Quiz Show Reviews
The movie "Quiz Show" is a pseudo-documentary following the course of a television scandal where the popular 50s game show "Twenty-One", a show where contestants were asked to answer a set of questions only the most intellectually proficient of individuals would be able to answer with the goal of accumulating twenty-one points, is examined judicially. This suspense evoking nail-biter of a film exploits NBC's greatest scandal in an artistic and tasteful manner!
Initially, Charles Van Doren, played by Ralph Fiennes, does a fabulous job at executing the role of a guilty bread winner. Throughout the film, Ralph Fiennes demonstrated a high amount of proficiency in upholding his emotional connection to his role. There is honestly nothing bad to be said about Ralph Fiennes' execution of the character of Charles Van Doren. He displayed strength and consistency throughout the entire film as well as showing the audience just how well he can tap into his emotions to convey his feelings through a character in a fictional setting. Moreover, John Turturro, the actor who played Herb Stempel (the scapegoat of the film) also did an equally outstanding job of playing his role of the underdog to jewish hero! He was comical, he was insane, and he added a touch of "Hollywood" to a role that could potentially come across as brash and annoying; a true star! He managed to make the role of Herb Stempel relatable to anyone who has been used as a pawn in life and he did it all with style.
The themes of Anti-Semitism and the seductive quality of stardom were particularly well developed and thought out. After ratings plateau and Herb Stempel was kicked off of the show, he was subject to discrimination by the judicial system that claimed he was mentally unstable; likewise, NBC did not uphold their promise to give him his own platform show after being forced to lose his round on the game show to Charles Van Doren. Furthermore, Charles Van Doren found himself slowly being seduced by his hunger for fortune and fame when he starts to play along with NBC's shenanigans. Charles Van Doren allowed NBC to deceive the public into thinking he was the be-all end-all when it came to scholars even though he never won a single round on the show without being fed answers. Foreshadowing was something that was not taken lightly in this film, it was done in many ways each just as subtle as the next. My personal favourite was when Charles Van Doren was walking down the winding staircase, the scene was shot from a crane angle foreshadowing his succumbing the evil of show business, as well as foreshadowing his slow and painful downfall from hero back to zero.
Overall, the movie was delivered in a user friendly fashion that appeals to a vast audience; there was something for everybody. There was a insane yet humorous Jewish game show reject to amuse the children, while the adults were entertained by some corporate corruption! All-in-all the film was an accurate representation of a famous NBC scandal and the production crew did a fabulous job at making it an accessible topic for the general public to enjoy and appreciate for years to come.