The Best Old Movies on a Big Screen This Week: NYC Repertory Cinema Picks, April 22-28

04/22/2015 9:09 AM |

quiz show

Quiz Show (1994)
Directed by Robert Redford
Though Redford’s recent outings as a director have been generally received with either indifference or outright scorn, their often-disillusioned engagement with American history and politics can be traced back to this, still arguably his finest hour behind the camera. Though Redford and screenwriter Paul Attanasio used the 1956 outcome-rigging scandal surrounding NBC’s hit TV contest Twenty One as the basis for a morality play fueled in part by class disparities, the still-undimmed brilliance of Attanasio’s screenplay lies in the way he carefully portrays the complex motivations of all the major players involved. Prosecutor Richard N. Goodwin (Rob Morrow) is driven as much by career ambition as a desire for truth, Herb Stempel (John Turturro) as much by macho pride as by a desire for justice, and Charles Van Doren (Ralph Fiennes) as much by a thirst for fame as by a desire to inspire the masses. Though the film’s vision of capitalistic exploitation is damning, thankfully the filmmakers don’t forgo the flawed, wounded human beings at the heart of this sobering tale in favor of political point-making. Kenji Fujishima (Apr 26, 9pm at the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Redford tribute)