Quiz Show (1994) Script

So this is the 300.

The forward look. 1958 is here today.

That's the Ermine White. Seventeen coats, hand-sanded.

I'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.

I'm not sure I need a car for that. TorqueFlite transmission.

The standard that sets the standard.

And the top operates by just the touch of a button.

I 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?

I've been working for the government. Oh.

Not that it's permanent. Oh.

Care to get behind the wheel, Mr. Goodman?

Goodwin. Oh.

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? Is it, uh... Go on. It's in neutral.

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.

If my wife knew I was here, she'd kill me.

What a way to go.

Yeah. I see you're admiring the seats.

That's pigskin and calfskin.

Hand rubbed.

Nicest piece of furniture I own would be in the garage.

Try the radio.

The only thing that sounds better than the engine is the radio.

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.

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 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 Hey, Suki Tawdly 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. it'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 I had drowned long ago.

As if... Five minutes, Mr. Barry.

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, folks.

Marty, you're still very hot. Light it up.


Stand by. Thirty seconds. Give me his opening shots, please.

Thirty seconds to air. I'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 I 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. Announce.

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...


And here's your host, Jack Barry!

Good evening. I'm Jack Barry.

Due to a series of ties, Herbert Stempel, our 29-year-old ex-G.I. 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?

It's only money.

Isolated in their soundproof studios, neither player is aware of the other's score.

I'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 I have the questions, please?

Thank you, gentlemen.

Remember, the questions on Twenty-One are secured each week in a Manhattan bank vault till just before showtime.

So right now, let's meet Herbert Stempel and his challenger as Geritol, America's #1 tonic, presents Twenty-One.

Welcome back to the show, gentlemen.

Mr. Peloubet, a very cordial welcome to you, sir.

How are you, Herb? How's everything in Queens?

Fine, Mr. Barry. it's a nervous strain in the family, I bet.

How's your wife holding out? She's fine, thank you.

Thank you, Mr. Barry, for asking.

As you know, Herb, the questions are graded for difficulty by the Encyclopedia Britannica...

I might add that my wife no longer suffers from tired blood, now that I've got her on Geritol.

That's fine. Graded on a scale from one...

I personally vouch that it's a fine product.

I'm sure our sponsor will be pleased to know that, Herb.

Now, to get on with the show...

I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Geritol for giving a poor ex-G. I. this amazing opportunity to realize his dream of a college education.

Now there's a face for radio.

Dick Peloubet back again from sunny Miami, Florida, and Herb Stempel.

Yeah. Stempel is giving me a headache.

Well, he sells Geritol. Have you seen the ratings?

Well, they've evened out. I don't think he works anymore.

Stempel is an underdog. You know, people root for that.

It's a New York thing.

Queens is not New York.

- Let's play Twenty-One.

Mr. Kintner's office, please.

Office of the President. Could you hold, please?

-- Mr. Kintner's office.

Once inside the isolation booth, neither player can see the other, nor can they hear anything until I turn their studios on, which I'm gonna do right now.

All right, gentlemen?

He's not hurting sales, is he? He just doesn't think he works.

Why? Look, I don't know.

I guess the sponsor wants a guy on Twenty-One who looks like he'd get a table at 21.

You just tell him I said Stempel has an everyman quality.

You know that whole American dream thing? You, too, can be rich?

If the ratings stay high. Very funny.

I'm just passing it along, sir.

Every schoolboy knows about the midnight ride of Paul Revere.

For 11 points, how many lanterns were hung in the Old North Church?

Who rode with Paul Revere? Who lent him his horse?

Was it a mare or a stallion?

And what was the horse's name?

- Stand by, Joe, on Herbie. Kill the air.

Tommy, air off.


-- A little tighter. Kelly, put the sign up.

Control booth. Uh, yeah, hold on, sir.

Dan, it's for you. It's Kintner.

Would you mind, Mr. Barry, could I take the third part last?

That's fine.

The code was, uh, "One if by land, two if by sea."

Therefore, it would have to be two lanterns in the Old North Church.

That's right. And the second pan'. Who rode with him?

- Dawes and Prescott. Dawes and Prescott.

What these books have conclusively proven is that the difference between men and women is exactly 38 pages.

Can I quote you, Mark?

Not before I quote me.

His own quotes are his greatest pleasure.

Did you hear the market dropped 30 points today?

There's a rumor Eisenhower died.

How would they tell?

Oh, please, don't get Dorothy started on politics.

There'll be a raid. Good night.

Good night, Dorothy. Sorry I'm late. It's impossible out there.

You can't get a cab without a dragnet. Eisenhower died.

What? Professor Van Doren, I took your course at Columbia, Hawthorne, Original Sin and the American Experience.

Nixon is president? Well, as silly as it sounds, it changed my life.

Was it the Hawthorne or the sin?

Perhaps you'd like to meet my son, the unmarried Van Doren.

- Oh, where is Charlie? You're right again, Herb.

You got the first two parts correct. Just three more for 11 points.

Excuse me. Are you the son?

I'm Charlie. Pleasure. Elizabeth. The pleasures all mine.

It was a mare, Mr. Barry.

How did he know that?

Oh, there you are.

We're making our getaway, Charlie, if you want a ride.

Have you ever watched one of these quiz shows, Dad?

The $64,000 Question or Twenty-One?

For $64,000, I hope they ask you the meaning of life.

Okay, Herb, finally: Name the man who loaned Paul Revere his horse for that fateful midnight ride.

The horse. Who loaned him the horse?

Okay, Herb, I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask for your answer.

Yes, Mr. Barry.

Look, just give him what he wants.

I don't want to talk to these agency guys.

So what do you want me to do, Mr. Kintner?

You're a producer, Dan. Produce.

Would you like more time, Herb?

- Right. If I may.

Herbie's dead.

Larkin? Deacon John Larkin?

That's correct for 11 points!

All right, Herb, take a deep breath and relax, will you?

And we'll get back to the game after this word from our sponsor.

Now, friends, I was just wondering, what kind of a day did you have today?

Did you greet the sunrise with plenty of vim, vigor and vitality, only to feel the wind go out of your sails just after lunchtime?

Do you find you're not having as much fun as you used to?

This beats the subway, huh, Mr. Stempel?

You said it.

Hooray! Hey, Herbie!

You were the greatest tonight, Herbie!

Great, Einstein!

Hey, the audience really loves you!

Herbie, you remember me when!

Herbie! I remember you when!

Hi, Ellen. Hey, Herbie, what color was she?

You looked so good on TV tonight, Herbie!

You should have gone for 11 on the movies, Herbie.

You should win $100,000.

Hey, you were really cookin' tonight, Stempel.

- Of course I watched it. You didn't go to the show?

The genius is home. The rich genius is home.

I watched it on television like everybody else.

Would you tell him that...

You were great tonight, Herb.

Come on. I wanna dance. Dance with me.

Looking for the light Would you ask him for me, please, right now?

Of a new love Mother wants to know why you only went for 8 on the movies.

Because my real expertise is pain-in-the-ass in-laws.

Now would you get off the phone? I'm not gonna start with this.

Tell him that everybody is watching that show.

Steve Allen is gettin' a busy signal because my mother-in-law won't shut up.

Look, Ma, I got... ...drops dead, -and I don't want to have to deal with it. I gotta go.

- All right. Goodbye. Call me before you go to bed.

That's all I'm sayin'.

What are you doin'? My father paid good money for this suit.

He wore it to his own funeral.

You make it sound like it was the suit that killed him.

You wanna know why Enright makes me wear that suit?

Because it makes me look like a schmuck.

Yeah, well, stop actin' like a schmuck then.

You don't get it, do you? I go out on the street, and everybody knows me.

Me. Herb Stempel. And they love me for the same reason they used to hate me.

Because I'm the guy who knows everything.

You should worship the ground I walk on, what my family's done for you.

You wanna be worshiped? Go to India and moo.

Without my family, you'd be on that show in your underwear.

Things are gonna change around here, boy.

What does that mean, everything's gonna change?

You think I should get my teeth capped?

What's gonna change, Herbert?

Everything's gonna change.

For us.

Hey, what the hell were you thinking?

Toby, that box is the biggest thing since Gutenberg invented the printing press, and I'm the biggest thing on it.

We don't need your mother and her money anymore.

Don't you wanna tell her where to get off after 28 years?

Now would you please dance with me?

Dancing in the dark Until the tune ends We're dancing in the dark And it soon ends We're Waltzing In the wonder of why we're here...

Because of a disagreement with his commanding general, Ulysses S. Grant was virtually placed under arrest for a brief time early in 1862.

Who was the commanding general of the Union Army at that time?

Oh, I know that. Uh, Halleck. General H.W. Halleck.

That's correct.

Who was Sebastian Cabot and what country was he in the service of? Hey, Terry.

He was an explorer from Spain.

That's correct.

Who founded the former hub of the Byzantine Empire...

Who's that guy in the corner?

Constantinople? Constantine the First.

Charles Van Doren.

Charles Van Doren? Like "Van Doren" Van Doren?

- He wants to be on Tic-Tac-Dough? I guess so.

