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 <email@example.com>
Herb Stempel's son was an infant at the time of the quiz show scandal. Stempel had been trying to tell people that the show was fixed long before he lost his run, but he was ignored. In May 1958, the CBS game show Dotto (1958) was exposed as rigged. When Stempel published his accusations in August 1958, people paid attention. See more »
The Thistle Class One sailboat is rigged with specialty Harken blocks (pulleys), which were introduced in the 1990s. See more »
I know what you're gonna accomplish, I just don't know what he's gonna accomplish.
You want to know what? If I do nothing else I will convince them that Herbert Stemple knows what won the God-damned Academy Award for best God-damned picture of 1955; that's what I'm gonna accomplish.
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Herbert Stempel went to work for the New York City Transit Department. He still lives in Queens. 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.
49 of 62 people found this review helpful.
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