IMDb > Quiz Show (1994)
Quiz Show
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Quiz Show (1994) More at IMDbPro »

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Popularity: ?
Down 9% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Paul Attanasio (screenplay)
Richard N. Goodwin (book)
View company contact information for Quiz Show on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
7 October 1994 (USA) See more »
Fifty million people watched, but no one saw a thing.
A young lawyer, Richard Goodwin, investigates a potentially fixed game show. Charles Van Doren, a big time show winner, is under Goodwin's investigation. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 14 wins & 18 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
A colorful, well-written portrayal of a forgotten event in the history of television See more (165 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

John Turturro ... Herbie Stempel

Rob Morrow ... Dick Goodwin

Ralph Fiennes ... Charles Van Doren

Paul Scofield ... Mark Van Doren

David Paymer ... Dan Enright

Hank Azaria ... Albert Freedman

Christopher McDonald ... Jack Barry

Johann Carlo ... Toby Stempel

Elizabeth Wilson ... Dorothy Van Doren

Allan Rich ... Robert Kintner

Mira Sorvino ... Sandra Goodwin

George Martin ... Chairman

Paul Guilfoyle ... Lishman

Griffin Dunne ... Account Guy

Michael Mantell ... Pennebaker

Byron Jennings ... Moomaw

Ben Shenkman ... Childress

Timothy Busfield ... Fred
Jack Gilpin ... Jack

Bruce Altman ... Gene

Martin Scorsese ... Martin Rittenhome
Joseph Blaire ... Lester Stempel (as Joda Hershman)

Ernie Sabella ... Car Salesman

Barry Levinson ... Dave Garroway

Debra Monk ... Kintner's Secretary

Mario Cantone ... Passerby

Timothy Britten Parker ... Researcher
Grace Phillips ... Mrs. Nearing

Jerry Grayson ... Limo Driver
Scott Lucy ... NBC Page

Matt Keeslar ... NBC Page
Ron Scott Bertozzi ... NBC Page

Harriet Sansom Harris ... Enright's Secretary

Mary Shultz ... Freedman's Secretary
Dave Wilson ... Director
Robert Caminiti ... Associate Director
Eddie Korbich ... Lighting Director
Le Clanché du Rand ... Cornwall Neighbor

Carole Shelley ... Cornwall Aunt

Shawn Batten ... Cornwall Cousin
Cornelia Ryan ... Cornwall Cousin

Jeffrey Nordling ... John Van Doren
Gina Rice ... Mrs. John Van Doren
Vince O'Brien ... Bunny Wilson
Adam Kilgour ... Thomas Merton - The Monk
Richard Seff ... Congressman Devine
Bill Moor ... Congressman Rogers
Nicholas Kepros ... Congressman Flynt
Barry Snider ... Congressman Springer
Chuck Adamson ... Congressman Mack
Joseph Attanasio ... Congressman Derounian
Dan Wakefield ... Professors at Book Party
Hamilton Fish ... Professor at Book Party
Merwin Goldsmith ... Writer at Book Party

Illeana Douglas ... Woman at Book Party

Gretchen Egolf ... Student at Book Party
Stephen Pearlman ... Judge Schweitzer

Anthony Fusco ... Librarian

Douglas McGrath ... Snodgrass

Calista Flockhart ... Barnard Girls
Alysa Shwedel ... Barnard Girls

Kelly Coffield Park ... Queens Neighbor (as Kelly Coffield)
Dede Pochos ... Queens Neighbor
Maria Radman ... Queens Neighbor
David Stepkin ... Queens Neighbor
Steve Roland ... Today Announcer

Bernie Sheredy ... Reporter

Joe Lisi ... Reporter
Greg Martin ... Reporter

Reno ... Woman at Door
Neil Leifer ... Psychoanalyst
Caryn Krooth ... Blonde
Mario Contacessi ... Waiter
Patricia Geri Russell ... NBC Secretary (as Pat Russell)
Bill Cwikowski ... Challenger

William Fichtner ... Stage Manager
Vincent J. Burns ... Crew Member

Katherine Borowitz ... #1 Mom (as Katherine Turturro)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ray Abbott ... Photographer (uncredited)
John D. Bair ... Grad Student (uncredited)
Ted Brunson ... Reporter (uncredited)

Michael J. Burg ... Student (uncredited)

