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>
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
During the "Today Show" interview, flags are visible as the camera pans to the shot of the crowd. The present-day South African flag is clearly visible. See more
[while Dan Enright is testifying
I thought we were gonna get television. The truth is... television is gonna get us.
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
References Tic Tac Dough
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