Movie Review: Quiz Show (1994)

by StevenHelmer

A review of the 1994 historical drama starring John Turtorro and Rob Morrow.

Synopsis: When the losing contestant on a popular 1950s game show accuses the show's producers of rigging the outcome by feeding their preferred champion the answers, a young Congressional attorney decides to investigate. He suspects the allegations have merit. However, his primary witness has limited credibility and network executives are predictably uncooperative with his investigation.
The movie is a dramatization of the 1950s Quiz Show Scandals.

Who's In It?

Review

My wife and I did some early morning Black Friday shopping this morning and, as is usually the case, needed to take a break before collecting our kids from my parents' house. While I was doing this, I came across the film "Quiz Show" on one of our movie channels and, since it had been a while since I had seen it, I decided to take the time to watch it. As it turns out, it was a good decision.

The thing I found I liked about this movie was the uphill battle the investigator, Dick Goodwin (Morrow), faced. While it was obvious, as a viewer, his top witness (Turtorro) was telling the truth, his personality and obvious grudge against the show made it easy to understand why he wasn't necessarily believable to those who didn't have the benefit of being able to see what was going on behind the scenes like I was. And, it wasn't as though the other contestants were willing to come forward and tell him the full truth.

His relationship with contestant Charles Van Doren (Fiennes) was also intriguing because, as they became closer friends, it definitely complicated things. Van Doren had the potential to be the witness that could crack things open for him. But, he was also a well-respected celebrity and telling the truth had the potential to destroy him. As they became closer, the latter obviously became more difficult for him.

Van Doren's personal struggle was also interesting to watch because there were times when it was obvious he was feeling guilty (even to the point where he was secretly trying to sabotage his own success). But, between the benefits of his fame and fear of disappointing his successful father (Scofield), it was hard to tell if he would ultimately choose to do the right thing or keep his secret. This, in turn, kept the movie interesting by preventing it from becoming as predictable as I thought it would be.

Final Opinion

This is a very entertaining historical drama that is worth taking the time to watch at least once if you have the opportunity to. I know I enjoyed every minute of it.

My Grade: A

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Updated: 11/27/2015, StevenHelmer
 
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candy47 on 12/02/2015

This is one of those movies that I watch every time it's on TV.

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