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?
In the film, the last question that Charles Van Doren answers correctly to defeat Herbert Stempel is worth 11 points, about a Civil War general who placed Ulysses S Grant under arrest. In the real December 5th, 1956 episode of Twenty One, this was actually the very first question asked of Van Doren that night, and was worth 8 points. See more
Minutes before 'Twenty-One (1956-1958)' begins, viewers are seen turning on their TV sets, and a caption for the show comes on (instead of the previous program or some commercials). This may or may not be authentic, but after the quiz begins some late viewers turn on their TV sets, and they also get the static caption. See more
I asked myself, "why would he do this, he knows I'll come after him?" Then it occurred to me. He knows I'll come after him.
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
MACK THE KNIFE
Written by Kurt Weill
, Bertolt Brecht
and Marc Blitzstein
Performed by Bobby Darin
Courtesy of Atco Records
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products See more