Hélène Cardona ... Student (uncredited)
Susan Janet Cooper ... Susan - Pete's wife (uncredited)

Richard Council ... Reporter #1 (uncredited)

Toni Downey ... Secretary (uncredited)
Matthew T. Gitkin ... NBC Staff (uncredited)

Jerry Griffin ... Doorman (uncredited)
David Hausen ... Camera Operator (uncredited)

Ethan Hawke ... Don Quixote Student (uncredited)
Christopher King ... Congressional Hearing Reporter (uncredited)

Stas Kmiec ... Man in Glasses (uncredited)

Michael Luceri ... Student (uncredited)
Owen Lund ... Technical Director (uncredited)

Peter Morse ... Student (uncredited)

Ron Ostrow ... Photographer (uncredited)

John Ponzio ... NBC Page (uncredited)
James Prendergast ... Lawyer (uncredited)

Paul Vincent Rapisarda ... Courtroom Attendee (uncredited)

Steve Ryan ... NBC Employee (uncredited)
Jonathan Marc Sherman ... Don Quixote Student #2 (uncredited)

Nick Taylor ... Herbie's Neighbor (uncredited)
Billy Marshall Thompson ... Student (uncredited)
Glenn Zarr ... Press Photographer (uncredited)

Directed by
Robert Redford 
Writing credits
Paul Attanasio (screenplay)

Richard N. Goodwin (book "Remembering America: A Voice From the Sixties")

