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>
Charles Van Doren talked to the grand jury through his lawyer, saying he was innocent and "it is silly and distressing to think that people don't have more faith in quiz shows." He offered to appear before the House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, so they subpoenaed him. In November 1959, he confessed. He told reporters at the following press conference that he had been, "living in dread for almost 3 years." See more »
References to a "new 1958 model car" place the film in 1957 or 1958. The radio plays Bobby Darin's "Mack the Knife," which was released in 1959. See more »
[to a reporter outside the committee hearing]
You know what the problem with you bums is? You never leave a guy alone unless you're leaving him alone.
See more »
I watched this film for about the fifth time last night. I first saw it a couple of years ago when my mum brought it home, she'd picked it out of the bargain bin at the supermarket, and what a bargain!
It is a superb tale, I notice some have said 'who cares it was just a dumb quiz show', well that is hardly the point, many films are made where, what was seemingly the subject is actually just a background for the real story to be told.
Quiz Show is a brilliantly told morality tale, but that is not to say it preaches. It can get away with not preaching because the consequences of their actions didn't harm anyone. It doesn't say, 'if you do something wrong you will be punished'. It says 'If you do something wrong, can you live with yourself'. "It's the getting away with it I couldn't stand" Charlie says at one point.
A classical tragedy of a man with the world at his fingertips who throws it all away at his own volition. As a classical Shakespearean actor Fiennes is perfect for the role.
A wonderful intelligent and literate script, the pieces between Charlie and his father in the Athanaeum and at the picnic are wonderful.
Subtle music and stylish presentation are the icing on the cake.
48 of 61 people found this review helpful.
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