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Quiz Show (1994)

7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 48,034 users   Metascore: 88/100
Reviews: 152 user | 56 critic | 13 from Metacritic.com

Dick Goodwin discovers game shows are fixed: Charles Van Doren is fed answers so he beats Herbie Stempel.

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(screenplay), (book)
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Title: Quiz Show (1994)

Quiz Show (1994) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 15 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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama | History

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 September 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kviz  »

Box Office

Gross:

$24,822,619 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In January, 1957, Herb Stempel and Charles Van Doren actually had a series of three scripted ties and Charles Van Doren finally won on the fourth game. While Charles Van Doren did lose to Vivienne Nearing, he actually played against her three times to a tie before losing. He had beat her husband, Victor Nearing, earlier in the year. He signed a 3-year contract for $150,000 ($50,000 a year in the movie, pretty much got it right) in April, 1957, to guest on Steve Allen's show, guest host the Today (1952) show, and be a panelist on NBC's radio show, "Conversations." See more »

Goofs

The Thistle Class One sailboat is rigged with specialty Harken blocks (pulleys), which were introduced in the 1990s. See more »

Quotes

Dan Enright: How much do they pay instructors up at Columbia?
Charles Van Doren: Eighty-six dollars a week.
Dan Enright: Do you have any idea how much Bozo the Clown makes?
Charles Van Doren: Well... we, we can't all be Bozo the Clown.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Albert Freedman works for Penthouse Magazine. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Bob Saget/TLC (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Fantastic film, phenomenal performances
20 November 2003 | by (Milwaukee, WI) – See all my reviews

It would be pretty surprising if Quiz Show, Robert Redford's film about the 1950's quiz show scandals was anything short of excellent. The principal actors give phenomenal performances: Fiennes' Van Doren is usually unflappable and cold, but manages to allow vulnerability to surface at times, and Turturro's Stempel is a study in almost sociopathic and manic behavior. What allows both actors to transcend mere greatness is their ability to make the viewer both admire and detest their characters with something as subtle as a glance or body language. Morrow's character of the `whistle-blower' is there as the moral fiber; the outsider who looks upon the situation both with objectivity and as the devil's advocate.

Redford's direction is rich and well-paced. There were not any slow moments in the film, and he did not have to adhere to rapid-fire editing to achieve the momentum of the film. Perhaps the subject matter is a factor, but I have found that with the exception of `Ordinary People', the films I have seen under Redford's direction have been good in a technical respect but lean toward the maudlin. With Quiz Show, he does what should be done when telling a true story – he does not resort to preaching, rather he directs with an objectivity that allows the viewer to come to their own conclusions.

Quiz Show is an excellent film that I highly recommend, especially to see the razor-sharp performances of Fiennes and Turturro.

--Shelly


36 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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has the distribution of this movie been supressed since it's release? robtromp
Rob Morrow miscast? j-scott-adams
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