Produced by
Richard Dreyfuss .... executive producer
Richard N. Goodwin .... co-producer
Michael Jacobs .... producer
Judith James .... executive producer
Julian Krainin .... producer
Jeff McCracken .... co-producer
Susan Moore .... associate producer
Gail Mutrux .... co-producer
Michael Nozik .... producer
Robert Redford .... producer
Frederick Zollo .... executive producer
Original Music by
Mark Isham 
Cinematography by
Michael Ballhaus 
Film Editing by
Stu Linder 
Casting by
Bonnie Timmermann 
Production Design by
Jon Hutman 
Art Direction by
Tim Galvin 
Set Decoration by
Samara Schaffer 
Costume Design by
Kathy O'Rear 
Makeup Department
Kymbra Callaghan .... additional makeup artist
Angel De Angelis .... additional hair stylist (as Angelina De Angelis)
Sharon Ilson .... key makeup artist
Bernadette Mazur .... additional makeup artist
Francesca Paris .... additional hair stylist
Bunny Parker .... key hair stylist (as Bunny Parker-Adamson)
Linda Lazar .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Gabriella Pollino .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Jovan Vitagliano .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Production Management
Lydia Dean Pilcher .... production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Joe Burns .... second assistant director (as Joseph Burns)
Stuart Feldman .... dga trainee
Susan E. Fiore .... second second assistant director
Joseph P. Reidy .... first assistant director (as Joseph Reidy)
Art Department
Troy R. Adee .... set dresser
Tommy Allen .... property master
Dimitri Apletchef .... assistant property master
Jeff Balsmeyer .... storyboard artist
Joe Bird .... set dresser (as Joseph L. Bird)
Conrad V. Brink Jr. .... set dresser (as Conrad Brink)
Jeff Brink .... set dresser (as Jeffrey S. Brink)
Ed Check .... assistant art director
Diane D'Addio .... assistant set decorator
Tony Fanning .... assistant art director
Gilbert Gertsen .... set dresser (as Gilbert H. Gertsen)
Gordon Gertsen .... set dresser (as Gordon H. Gertsen)
Donna Hamilton .... assistant set decorator (as Donna F. Hamilton)
Sandy Hamilton .... assistant property master
Brent Haywood .... carpenter foreman
Mark Horstmann .... carpenter foreman
Kalina Ivanov .... storyboard artist
Gary Levitsky .... set dresser
Kevin McCarthy .... lead man (as Kevin B. McCarthy)
Matthew McCarthy .... set dresser
Ken Nelson .... construction coordinator (as Kenneth D. Nelson)
John Oates Jr. .... set dresser
Charlotte Palmer-lane .... design assistant
Joseph Proscia .... set dresser (as Joseph F. Proscia)
Miriam Schapiro .... art department coordinator
Bob Shaw .... assistant art director (as Robert K. Shaw Jr.)
Robert Topol .... master scenic artist
M. Tony Trotta .... camera scenic artist
Paul Wardwell .... key construction grip
Alyssa Winter .... assistant set decorator
Paul Camarro .... set dresser (uncredited)
Deni Holl .... set painter (uncredited)
John Merrick .... construction grip (uncredited)
Silvija L. Moess .... scenic artist (uncredited)
Louis J. Porzio .... carpenter (uncredited)
Mary Prlain .... assistant set decorator (uncredited)
Sound Department
Sandina Bailo-Lape .... foley editor
Tom Barwick .... foley artist
Sara Bolder .... dialogue editor
Christopher Boyes .... assistant sound designer (as Chris Boyes)
Tony Eckert .... foley mixer
Andre Fenley .... assistant sound editor
Ken Fischer .... sound effects editor
Rob Fruchtman .... adr editor
J.R. Grubbs .... assistant sound editor
Joel Holland .... sound recordist
Richard Hymns .... supervising sound editor
Donna Jaffe .... assistant sound editor
Tom Johnson .... re-recording mixer
Tod A. Maitland .... sound mixer
David Platt .... boom operator
Kevin Rose-Williams .... assistant sound editor
Gary Rydstrom .... re-recording mixer
Gary Rydstrom .... sound designer
Susan Sanford .... assistant sound editor
Michael Silvers .... dialogue editor
Karen Tenkhoff .... assistant sound editor
Dennie Thorpe .... foley artist
John Countryman .... re-recordist (uncredited)
Sean England .... machine room operator (uncredited)
Matthew Wood .... assistant sound editor (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Bruce Atwater .... grip
Florian Ballhaus .... camera operator
Jerry DeBlau .... gaffer
Michael Finnerty .... rigging grip
Brian Fitzsimons .... best boy
Kenneth Fundus .... rigging grip
Dennis Gamiello .... dolly grip
Dennis Gamiello .... key grip
John Lowry .... grip
Bobby Mancuso .... second assistant camera
Anastas N. Michos .... Steadicam operator
Anastas N. Michos .... camera operator: "b" camera
Arthur Moshlak .... electrician
Fred Muller .... electrician
Heather Norton .... camera trainee
Wayne Paull .... camera operator: video camera
Louis Petraglia .... electrician
Peter John Petraglia .... best boy
Ronald Plant .... rigging grip
Lance Shepherd .... electrician
Susan Starr .... first assistant camera
Bobby Vercruse .... electrician
Barry Wetcher .... still photographer
Rick Whitfield .... video supervisor
Dick Fisher .... camera operator: video camera (uncredited)
David Hausen .... additional camera operator (uncredited)
Allen Stillman .... light board operator (uncredited)
Larry Wood .... video playback operator (uncredited)
Casting Department
Patricia DiCerto .... casting assistant (as Patricia Kerrigan DiCerto)
Karen E. Etcoff .... extras casting
Barbara Harris .... voice casting
Alison E. McBryde .... casting assistant
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Michael Adkins .... assistant wardrobe supervisor
