Movies: Quiz Show
"Quiz Show," directed by Robert Redford, is an adult movie. And no, I don't mean that naked people moan unconvincingly in cheap-looking apartments; I mean it's a movie made for adults. There are no gunfights, no sex scenes, and no car chases. There are many, however, whose lives are ruined just as surely as if someone shot them with a .45 slug.
Covering the now-infamous quiz show scandals of the 50s (and taking its share of dramatic license), "Quiz Show" recalls a simpler America, before the seething hotbed of the 60s and the upheaval of the 70s ruined post-WWII optimism. While "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" was a huge hit with its million-dollar payouts, "Quiz Show" merely had prizes in the tens of thousands. That may not sound like much, but this is a time when a Columbia University professor made $86 a week.
Redford has crafted an engaging, thought-provoking movie. The moral boundaries crossed by some of the characters are never really hard to see - but Redford concentrates on the "why" of why these things happen. The performances, anchored by the trifecta of Fiennes, Turturro, and Morrow, are believable, and the meta-statements about show business probably hit closer to home than many in Hollywood would care to admit. This is one of those movies that deserved to be nominated for "Best Picture."