Film Forum: Let’s Get Quizzical

Ralph Fiennes has had some very memorable roles in some popular movies — Harry Potter, Schindler’s List, The English Patient — but one of my favorite of his portrayals is Charles Van Doren in Quiz Show. The movie is based on true events in the 1950’s when a popular American game show, Twenty One, began to rig the outcomes of the show. Although the movie chronicles the historical events, it does so through the perspective of two of the game show’s contestants, Van Doren and Herb Stempel, played by John Turturro. These two characters could not be more different. They not only have polar opposite personalities and backgrounds, they are both motivated by different things… and that is what makes these characters fascinating. Even if you know the eventual outcome of the movie, it is still worth watching for the character development, excellent acting, and insight into what almost derailed the entire game show genre.

Ralph Fiennes Quiz Show

Ralph Fiennes as Charles Van Doren in Quiz Show

John Turturro Quiz Show

John Turturro as Herb Stempel in Quiz Show

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