Dan Bronson .... assistant costume designer
Paul Buboltz .... wardrobe supervisor
Danajean Cicerchi .... assistant wardrobe supervisor
Patricia Eiben .... wardrobe supervisor
Mary Gierczak .... wardrobe assistant (as Mary C-Gierczak)
Barrett Hong .... wardrobe assistant
Beulah Jones-Black .... assistant costume designer
Lisa Padovani .... assistant to costume designer
Haleen K. Holt .... costume illustrator (uncredited)
Valerie Laven-Cooper .... costumer (uncredited)
Muto-Little .... costume maker (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Blair Daily .... associate editor
Mark Daily .... assistant editor
Dale E. Grahn .... color timer
David Hamme .... assistant colorist (uncredited)
Location Management
Laura Berning .... location assistant (as Laura J. Berning)
Maria T. Bierniak .... assistant location manager
John Crowder .... location coordinator: Washington D.C. (as John A. Crowder Jr.)
David DeClerque .... location manager
Amy Herman .... location manager
Mark Kamine .... location assistant
Carlos Moore .... assistant location manager
Bryan Thomas .... location assistant
Thomas M. Tucker .... location assistant
Tom Tumminello .... location assistant
Deren Getz .... locations scout (uncredited)
Amanda Herman .... location assistant (uncredited)
Robin F. Samson .... location scout (uncredited)
Music Department
Sandy DeCrescent .... music contractor
Dell Hake .... additional orchestrator
Mark Isham .... musician: trumpet solos
Stephen Krause .... score mixer (as Steve Krause)
Ken Kugler .... conductor
Ken Kugler .... orchestrator
Craig Pettigrew .... music editor
Katherine Quittner .... music supervisor
Kim Scharnberg .... additional orchestrator
John Beal .... composer: trailer (uncredited)
Tom Boyd .... musician: oboe soloist (uncredited)
Todd Homme .... music producer (uncredited)
Rolf Johnson .... assistant music editor (uncredited)
James Thatcher .... musician: French horn (uncredited)
Seth Wittner .... music proof reader (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Timothy Shannon .... transportation co-captain
James Patrick Whalen Jr. .... transportation captain
Bobby Marsh .... driver (uncredited)
Other crew
Alison Armstrong .... production assistant
Jeffrey T. Barabe .... set production assistant (as Jeffrey Barabe)
Ron Scott Bertozzi .... production assistant
Jessica Bradford .... production assistant
Susan Bradley .... title designer
Donnaldson Brown .... assistant: Mr. Nozik
Elizabeth Collins .... assistant accountant
Shirley Davis .... office production assistant
Michael Demers .... craft service
Deborah Devgan .... office production assistant
Lou DiGiaimo Jr. .... office production assistant
Amy DiPrima .... production assistant
Anne Disano .... production assistant
Lynn D. Ezelle .... post-production accountant
Kerin Ferallo .... production assistant
Rebecca L. Feuer .... production assistant
Daniel Freeman .... technical advisor
Danny Glicker .... production assistant (as Daniel Glicker)
Scott Gottesman .... production assistant
Ellen M. Hillers .... production coordinator
Shelley Houis .... production coordinator
Andrea Isaacs .... assistant accountant
Donna Kail .... assistant: Mr. Redford
Steve Kardell .... production assistant
Lara Kelly .... shop manager
R. Michael King .... craft service
Caryn Krooth .... set production assistant
Ilene S. Landress .... production accountant
Sandra Leoncavallo .... assistant: Ms. Mutrux
Ann-Louise Lipman .... production assistant
Maria Alaina Mason .... production assistant
Mary Kate McCormick .... production assistant
Ron Mitchell .... production assistant
Tim Monich .... dialect coach
Ric Morelli .... set production assistant
Sheila Paige .... script supervisor
Dawn Murphy Riley .... assistant production coordinator
Marsha Robertson .... unit publicist
Meika Rouda .... production assistant
Shea Rowan .... set production assistant
Bob Rubin .... technical advisor
Alex Ruttenberg .... production assistant
Cornelia Ryan .... assistant: Mr. Redford
Alysa Shwedel .... assistant production coordinator
Jane Silberstein .... production assistant
Susan Sloan .... set nurse
Lois Smith .... public relations
Judy Thomason .... assistant: Mr. Nozik
Jennifer Truelove .... office production assistant
Melissa Unger .... set production assistant
Amanda Weisenthal .... office production assistant
Rodney Barnes .... production assistant (uncredited)
Douglas Busby .... production assistant (uncredited)
Kyle Cooper .... title designer: end titles (uncredited)
Joëlle François .... press attache: France (uncredited)
Christer Hokanson .... main title editorial (uncredited)
Anne Lara .... press attache: France (uncredited)
Diane Modafferi .... production assistant (uncredited)
Eli Roth .... assistant: Fed Zollo (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Rated PG-13 for some strong language (certificate no. 32957)
133 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Robert Redford claims that he spotted the real Charles Van Doren's acting while he was watching the show during his tenure at acting school.See more »
Factual errors: Herb Stempel while at home says that Gutenberg invents the printing press, however Gutenberg invented movable type for a printing press.See more »
Charles Van Doren:I've stood on the shoulders of life and I've never gotten down into the dirt to build, to erect a foundation of my own. I've flown too high on borrowed wings. Everything came too easy.See more »
Movie Connections:
MORITATSee more »


