What You Need To Know:
(B, LLL, A, D, M) Ethical worldview -- truth & integrity are worth more than money & fame; 21 obscenities, 12 profanities & 5 vulgarities; brief alcohol use & smoking; and, lying & deceit as shortcuts to financial gain & notoriety & 1 character attempts to expose fraud but the guilty escape punishment.
It is New York, 1957, and America gathers in front of the TV to witness contestants battle for fortune and fame on the most popular weekly television program in the intriguing Disney drama QUIZ SHOW. Based on the true events surrounding the game show TWENTY ONE, QUIZ SHOW questions the mass media’s willingness to manipulate and corrupt people for profit. On the immensely popular show TWENTY ONE, champion Herb Stempel is on his way to financial independence when the producers decide he is no longer appealing. Keeping viewers interested so advertisers can sell them products, requires ingenuity and creativity, so the producers ask Herb to take a dive. The new contestant, handsome professor Charles Van Doren, instantly becomes a celebrity. However, the producers convince Charles to cheat by studying the questions before each show, and Herb Stempel ignites a scandal by revealing that the show is a fraud.
The filming, directing and acting are all well done. Rob Morrow and Ralph Fiennes, in particular, are superb as the main characters in conflict. The entire production effectively captures the feel of the late 1950s. The musical score is also fitting, featuring such timely classics as “Mac the Knife.” With no sex or nudity, the only real down side is, once again, foul language.