Quiz Show (1994)

PG-13   |    |  Biography, Drama, History


Quiz Show (1994) Poster

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

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7.5/10
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  • Robert Redford and Allan Rich in "Quiz Show"
  • Allan Rich in "Quiz Show"
  • John Turturro in Quiz Show (1994)
  • Ralph Fiennes in Quiz Show (1994)
  • Ralph Fiennes in Quiz Show (1994)
  • Allan Rich and Ralph Fiennes in "Quiz Show"

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Reviews & Commentary

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26 July 2005 | blanche-2
8
| Excellent '50s tale of reality TV that wasn't
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.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

When he first talks to James Snodgrass, Richard Goodwin mentions that he was on "Twenty-One," on January 13 (presumably 1958), before Van Doren. Van Doren was on the show from November 28, 1956-March 11, 1957; Snodgrass's games against Hank Bloomgarden came after that because the first known date for which Snodgrass wrote down everything he was supposed to do was for the May 20, 1957 broadcast.


Quotes

Toby Stempel: My mother wants to know why you only went for eight on the movies.
Herbie Stemple: Because my real expertise is pain-in-the-ass in-laws, all right?


Goofs

Herb Stempel while at home says that Gutenberg invents the printing press, however Gutenberg invented movable type for a printing press.


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.


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!"


Soundtracks

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

Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Biography | Drama | History

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