Quiz Show

Synopsis: An idealistic young lawyer working for a Congressional subcommittee in the late 1950s discovers that TV quiz shows are being fixed. His investigation focuses on two contestants on the show "Twenty-One": Herbert Stempel, a brash working-class Jew from Queens, and Charles Van Doren, the patrician scion of one of America's leading literary families. Based on a true story.
Director(s): Robert Redford
Production: Buena Vista Internationa
  Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 28 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
133 min

So this is the 300.

The forward look.

That's the ermine white.

Seventeen coats, hand-sanded.

- l'm sure it's

the 17th coat that does it.

- Power steering, power windows,

power brakes,

power mirrors.

The new auto-pilot

will make you virtually superfluous.

- l'm not sure l need a car for that.

- TorqueFlite transmission.

The standard that

sets the standard.

And the top operates by

just the touch of a button.

-l can feel the wind in my hair already.

-You just out of school ?

- Harvard Law School.

- That degree sells itself.

Do you live here

in Washington ?

- l've been working for the government.

- Oh.

- Not that it's permanent.

- Oh.

- Care to get behind

the wheel, Mr. Goodman ?

- Goodwin.


Just be careful

with the cigar.

Used to be a man drove the car.

Now the car drives the man.

Go on. Turn it over.

- Here ? ls it, uh--

- Go on. lt's in neutral.

[ Engine Humming ]

Listen to that power.

- This is the town for it.

- And with the new Bendix Electrojector,

we can rate this honey

up to--

- 390 horsepower.

- Correct to the hoof.

- lf my wife knew

l was here, she'd kill me.

- What a way to go.

- Yeah.

- l see you're admiring the seats.

That's pigskin

and calfskin.

Hand rubbed.

- Nicest piece of furniture

l own would be in the garage.

- Try the radio.

The only thing that sounds

better than the engine is the radio.

[ Beeping ]

The Russians have beaten

us into outer space.

You are listening

to the sound of Sputnik,

a satellite launched

this morning via rocket,

in orbit, right now,

directly over our heads.

A sound that says

all is not well with America.

America doesn't own

the 300.

[ ''Mack The Knife'' ]

Oh, the shark, babe

Has such teeth, dear

And he shows them

Pearly white

Just a jackknife

Has old Macheath, babe

And he keeps it

out of sight

You know

when that shark bites

With his teeth, babe

Scarlet billows

Start to spread

Fancy gloves, oh

Wears old Macheath, babe

So there's never

Never a trace of red

Now on the sidewalk

uh-huh, uh-huh

Ooh, Sunday mornin', uh-huh

Lies a body

- Just oozin' life

- Hi.

And someone's sneakin'

'Round the corner

Could that someone

Be Mack the Knife

Now did ya hear

about Louie Miller

He disappeared, babe

After drawin' out

All his hard-earned cash

And now Macheath spends

Just like a sailor

Could it be our boy's done

somethin' rash

- Ah, Jenny Diver

- [ Cheering ]

Hey, Suki Tawdry

Ooh, Miss Lotte Lenya

And old Lucy Brown

Oh, the line forms

On the right, babe

Now that Mackie's

Back in town

- What's this ?

Get this thing out of here.

- lt's not my station.

- Yeah, yeah. Let's go.

- We're still hot on the right.

- Watch it.

- Oh, it's very exciting.

You know, my mother said that--

- Hey, those are the questions.

Ah, he's got

the questions there.

Like walking on

the bottom of the sea,

as if l had drowned

long ago.

- As if--

- Five minutes, Mr. Barry.

- [ Woman ] We're ready, Mr. Barry.

- You ready, America ?

- Oh, thanks, Tim.

- All right, one minute.

- Move a little to your left.

- Hey, video, you done

with the test patterns ?

- Camera one.

Okay, clear the floor,


- Marty, you're still very hot.

- Light it up, lighting.

- Stand by. Thirty seconds.

- Give me his opening shots, please.

- Thirty seconds to air.

- l'm getting a glare on camera one.

You think you can adjust the barn door

on Jack's back light ? Yeah, if you can.

- Twenty seconds.

- My light okay ?

My nose doesn't look big ?

- You look great, Jack.

- Last week l looked like a sun dial.

Jack, we're on countdown.

Coming to air in ten,

- nine, eight, seven,

- Stand by, timpani.

Stand by, opening film.

- Stand by, music. Stand by, announcer.

- six, five,

- four, three, two, one.

- Cue the timpani.

And fade up.


Geritol. America's #1 tonic.

Geritol, the fast-acting,

high-potency tonic...

that helps you

feel stronger fast,

presents the exciting

quiz program...


Brought to you by NBC, the

National Broadcasting Company,

broadcasting nationally

coast to coast,

from New York to Los Angeles,

from Seattle

to St. Petersburg...

via a vast network of affiliates

crisscrossing the country.

Coming up next, Twenty-One,

starring master of ceremonies

Jack Barry !

Two players

racing to score 21 points,

each in a soundproof

television studio,

not knowing

the other one's score,

- with $500 riding on each point...

- Damn it !

as they both play...

Twenty-One !

And here's your host,

Jack Barry !

[ Applause ]

Good evening.

l'm Jack Barry.

Due to a series of ties,

Herbert Stempel, our 29-year-old

ex-G.l. college student,

must play at

$3,000 a point,

which means that

in a few brief minutes,

he can either win as much as

$100,000, the most money

won on television to date,

or lose everything he's won

in the last eight weeks.

- You nervous ?

- [ Chuckling ]

lt's only money.

lsolated in their

soundproof studios,

neither player is aware

of the other's score.

l've been assured by our friends

at the encyclopedia...

that they've concocted

some real brain-breakers this week,

so we'll find out

in the next 30 minutes...

if the unstumpable

Herbert Stempel can be stumped.

- Could l have the questions, please ?

- [ Drumroll ]

Thank you, gentlemen. Remember,

the questions on Twenty-One

are secured each week...

in a Manhattan bank vault

Rate this script:0.0 / 0 votes

Paul Attanasio

All Paul Attanasio scripts | Paul Attanasio Scripts

1 fan

Submitted on August 05, 2018

Discuss this script with the community:



    Translate and read this script in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)


    Use the citation below to add this screenplay to your bibliography:


    "Quiz Show" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 15 Jun 2024. <https://www.scripts.com/script/quiz_show_16473>.

    We need you!

    Help us build the largest writers community and scripts collection on the web!

    Watch the movie trailer

    Quiz Show

    Browse Scripts.com

    The Studio:

    ScreenWriting Tool

    Write your screenplay and focus on the story with many helpful features.