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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Fifty million people watched, but no one saw a thing.
Did You Know?
Early in the film, when someone says that "There's a rumor Eisenhower died," Charles Van Doren's mother, Dorothy, quips, "How would they tell?" This is actually a quote from Dorothy Parker, the American writer and poet, which she said when she heard that former President Calvin Coolidge had died in January 1933. See more
At the beginning, Goodwin overhears news about Sputnik's launch. Van Doren appeared on "21" from November 1956 to March 1957. The Soviets launched Sputnik in October 1957. See more
21 is rigged and I can prove it... I have Enright cold and that means I have you.
Then how come you're the one who's sweating?
Richard Goodwin became a speechwriter for the 1960 Kennedy campaign and then a member of the White House staff. After the assassination of Robert Kennedy, he retired from politics to become a writer. See more
Written by Kurt Weill
and Bertolt Brecht
Performed by Lyle Lovett
Lyle Lovett appears courtesy of Curb Music Company and MCA Records See more