Quiz Show (1994)

"We're in show business." - David Paymer

Three years of history are condensed into a matter of months in QUIZ
SHOW, director Robert Redford's rousing recreation of a minor American

The year is 1958 and most of the country is watching NBC to see if
reigning game show champion Herbie Stempel (John Tuturro) can beat
newcomer Charles Van Doren (Ralph Finnes) on the popular game show
"Twenty One." But what no one knows is that the game is rigged-- Stempel
(and, to a degree, Van Doren) have been given the answers ahead of time!

What sounds like a small-time scandal was big stuff back then and QUIZ
SHOW is a handsome history lesson on the matter.  The superb script by
Paul Attanasio works on (too?) many levels, from father versus son to
Jew versus gentile.  The direction is as able as the acting, with
Oscar-worthy work by Tuturro and Paul Scofield (playing the elder Van

With the exception of a couple misplaced accents, the rest of the cast
excels as well.  Watch for good turns by Christopher McDonald, David
Paymer, Martin Scorsese (!), and Barry Levinson (!!) as Today Show host
Dave Garroway.  (Rated "PG-13"/130 min.)

Grade: A

Copyright 1994 by Michael J. Legeros

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