Quiz Show | 1994
In 1958 when television quiz shows ruled the airwaves, Charles Van Doren was the wildly popular champion of a successful TV show called "Twenty-One." A national celebrity who appeared on the covers of both "Time" and "Life" magazines, Van Doren was an American folk hero--the intellectual's answer to Elvis Presley. Week after week audiences tuned in to watch as Van Doren, a popular English instructor at Columbia University and the product of one of America's most renowned literary families, seemed to draw from his vast knowledge the correct answers to obscure questions. His charming presence seduced 50 million people into believing him. But the truth is, viewers were fooled and saw only what the network and program's producers wanted them to see. Then someone pulled the plug. When disgruntled contestant Herbie Stempel charged that the quiz game was a fraud, Congressional investigator Richard Goodwin uncovered the facts that exposed the deception, and sent shock waves reverberating across America.