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Quiz Show (1994)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, History  |  7 October 1994 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 51,522 users   Metascore: 88/100
Reviews: 158 user | 59 critic | 13 from Metacritic.com

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



(screenplay), (book)
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 5 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


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


Drama | History

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

7 October 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kviz  »

Box Office


$24,822,619 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Ethan Hawke has a brief blink and miss appearance in the movie as one of the students of Mark Van Doren. See more »


The address written on Goodwin's legal pad does not match the street address when they visit. See more »


Jack Barry: Herb Stemple, you lead at this point by 18 to 11. The category is movies, how many points do you wish to try for?
Herbie Stemple: I'll try 3, three points.
Jack Barry: Which would give you 21 points if you guess right and you will be the winner again.
Jack Barry: [reads question] Which motion picture won the Academy Award for 1955?
Herbie Stemple: [feigning nervousness and thinking ] 1955... Academy Award... Best Picture. Hmmm, you know... I don't remember.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


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


Written by Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz
See more »

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User Reviews

A study in ethics
17 October 1999 | by (Canberra, Australia) – See all my reviews

Although `Quiz Show' is entirely concerned with morality and the nature of moral choices, I can't think of a single moment when it isn't obvious whether or not a character is doing the right thing. There are no moral dilemmas whatever. And a good thing too - thorny ethical issues would only turn it into an episode of `Star Trek'. If you think a film needs to be confused about right and wrong in order to be interesting, watch `Quiz Show' and realise your error.

Here's most of the ethics in a nutshell: the star contestants of a popular quiz show are cheating, with the connivance of the producers, the sponsor, and the network. That they shouldn't be cheating is never in dispute. The interesting questions are: Why are they cheating? and, What is it like for them, and how do they maintain dignity, when they're found out? Of course, in an intelligent character study like this there are plenty of other questions. I won't ruin your pleasure by giving away any of the answers. The best scenes, probably, are the ones in which a character must admit to someone or some group of people that he has cheated. All these scenes are very good and each is handled in a different way. But they're just cherries in a rich fruitcake. `Quiz Show' is one of my personal favourites. It was nominated for Best Picture of 1994 - an unusually fertile year - although the award went instead to some big dumb propaganda piece.

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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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