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>
In 1973's The Way We Were, the 'Robert Redford' character was defined by the phrase "everything came too easy." In 1994's Quiz Show (1994), directed by Redford, the Van Doren character used the same phrase about his own life. See more »
When Enright and Freedman attempt to convince Van Doren to appear on 21, they ask him how much does he think Bozo the Clown makes. Bozo's first TV show was in 1949 on Los Angeles's KTTV. However, Bozo did not gain national prominence until Larry Harmon established Bozo shows in various markets. The first was in LA in 1959, with the New York show also starting that year. Since Van Doren's conversation would have occurred in 1956, Bozo was not yet well known among adults or a high grossing star. See more »
And they love me for the same reason they used to hate me, because I'm the guy who knows everything.
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Herbert Stempel went to work for the New York City Transit Department. He still lives in Queens. See more »
The other day when I was renting movies I passed this one called Quiz Show, never heard of it, wasn't too sure if it would be good or not, so I figured I would just wait and check it out on IMDb. When I saw the rating I was very impressed, not to mention how this was nominated for best picture of '94, considering it was up against: Forrest Gump, Pulp Fiction, and Shawshank Redemption, it didn't really stand a chance. But I rented this movie and I'm convinced that 1994 had to be one of the best years for films. Quiz Show is an incredibly impressive film by Robert Redford, which I didn't even realize that this guy could direct! The story is just a perfect one for any type of a debate conversation on what is right and what is wrong.
21 is a popular TV quiz show in the 50's where they ask very hard questions and the guests win lots of money, Herb Stempel has been the reigning champion for weeks. But he's not exactly what you would call the TV hunk, he's got the "radio face". Charles Van Doren is a huge fan of quiz shows, so he auditions, and when the executives see him, they go crazy over him, he's handsome, he's smart, he's charismatic, and his family is famous. They tell Herb to "dive down" and get a wrong answer so that Charles can take over as the champion. Everything seems to go smoothly, that is until Harvard grad government agent Dick Goodwin is convinced that there's something wrong. He is determined to prove that the show is rigged and that 21 is ripping of America's intellects.
Quiz Show is a great film, the acting, the picture, the editing, everything about this film is pretty much flawless. I couldn't believe that this film is not anywhere near the top 250, I don't see any problems with the film. But I know every film has a hater or two. But for me the film, acting wise, the film went to Ralph Fiennes, he did an incredible performance and was so touching during his statement to the jury. I just would highly recommend this film to anyone, this is a great film and Robert Redford did a terrific job.
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