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55 out of 59 people found the following review useful.
A colorful, well-written portrayal of a forgotten event in the history of television, 23 October 2006
Author: kylopod ( from Baltimore, MD

"Quiz Show" is the type of movie that invites viewers to ask themselves how they would act under similar circumstances. If you were a contestant on a TV game show and the producers offered you a load of money to do a fixed show where you're given the answers in advance, would you do it? Or would you turn your back on the producers and walk away? In this film, Charles Van Doren does not walk away, but he does hesitate. As played by Ralph Fiennes, he's a bright, likable fellow who seems like a good man despite his willing participation in a fraud.

The film is smartly written, tightly plotted, and populated by interesting characters. It is also entertaining. It unfolds like a great detective story, except that no murder has taken place. There isn't even any crime. As shocking as it may seem, there were no laws against rigging a quiz show back in the 1950s, because no lawmaker had considered that such a thing would ever happen. When the scandal came to light, those working behind the scenes who engineered the fraud managed to survive with their careers intact, and the people who suffered the harshest consequences were the contestants, who were simply pawns. That says something about the distortions of television culture, but this theme, among others, is nicely understated in the film.

Director Robert Redford has a gift for finding the drama in seemingly mundane topics, but not in a contrived or manipulative fashion. The '50s quiz show scandal is the sort of topic that could easily have made for a preachy and artificial TV movie. It's a great credit to Redford's film that it doesn't contain any long moralizing speeches. Though the movie has many great quotes, the characters talk like real people, and the situations grow out of their personalities. We end up rooting for several characters at once. We want Richard Goodwin (Rob Morrow), the lawyer sent to investigate the show, to succeed in uncovering the scandal. But we also feel for Van Doren, who almost comes off as a tragic hero. We even feel a little for the pathetic and unlikable Herb Stemple (John Turturro), the whistle-blower who's been bamboozled and humiliated by the producers.

The movie works on the most basic level as simple drama, the high points being those scenes where Goodwin uncovers each new layer to the case. The first time I saw the film, I was put in mind of a detective story like "Colombo." There's no mystery, of course, since we know from the start who the perpetrators are, what they did and how they did it. But the labyrinth of corruption that Goodwin must probe is fascinating to behold.

Goodwin naively assumes he's practically taking down the network (the movie hints that the scandal goes to the very top) even though no laws were broken. The situation has the feel of a conspiracy, the people talking in euphemisms like they were mob bosses or something ("For seventy grand you can afford to be humiliated"). The contestants themselves are no dummies: they are smart, knowledgeable people who could very well have been used honestly on a trivia show. The producers simply wanted to control the responses to make the show more dramatic. What made this unethical was the amount of deception it required. It's one thing to have entertainment that everyone knows is fake (e.g., pro-wrestling), it's quite another to pass off something phony as something real. Of course now I'm getting preachy, something I praised the movie for not doing. But that's exactly my point. In a lesser movie, there would have been characters explaining the distinction. Here, it's left to us to assess the situation. That's the best kind of movie, the kind that invites further discussion.

Above all, the movie is about integrity and what defines it. Goodwin (in a classic reversal of our culture's typical view of lawyers) is the boy scout in the story, who says at one point that he would never have participated in the fraud if he were in Van Doren's shoes, and we believe him. But a large part of the film involves his relationship with Van Doren, a man he likes and doesn't want to hurt. His desire to protect Van Doren (but not Stemple) from ruin while bringing down the true perpetrators of the scandal leads to one of the movie's most memorable lines, when Goodwin's wife calls Goodwin "the Uncle Tom of the Jews," because he's sticking up for a corrupt Gentile. We respect Goodwin and admire his reluctance to hurt Van Doren, but we, too, wonder whether he's handling the case with the proper objectivity.

The movie has some interesting subtexts dealing with the anti-Semitism coming from Jewish producers themselves. In one scene, producers Dan Enright and Albert Freedman basically explain to Van Doren, in so many words, that Stemple is too Jewish for the show. This is a phenomenon I've rarely seen dealt with in the movies, possibly because there aren't too many films depicting the history of television.

The film is often criticized for departing significantly from the facts of the case. For example, the real Goodwin actually played a minimal role in exposing the scandal. I can understand why those involved in the case may have resented these inaccuracies. But filmmakers do have dramatic license. Probably this film should have changed the names of the characters from their real-life counterparts, to reinforce the fact that it's not an exact account of what happened. The purpose of movies isn't to duplicate real life, but to reflect on real life, to gain fresh insight, and "Quiz Show" achieves that purpose with dignity and style.

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