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>
Early in the movie, we see the inside of the Barry-Enright offices, and a shot of the company logo, an interlocking B&E. That logo wasn't introduced until Jack Barry and Dan Enright reunited in the 1970s. See more »
Herb Stemple, you lead at this point by 18 to 11. The category is movies, how many points do you wish to try for?
I'll try 3, three points.
Which would give you 21 points if you guess right and you will be the winner again.
Which motion picture won the Academy Award for 1955?
[feigning nervousness and thinking ]
1955... Academy Award... Best Picture. Hmmm, you know... I don't remember.
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I felt like it was very well done, great camera angles, some fairly creative shots that spoke for the characters when they themselves were silent...just a well done, quality film, that never drys out or leaves you in a lurch. John Turturro is outstanding as a neurotic, slightly obsessed and racially-sensitive Stempel, Rob Morrow carries the role of Goodwin as if he were the man himself, and Ralph Fiennes as Charles Van Doren was a better choice than anyone else I could imagine, also as if the role fit his personality so closely as to blur the line between actor and role. Hank Azaria had a relatively small part, but is always a good fit regardless of the subject matter, a phenomenal character actor who has finally made quite a name for himself; quite overdue, I feel. Paul Scofield handles his role as Charles' father without so much as the slightest effort, it comes so easily. David Paymer is a man who seems to receive so few accolades one might hardly notice him, but he also is tremendously talented (see Mr. Saturday Night for a strong example of Paymer's abilities as supporting actor opposite Billy Crystal and Julie Warner).
All in all, a wonderful film on a subject in which one might not normally find interest, but very well done and an outstanding yet understated collection of actors and actresses make this one:
4 out of 5 stars
Well worth seeing! I would highly recommend it!
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