After a bit of an absence, we are trying to continue with this series of 47 moments in film that I love. (Why 47?). To my surprise, these are harder to think of than I thought. Anyway, today, for #32, we hit a film by Robert Redford that I almost had something to do with!
Quiz Show (1994)
Directed by: Robert Redford
Scandal breaks out in the 1950’s when it comes to light that the game shows that are popular in the burgeoning television industry are sometimes fixed. Two contestants in particular, the awkward, unpleasant Herbert Stempel and the refined, cultured Charles van Doren are at the heart of this.
Congressional investigator Dick Goodwin (Rob Morrow) is suspicious that Charles van Doren (Ralph Fiennes), in spite of his apparent life of privilege and overall social advantages, has cheated during his record-breaking run on the TV game show, Twenty-One. In the process of his work, Goodwin has become friends with Charles van Doren, and spends time with him on a number of social occasions.
Dick plays poker with Charles and some of his friends. The banter is friendly but also layered: Charles laughs off Dick’s suspicions about Twenty-One. Dick tests Charles’ knowledge with a series of questions about the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, and Charles quietly enjoys showing off his intellect. The other players push to get back to the game, and soon it comes down to Charles and Dick. Dick stares at Charles and says, “I know you’re lying.”
Charles is taken aback. Dick stares at him.
“Bluffing. The word is bluffing.”
Dick stares at him a bit longer.
Then he drops his cards and completely changes his demeanor.
“Too rich for my blood.”