Quiz Show 1994

Quiz Show

Critics Consensus

Robert Redford refracts the sociopolitical and moral issues posed by the subject material through a purely entertaining, well-acted lens.

96%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 56

87%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 31,595

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Movie Info

Queens-born Herbie Stempel (John Turturro) becomes an unlikely hero after winning on America's beloved game show, "Twenty One." When the network decides to bring in a more telegenic contestant, the WASP-ish Charles Van Doren (Ralph Fiennes), Stempel takes aim at the show, announcing that the game is rigged. Congressional investigator Dick Goodwin (Rob Morrow) is brought in to examine the claim that winners were given the answers. Goodwin wrote the book on which this true story is based.

Cast & Crew

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
Johann Carlo
Toby Stempel
Elizabeth Wilson
Dorothy Van Doren
Allan Rich
Robert Kintner
Richard Dreyfuss
Executive Producer
Judith James
Executive Producer
Frederick Zollo
Executive Producer
Mark Isham
Original Music
Michael Ballhaus
Cinematographer
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News & Interviews for Quiz Show

Critic Reviews for Quiz Show

All Critics (56) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (54) | Rotten (2)

Audience Reviews for Quiz Show

  • Apr 12, 2016
    "Twenty-One" was a popular game show on NBC from 1956 to 1958 and at times would beat the popular CBS comedy "I Love Lucy." The show's popularity skyrocketed when Columbia professor and intellectual Charles Van Doren started his winning streak that won him $129,000. His fame gained him a job on NBC's "The Today Show" and the cover of Time magazine. He had to beat reigning champion Herb Stempel, a Jew from Queens who worked for the city of New York. Stempel was asked to take a dive because viewers just didn't like him. NBC and Pharmaceuticals, Inc. weren't making as much money with Stempel as the champion, so Van Doren, the clean-cut "All-American Boy" was the answer. Stempel was going to be asked "What won Best Picture in 1955?" and he was supposed to answer "On the Waterfront," but the thing is, he knows the answer is "Marty." Stempel loves the movie "Marty" and had seen it three times. Stempel is promised another gig in television by producer Dan Enright, but when this doesn't materialize, Stempel tells everyone who would listen that the quiz show is rigged. Eventually, a House Committee for Legislative Oversight into rigged quiz shows is prompted by Richard Goodwin. Goodwin finds out from Stempel that he was fed the answers prior to the show and coached into how to make it more dramatic. This film by Robert Redford released in 1994 was nominated for four Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director. Despite there being no real action, Redford is able to create suspense in the game show scenes. Ralph Fiennes plays Charles Van Doren and throughout the picture you feel sympathy for this character. John Turturro plays Herb Stempel and really creates a feeling that this guy is just a know-it-all schmuck from Queens and although Tom Hanks in "Forrest Gump" won the Best Actor award that year, Turturro should have been nominated. Paul Scofield plays Mark Van Doren, Charles's dad, in an Oscar nominated performance.
    Joseph B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 31, 2016
    Based on the true story of corruption within 50's America game shows. This focuses on Twenty One, a popular NBC program at the time and how they were telling contestants the answers beforehand to help boost ratings. Superbly acted and it shows that Robert Redford, as director, is exceedingly talented too. Thought provoking, enthralling and enjoyable.
    Ian W Super Reviewer
  • Jul 07, 2013
    This is a film that is surrounded with talent. We have Ralph Fiennes and John Turtrro starting, who are both talented actors. Despite hardly sharing the screen, they have an unexplainable chemistry. Then we have a director Robert Redford, who's also holder to the spectacular family drama Ordinary People. Attanasio is the writer who later works with Tarantino to create Jackie Brown. The film also has genius cinematographer Michael Ballhaus. This film is by no means wasted talent, but it feels close to Oscar Bait for me. The plot had little creative talent. This is based on a true story, but I found the ending predictable, and the movie rarely had me guessing. The one intense was the question about the 1955 Oscars, but other than that there wasn't much to awe at. The film does create enjoyable characters, and does a good job of bringing the audience back to the fifties.
    Daniel D Super Reviewer
  • Aug 15, 2012
    With strong performances from turturro and fiennes, Quiz show is a great film that has lasted the test of time.
    paul o Super Reviewer

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