: : : Quiz Show

Story

This vigorously entertaining film, sharply directed by Robert Redford from Paul Attanasio's brilliant screenplay, is based on the game-show scandals of the 1950s, when TV quiz shows were rigged to attract higher ratings and lucrative sponsorships. The fact-based story focuses on the quiz show Twenty-One and popular contestant Charles Van Doren (Ralph Fiennes), a charming, well-bred intellectual who agreed to win the game by using answers supplied by the show's producers. This unfair advantage turned Van Doren into a prototypical media darling at the expense of reigning Twenty-One champion Herbie Stempel (John Turturro, in a bravura performance), a working-class Jewish contestant who, according to the show's sponsors, had worn out his welcome in the public eye. When a congressional investigator (Rob Morrow) catches on to the scam and Stempel blows the whistle on this backstage manipulation, Quiz Show becomes a smart, political exposé about the first generation of television, the corrupting effect of celebrity and success, and the ongoing loss of innocence in American society. Bristling with superior dialogue and energized by an excellent cast including Paul Scofield as Van Doren's morally upstanding father, Quiz Show succeeds as history lesson, intelligent thriller, and morality tale, setting the stage for the countless scandals that would follow in a nation addicted to television. --Jeff Shannon

DVD Features

  • Color
  • Closed-captioned
  • Widescreen

Cast

John TurturroHerbie Stempel
Rob MorrowDick Goodwin
Ralph FiennesCharles Van Doren
Paul ScofieldMark Van Doren
David PaymerDan Enright
Hank AzariaAlbert Freedman
Christopher McDonaldJack Barry
Johann CarloToby Stempel
Elizabeth WilsonDorothy Van Doren
Allan RichRobert Kintner
Mira SorvinoSandra Goodwin
George MartinChairman
Paul GuilfoyleLishman
Griffin DunneAccount Guy
Michael MantellPennebaker
Byron JenningsMoomaw
Ben ShenkmanChildress
Timothy BusfieldFred
Jack GilpinJack
Bruce AltmanGene
Martin ScorseseMartin Rittenhome
Joseph BlaireLester Stempel
Ernie SabellaCar Salesman
Barry LevinsonDave Garroway
Debra MonkKintner's Secretary
Mario CantonePasserby
Timothy Britten ParkerResearcher
Grace PhillipsMrs. Nearing
Jerry GraysonLimo Driver
Scott LucyNBC Pages
Matt KeeslarNBC Pages
Ron Scott BertozziNBC Pages
Harriet Sansom HarrisEnright's Secretary
Mary ShultzFreedman's Secretary
Dave WilsonDirector
Robert CaminitiAssociate Director
Eddie KorbichLighting Director
Le Clanché du RandCornwall Neighbor
Carole ShelleyCornwall Aunt
Shawn BattenCornwall Cousins
Cornelia RyanCornwall Cousins
Jeffrey NordlingJohn Van Doren
Gina RiceMrs. John Van Doren
Vince O'BrienBunny Wilson
Adam KilgourThomas Merton, The Monk
Richard SeffCongressman Devine
Bill MoorCongressman Rogers
Nicholas KeprosCongressman Flynt
Barry SniderCongressman Springer
Chuck AdamsonCongressman Mack
Joseph AttanasioCongressman Derounian
Dan WakefieldProfessors at Book Party
Hamilton FishProfessor at Book Party
Merwin GoldsmithWriter at Book Party
Illeana DouglasWoman at Book Party
Gretchen EgolfStudent at Book Party
Stephen PearlmanJudge Schweitzer
Anthony FuscoLibrarian
Douglas McGrathSnodgrass
Calista FlockhartBarnard Girls
Alysa ShwedelBarnard Girls
Kelly Coffield ParkQueens Neighbors
Dede PochosQueens Neighbors
Maria RadmanQueens Neighbors
David StepkinQueens Neighbors
Steve RolandToday Announcer
Bernie SheredyReporters
Joe LisiReporters
RenoWoman at Door
Neil LeiferPsychoanalyst
Caryn KroothBlonde
Mario ContacessiWaiter
Patricia Geri RussellNBC Secretary
Bill CwikowskiChallenger
William FichtnerStage Manager
Vincent J. BurnsCrew Member
Katherine Borowitz#1 Mom
Ray AbbottPhotographer (uncredited)
John D. BairGrad Student (uncredited)
Ted BrunsonReporter (uncredited)
Michael J. BurgStudent (uncredited)
Richard CouncilReporter #1 (uncredited)
Brian GildeaStudent (uncredited)
Matthew T. GitkinNBC Staff (uncredited)
Jerry GriffinDoorman (uncredited)
David HausenCamera Operator (uncredited)
Ethan HawkeDon Quixote Student (uncredited)
Christopher KingCongressional Hearing Reporter (uncredited)
Michael LuceriStudent (uncredited)
Owen LundTechnical Director (uncredited)
Ron OstrowPhotographer (uncredited)
John PonzioNBC Page (uncredited)
James PrendergastLawyer (uncredited)
Steve RyanNBC Employee (uncredited)
Jonathan Marc ShermanDon Quixote Student #2 (uncredited)
Nick TaylorHerbie's Neighbor (uncredited)
Glenn ZarrPress Photographer (uncredited)

  • Genre: Drama Movies
  • Director: Robert Redford
  • Producer: Buena Vista
  • Length: 133 min
  • Aspect ratio: 1.37:1
  • Theatrical Release
    North AmericaSep 14, 1994
    EuropeMar 17, 1995
    JapanMar 25, 1995
    AustraliaDec 29, 1994
  • Ratings
    North AmericaPG-13
    Europe15
    AustraliaM
  • DVD Release
    North AmericaJul 1, 2003
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