7.5/10
64,156
179 user 62 critic

Quiz Show (1994)

Trailer
2:41 | Trailer
A young lawyer, Richard Goodwin, investigates a potentially fixed game show. Charles Van Doren, a big time show winner, is under Goodwin's investigation.

Director:

Robert Redford

Writers:

Paul Attanasio (screenplay), Richard N. Goodwin (book)
Reviews
Popularity
4,920 ( 238)
Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 32 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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
Edit

Storyline

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 <horrigan@hanover-crrel.army.mil>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Fifty million people watched, but no one saw a thing.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

In January 1957, Herb Stempel and Charles Van Doren actually had a series of three scripted ties, and Van Doren finally won on the fourth game. While Van Doren lost to Vivienne Nearing, he actually tied her three times before losing. He had beaten her husband, Victor Nearing, earlier in the year. In April 1957, he signed a 3-year, $150,000 contract to appear on Steve Allen's show, guest host the Today (1952) show, and be a panelist on NBC's radio show, "Conversations." See more »

Goofs

In the beginning of the movie they have a question which is asked to the contestants, about Paul Revere's "Midnight Ride", which is a multiple part question. Two of the questions are inaccurate. 1) There is no evidence that the name of the horse is known. 2) The horse was not owned by John Larkin, but his John Larkin's father. See more »

Quotes

Mark Van Doren: What these books have conclusively proven is that the diffence between men and women is exactly 38 pages.
Man 1: Can I quote you, Mark?
Mark Van Doren: Not before I quote me.
Dorothy Van Doren: His own quotes are his greatest pleasure.
Man 2: Did you hear the market dropped 30 points today. There's a rumor Eisenhower died.
Dorothy Van Doren: How could they tell?
Mark Van Doren: Oh, please. Don't get Dorothy started on politics. There'll be a raid.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Charles Van Doren went to work for the Encyclopedia Britannica. Today he writes books and lives in the family home in Cornwall, Connecticut. He never taught again. See more »

Alternate Versions

The network version of "Quiz Show" uses replacement footage in two places. They are:
  • In the scene where Dan is telling Herb that he has to take a dive, the line "Look, don't start believing your own bullshit, all right? You wouldn't know the name of Paul Revere's horse if he took a shit on your lawn!" is changed to "Look, don't start believing your own bull, all right? You wouldn't know the name of Paul Revere's horse if he took a nap on your lawn!"
  • When Herb is talking to Dan about getting a panel show, Herb's line "You get me that panel show, or I'm gonna bring you down with me, you lousy lyin' prick! You and Charles Van Fucking Doren!" is changed to "You get me that panel show, or I'm gonna bring you down with me, you lousy lyin' pig! You and Charles Van Friggin Doren!"
See more »

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Only You/Second Best/Pulp Fiction (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

DANCING IN THE DARK
Written by Arthur Schwartz and Howard Dietz
See more »

User Reviews

 
Excellent '50s tale of reality TV that wasn't
26 July 2005 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

I was growing up during the Charles Van Doren scandal, and I remember his face on the front page of the paper and my mother crying. When I asked her what happened, she said, "He told a lie." He told a whole bunch of them, in fact, and was part of the quiz show scandal of the '50s, which Quiz Show so beautifully dramatizes. Robert Redford does a fantastic job of recreating the atmosphere in perfect detail, as well as the fascinating story of the '50s version of reality TV, the quiz shows, going awry.

Paul Scofield is absolutely mind-boggling as Van Doren Sr., and Ralph Fiennes is wonderful, handsome, and charismatic as Charles Van Doren. The rest of the cast is marvelous - John Turturro, David Paymer, Hank Azaria, and Rob Morrow.

Van Doren was a dream contestant - good-looking, educated, with a beautiful speaking voice - and captivated the country with his intelligence. Unfortunately, it wasn't reality at all, just fantasy. But, as Van Doren says while verbally sparring with his dad, "It was mine own." It sure was, and he went into oblivion because of it.


77 of 83 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 179 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

7 October 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Quiz Show See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$31,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$757,714, 18 September 1994

Gross USA:

$24,822,619

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$24,822,619
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed