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Quiz Show (1994)

Ralph Fiennes , John Turturro , Robert Redford  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ralph Fiennes, John Turturro, Hank Azaria, Rob Morrow, David Paymer
  • Directors: Robert Redford
  • Writers: Paul Attanasio
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Letterboxed, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Hollywood Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 7, 1999
  • Run Time: 133 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305428522
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,481 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Quiz Show" on IMDb

Special Features

Theatrical Trailer

Editorial Reviews

Academy Award(R)-winner Robert Redford's (1981, Best Director, ORIDINARY PEOPLE) critically acclaimed triumph, QUIZ SHOW, was cheered as one of the year's 10 best films by more than 80 critics nationwide. It's an exciting look behind the scenes at the thrills and high-stakes competition of TV's hottest big-money game show! But fame and fortune become a hotbed of scandal when a Washington investigator (Rob Morrow -- NORTHERN EXPOSURE) uncovers corruption beneath the quiz show's glittering facade. The scandal implicates both the wildly popular champion (Ralph Fiennes -- 1996 Academy Award(R) Best Actor nominee, THE ENGLISH PATIENT) and the disgruntled ex-champ (John Turturro, O BROTHER, WHERE ART THOU?). A powerful story with unforgettable performances -- don't miss this suspense-filled hit!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb recounting of the Quiz Show Scandals October 1, 2002
Format:DVD
Although not a reason this movie is so good, I would like to begin by stating that as a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University of Arkadelphia, Arkansas, I believe this is the only movie ever made that mentions Arkadelphia. And not just once, but twice!
There are many, many reasons this movie succeeds so marvelously, but I would like to focus on three.
First, this movie benefits from an exceedingly fine cast. Not merely the leads, but many of the lesser roles are filled with extremely good actors and actresses. While Ralph Fiennes, John Tuturro, and Rob Morrow all shine in the leads, lesser parts are filled with people like David Paymer, Hank Azaria, Mira Sorvino, and Martin Scorsese. I was especially impressed by the always superb but underutilized Paul Scofield (who won the Oscar portraying Thomas More in A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS). He seems the very embodiment of the man of reason, erudition, and courtesy portraying Mark van Doren, and his pain upon learning his beloved son has lost his teaching position at Columbia is one of the great poignant moments in the film. Look very carefully at the scene where several attractive coeds interrupt Ralph Fiennes and Rob Morrow and you will spot Calista Flockhart (a.k.a. Ally McBeal).
A second reason this film succeeds so well is its tremendous period feel. The movie looks and feels like the late 1950s at every second. QUIZ SHOW does a great job of [pulling] you in and giving you an almost tangible sense of time and place.
Finally, the movie is easily one of the most accurate historical films I have ever seen, although drama is never sacrificed for the mere sake of being accurate. If one has done any reading about the scandals or perhaps if one remembers the events, the film constantly impresses with the amount of accurate detail it contains.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A time of innocence and the deception of the pubic March 31, 2004
Format:DVD
Directed by Robert Redford and nominated for several Academy Awards, this 1994 film tells the true story of the quiz show "21" in the 1950s and how the contestants were given the answers ahead of time and coached for the show. As a child at the time I remember the hoopla and how whole families would watch this show together, holding their collective breaths during the competitions for big money. It was a time of innocence and the viewing community was deceived. And never again have the networks won that kind of public trust.

Paul Attansio adapted the screenplay from the book written by Richard N. Goodwin who was the government investigator at the time. In the film this role is played by Rob Morrow who is determined to uncover the deception. All the other actors are excellent too - most notably John Turturro who is cast as a Jewish man from Queens who is allowed to win for seven weeks before being replaced by Charles Van Doran, a professor at Columbia who came from a long line of scholars. Paul Scofield also shines in the role of Van Doran's father, who stands by his son even though the family is disgraced by the publicity.

It's not just the quiz show phenomenon that comes alive in this film. It is the nature of the times as well as the anti-Semitic undercurrent and cultural conflict that was endemic. Usually, when I see a film about the fifties, it looks like someone's imagination of what those times were like. But this film was different. I really felt I was right back there, many years before computers or even color television, sitting wide-eyed in front of that black and white set and admiring the contestants for being so smart. Times have changed. Now, we know we're being manipulated. And there is no outrage.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It doesn't get much better then this. August 18, 2000
Format:DVD
When I first heard about this movie, I thought, "A guy cheats on a quiz show. What a dumb idea." Then when it was up for the 1994 Oscar for Best Picture, I said to myself, "Well, I saw the other four movies up for BP this year." So I rented it. Then I bought it. Then it was playing in my VCR almost every day as background sound when I played on the computer or ate. I have the dialogue pretty much memorized now. The movie is art. It was an instant classic. A must see. Every time I watch it I notice something new or "get" a joke I never understood before. It has fantastic actors, unbelievable dialogue, and is a cute little story. This reigns as my favorite movie of all time.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, A Movie Of Uncompromising Integrity July 4, 2003
Format:DVD
How many times have you seen this disclaimer at the end credits: "The story depicted in this motion picture is based on actual events. However, certain characters and incidents were added for dramatic effect."
What the filmmakers are telling us here, folks, is that without these added elements, the movie would be downright boring. See, if we tell it like it is, we won't make money.
Director Robert Redford and screenplay writer Paul Attanasio would have none of that. They chose to chronicle the events leading up to the quiz show scandal of the late 1950s without the embellishments that have become so much a part of Hollywood tradition. For that alone, they deserve the highest praises. But what makes Quiz Show a cinematic marvel is its ability to keep the viewer involved while remaining unerringly faithful to the facts.
John Turturro and Ralph Fiennes turn in career performances as contestants who at first benefit from, but later become victims of a system that dictates that ratings are more important than moral integrity. Turturro plays Herb Stempel, the annoying Jew who at first makes for an appealing underdog but soon wears out his welcome, and so has to take a "dive." Fiennes is Charles Van Doren, the handsome, clean-cut Ivy Leaguer who is seen as the worthy replacement and goes along with the deception, only to soon find himself in over his head but unable to just walk away.
Equally impressive is the supporting cast: Rob Morrow as Congressional investigator Richard Goodwin, Hank Azaria and David Paymer as the quiz show's manipulative producers, and Paul Scofield as Van Doren's ever-supportive but unaware father. Also exceptional, but easy to overlook in the glow of the all-star cast, are Johann Carlo as the unsophisticated, non-intellectual but nonetheless faithful Mrs.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great cast, great movie
Although it happened long before i was born, this movie actually inspired me to look up the true events that went into it.
Published 1 month ago by Corey Peterson
5.0 out of 5 stars The Black Sox Scandal of Early Television: Outstanding Snap-Shot of...
Millions of television viewers thought they were watching legitimate knowledge competitions, such as "the $64,000 Question" and "21", in which the contestants were... Read more
Published 2 months ago by classicalsteve
1.0 out of 5 stars I will only befuddle others with this review: read at your own risk!
You have been warned.
My issue with this movie orbits around one insignificant detail--because it irks me, it vexes me... Read more
Published 2 months ago by vishnu
5.0 out of 5 stars Really cool period movie..
This movie is based on a true story and really hard to stop watching. I finally broke down and bought it in the dvd format, but will probably buy it when it comes out in blu-ray. Read more
Published 3 months ago by B. Sebastian
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Seller!
Excellent movie. Best yet. Have always loved movies and music. This is the best!
Thanks You always for giving me this.
Published 3 months ago by leslie
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating movie, worth seeing at least once
This movie captures the essence of the 1950's quiz show scandals, at least as far as the show "21" - there were other lesser-known fixed quiz shows and scandals of the era,... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Sam I Am
4.0 out of 5 stars Swift and snappy, this film exceeded my expectations...
I just had this feeling that `Quiz Show' was going to be a complete bore. I was holding off watching it for the longest time, and yet settling in to watch it over the past weekend... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Andrew Ellington
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best
The film gives a perfectly detailed feeling for the 1950's from the start--cars, soundtrack, costumes, houses, the attitudes of the 50's. Read more
Published 6 months ago by MDDisorganized
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!
This movie I found to be very entertaining and I adore all the actors. The bonus is the story is based on actual events. I highly recommend seeing this one
Published 7 months ago by Kimberly Jackson-Matta
4.0 out of 5 stars Social commentary with more depth than I thought
The film is entertaining on its own, but the filmmakers pulled some themes from The Threepenny Opera (Brecht's socialist critique of capitalism). Read more
Published 8 months ago by Christine
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