Quiz Show Image
Metascore
88

Universal acclaim - based on 13 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 44 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: This fact-based film tells the story behind the quiz show scandal of the 1950s, focusing on "Twenty-One" champion Charles Van Doren (Fiennes).
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 13
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 13
  3. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. Robert Redford's exceptionally handsome and provocative Quiz Show manages a trick that few films even dare try -- to take a hard look at personal and public moral issues and still provide dazzling entertainment.
  2. A supremely elegant and thoughtful parable. [14 September 1994, p. C11]
  3. Working from a superb script by Paul Attanasio, Redford has caught the way a show like Twenty-One offered a carny-barker version of the American Dream.
  4. One of those rare films that manages to be both terrifically entertaining and consistently thoughtful, it turns an apparently tame deception into a very rich metaphor.
  5. 88
    Robert Redford has directed Quiz Show as entertainment, history, and challenge.
  6. 88
    One of the reasons that Quiz Show is so extraordinary is because it spins a story as compelling on the personal level as on the national one.
  7. Reviewed by: Terrence Rafferty
    70
    The picture's real strength is its witty, vigorous evocation of the fifties media world.

See all 13 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 15
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 15
  3. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Jun 19, 2013
    10
    "I can't decide if you think too much of me or too little." Redford keeps enlightening me on issues I wasn't previously aware of. Eye-opening (as to what networks could get away with) and entertaining. It is everything you could possibly ask for in a film. Expand
  2. NathanT.
    Aug 11, 2006
    10
    "Quiz Show" can proudly take its place as the most underrated of all great 90s films. Taken from a brief passage in Richard Goodwin's excellent "Remembering America: A Voice From the Sixties," it tells the story of corruption in a game show circa 1957. Howard Stempel, the Jewish working class intellectual played by John Turturro to perfection, is made to take a dive so that the good looking affluent Charles Van Doren can improve the show's waning ratings. Ralph Fiennes gives an incredible performance as a good decent WASP thinker; a man who has seen people do manual labor---as he was walking to his class on astrophysics or Germanic literature. Rob Morrow plays Dick Goodwin, the bright-eyed attorney who smells something totally afoul with the show and follows every lead he can with only nominal support from the government office where he works. Why does any of this matter now? The point is that the specifics of the quiz show scandal don't matter really, but there ramifications have been felt more than ever in the age of Enron and corporate malfeasance. This is Robert Redfiord's meditation on the slow death of everything America once stood for, yet he never indicts us as viewers. The ethical conflicts seen in the main characters, especially Van Doren, rise to the level of Shakespearian drama in parts. Also enjoy phenomenal supporting work from Mira Sorvino as Goodwin's wife ("You are like the Uncle Tom of the Jews," she says to him near the climax) and English actor Paul Scofield as Van Doren's father in a performance that was nominated for an Academy Award. All of these performances could have been nominated. They're that good. Above all though, "Quiz Show" succeeds on the most important level a film can: it's ridiculously entertaining. Expand
  3. Feb 12, 2014
    10
    A very well created fresco of this behind the scenes film. It caches in a brilliant way how mass media, this giant agent of socialization manipulates people. It just gives them what they want to see, keeping them away from the real problems of life. Even one of the greatest intellectual figures of that time is trapped in this game, giving us a great example of the strength that surrounds the men we cannot see. They are simply there, playing with the weakness of the human being, turning it in their favour. Expand
  4. JackL.
    Jul 25, 2007
    8
    A very intelligent and thoughtful film. Also very entertaining of course. It makes us ponder on the morally complex issues of fame, money, reputation, free choice, temptation, justice, and truth. Good film!!! Expand
  5. Nov 28, 2012
    8
    "Quiz Show" is a 1994 Best Picture Nominated film directed by Robert Redford. The film tells the true story of a Congressional investigator (Rob Morrow) who is soon wrapped up in a web of conspiracy surrounding a popular game show called "Twenty One". Now, the plot of the movie has always been something of interest to me because I always love a good quiz show now and then. The thought of a quiz show being rigged has entered my mind on occasion, and this film properly explores that subject in depth. One of the greatest aspects of this film is its performances from Ralph Fiennes and John Turturro. Turturro's character is the man who is told to "take a dive" because he is not as aesthetically pleasing as Fiennes' character, and their performances really help draw a line of contrast between the two of them. Rob Morrow also did a very good job in the film's leading role. The Academy-Award Nominated script is also something I found to be very well executed as well. There's some fairly memorable, compelling, and even at times amusing dialogue all throughout this screenplay and I truly enjoyed watching this story unfold on screen. Robert Redford's Directorial work really shines in his fourth film - he's proven himself to be a jack-of-all-trades. The movie also does an astounding job of exploring just how pivotal TV was to the American population during the 1950s. Overall, I felt that "Quiz Show" was a riveting period drama that presented a very fascinating look into the Game Show Scandal of the 1950s. Expand
  6. Oct 30, 2012
    7
    QUIZ SHOW is a BEST PICTURE nominee of Oscar Race of 1994, the fourth film with Robert Redford at the helm, and earned him a second Oscar nomination for BEST DIRECTOR, but overtly its popularity has waned compared with its more esteemed fellow nominees (FORREST GUMP 9/10; THE SHAWNSHANK REDEMPTION 8/10; PULP FICTION 9/10 and even FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL 7/10).

    The authentic case of a young lawyer takes on a lawsuit case against the television chicanery has its general appeal together with its well-crafted characterization of the disparaging facets of the people who are implicated, the film runs smoothly to warrant a step-by-step incitement of moral inclination (either towards the contestants or the industry upper-echelon
    Expand
  7. Jul 14, 2013
    6
    The Quiz Show is slow-paced, clever historical drama that doesn't need to rely on other means of capturing the viewer. The role played by John Turturro as book-smart, but in other ways simple-minded contestant Herb Stempel deserves a separate mention. Expand

See all 15 User Reviews