This is a quality production, well-acted and well-produced and directed. Nathan West does a very good job as Charles B. Anderson, a promising young reporter who lives in the declining town of Dayton, Tennessee. When Baltimore Sun editor J.L. Mencken (Colm Meany) asks Anderson to make some compromising moral decisions regarding writing about the Scopes “Monkey Trial” of 1925 Charles’ fiancee, Rose Elizabeth Williams (played terrifically by Ashley Johnson), forces him to decide which side he is really on. Colm Meany and Brian Dennehy also give strong performances in the movie, which focuses on the fact that Christianity and creationism do not have to be handled with ignorance but that indeed there are those who accept the Bible as “truth.” In fact, in one funny scene when William Jennings Bryan (Fred Thompson) is asked if he believes the Bible serves as a second science book, he says, “Oh no, science books have to be corrected all the time!”
Due to positive light thrown on the Bible and creationism, in spite of some of the characters in the movie making fun of “ignorant” Christians, we are pleased to award our Dove “Family-Approved” Seal to this film for ages twelve plus, and we encourage families everywhere to watch the DVD together and to talk about the time period in comparison to the conflict between evolution and creationism in this modern day. The movie does a nice job in giving the viewer information at the end as to what happened to the various principal characters and it is noted that Bryan College, founded in 1930, is still a powerful Christian college to this day.