A young lawyer, Richard Goodwin, investigates a potentially fixed game show. Charles Van Doren, a big time show winner, is under Goodwin's investigation.

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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 23 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Dan Enright
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Johann Carlo ...
Toby Stempel
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George Martin ...
Chairman
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Lishman
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Account Guy
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Pennebaker
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Storyline

An idealistic young lawyer working for a Congressional subcommittee in the late 1950s discovers that TV quiz shows are being fixed. His investigation focuses on two contestants on the show "Twenty-One": Herbert Stempel, a brash working-class Jew from Queens, and Charles Van Doren, the patrician scion of one of America's leading literary families. Based on a true story. Written by Tim Horrigan <horrigan@hanover-crrel.army.mil>

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Fifty million people watched, but no one saw a thing.

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Drama | History

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some strong language | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

7 October 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kviz  »

Box Office

Gross:

$24,822,619 (USA)
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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Ben Shenkman. See more »

Goofs

When Goodwin is talking to the Geritol rep, you can see oversize volumes of the "Dictionary Catalog of the Research Libraries of the New York Public Library, 1911-1971", which was published in 1979. See more »

Quotes

Mark Van Doren: Why don't you just put it in the bank Charlie? That's what I've always done with my prize money.
Charles Van Doren: It's just, you don't understand dad, it's, there are all sorts of tax implications
Mark Van Doren: You Think I can't understand the concept of taxes.
Charles Van Doren: At this level it's a bit more complicated.
Mark Van Doren: And at my level? I never thought of myself as having a level. What level might that be?
See more »

Crazy Credits

No.1 Mom.......Katherine Turturro See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cleanflix (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

DANCING IN THE DARK
Written by Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz
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User Reviews

 
Excellent '50s tale of reality TV that wasn't
26 July 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I was growing up during the Charles Van Doren scandal, and I remember his face on the front page of the paper and my mother crying. When I asked her what happened, she said, "He told a lie." He told a whole bunch of them, in fact, and was part of the quiz show scandal of the '50s, which Quiz Show so beautifully dramatizes. Robert Redford does a fantastic job of recreating the atmosphere in perfect detail, as well as the fascinating story of the '50s version of reality TV, the quiz shows, going awry.

Paul Scofield is absolutely mind-boggling as Van Doren Sr., and Ralph Fiennes is wonderful, handsome, and charismatic as Charles Van Doren. The rest of the cast is marvelous - John Turturro, David Paymer, Hank Azaria, and Rob Morrow.

Van Doren was a dream contestant - good-looking, educated, with a beautiful speaking voice - and captivated the country with his intelligence. Unfortunately, it wasn't reality at all, just fantasy. But, as Van Doren says while verbally sparring with his dad, "It was mine own." It sure was, and he went into oblivion because of it.


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has the distribution of this movie been supressed since it's release? robtromp
Rob Morrow miscast? j-scott-adams
The real Best Picture, 1994 cdrw74minutes
Is Charles Van Doren really at fault? MovieGuy89
Ruben Sandwich cann85
Did anyone else find Charles van Doren's(Fiennes) smile annoying? lgforce
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