systems had long been abandoned by most Darwinists, including by Darwin himself who believed that any such classification system for humans was arbitrary because the “races” (if they could even be considered such) blended into each other and were hardly “very different” from each other and in fact “it is hardly possible to discover clear distinctive characters between them”:
    “But the most weighty of all the arguments against treating the races of man as distinct species, is that they graduate into each other, independently in many cases, as far as we can judge, of their having intercrossed. Man has been studied more carefully than any other animal, and yet there is the greatest possible diversity amongst capable judges whether he should be classed as a single species or race, or as two (Virey), as three (Jacquinot), as four (Kant), five (Blumenbach), six (Buffon), seven (Hunter), eight (Agassiz), eleven (Pickering), fifteen (Bory de St-Vincent), sixteen (Desmoulins), twenty-two (Morton), sixty (Crawfurd), or as sixty-three, according to Burke. This diversity of judgment does not prove that the races ought not to be ranked as species, but it shews that they graduate into each other, and that it is hardly possible to discover clear distinctive characters between them.”

    There was certainly an odd mix of evolutionist and anti-evolutionist ideas.

  9. 9
    Fred says:

    Watch the movie. You’ll be pleased with how Darrow is treated vis-a-vis eugenics.

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