Meriwether Lewis. That's it.

Who was the editor of the socialist paper...

Oh, this is the guy. This is the guy.

I got the guy I got the guy I got the guy!

I got the guy.

So I turned to astrophysics, but of course, as you know, all the great physicists were great before the age of 25.

It just wasn't in the cards.

So I went to Paris and wrote my novel about a patricide.


A boy who kills his father.

My dad liked it quite a lot, actually, although you could fill Yankee Stadium with the world's mediocre novelists.

And your father is Carl Van Doren.

My uncle. My father is Mark Van Doren, the poet.

He also teaches... I mean, I also teach at Columbia. Literature.

Same as Dad. Oh, same as Dad, huh? That's nice.

Could I ask you a personal question, Professor?

Actually, I'm not a professor yet. I'm just an instructor.

How much do they pay instructors up at Columbia?

Eighty-six dollars a week.

You have any idea how much Bozo the Clown makes?

Well, we can't all be Bozo the Clown.

No, no, not to question your choice of profession. Not at all.

I'm questioning the values of a society that pays somebody like you...

What was it? Eighty-six dollars a week.

Eighty-six dollars a week. You plan on raising a family, right, Professor?

Yes, I hope to, very much. Can you imagine raising a family on 86 dollars a week?

Eighty-six dollars a week.

And meanwhile, look at the crisis of education in this country.

Well, yes, I agree. It's a national problem.

So I understand you came down to try out for Tic-Tac-Dough.

Well, my friends tell me I have a good mind for this sort of thing.

They coaxed me...

How'd you like to be on Twenty-One?

Twenty-One? Dan produces both shows.

You're young, you're clean-cut, you're from a prominent family.

Kids would run to do their homework to be like Charles Van Doren.

What about Herbert Stempel? What about him?

Herb? Oh, I love him.

People don't like him. Well, we love Herb.

Kids don't look up to him. If you were a kid, would you want to be an annoying Jewish guy with a sidewall haircut?

Well, I wanted to be Joe DiMaggio. Oh, yeah? Me, too.

Especially after he signed for 100,000. Yeah, Al...

But you see, that's what this country needs, is an intellectual Joe DiMaggio, with the women and the money and all of it, but from his brain instead of a bat and ball.

Dan. I know. You're probably right.

Yeah, boy. What are we gonna do here?

Well, I could take a whack at it.

Yeah, see, the problem, Professor, is the old college try ain't gonna do it.

And you've seen Stempel. The guy's unbeatable.

I have to admit Tic-Tac-Dough seemed more feasible.

What if we were to put you on the show...

Put you on Twenty-One and ask you questions that you know.

Say, the questions that he answered correctly on the test this morning.

I don't follow you. Just thinkin' out loud.

I thought the questions were in a bank vault.

In a way, they are. You wanna win, don't you?

Well, I think I'd really rather try to beat him honestly.

What's dishonest?

When Gregory Peck parachutes behind enemy lines, do you think that's really Gregory Peck?

That book that Eisenhower wrote? A ghostwriter wrote it. Nobody cares.

It's not like we'd be giving you the answers.

Just 'cause we know you know, you still know.

Right. It's not like you're putting me on the show, or Al, and pretending to be some sort of intellectual.

You have put in years of study and erudition.

I mean, I'm just trying to imagine what Kant would make of this.

I don't think he'd have a problem with it.

Think about what this could mean for the cause of education.

Forty million people will watch you on Twenty-One.

It's not like anybody has to know. Just us three.

It just doesn't seem right.

I'd have to say no.

Just an idea.

Was that part of the test?

So we're okay. You're gonna give it a try.

Well, I just want to make sure it'll be, you know, not the way we discussed it before?

No. So pure, it floats. Not at all.

Okay? So we'll see you Monday night then.

You'll come by and see how the show works.


All right. And we'll look forward to that. Monday night.

Nice meeting you. Okay. Goodbye.

Take care. Bye-bye.

Reservations are at 9:00. Thanks. All right.


Hi, Jack. Hi, Jack.

Who's that? That's Charles Van Doren.

As in "Van Doren" Van Doren? Van Doren. Yes.

He wants to be on Tic-Tac-Dough.

Now, why would a guy like that want to be on a quiz show?

Richard Goodwin. I'm an investigator.

An investigator.

Richard Goodwin with the Subcommittee on Legislative Oversight.

I'm calling because the rate schedules for the Baltimore and Ohio for the first four months of 1954 seem to be missing from the documents you just sent me.

Oh, go get 'em, Dickie. They're sweatin' now.

Do they know you were first in your class at Harvard Law School?

Don't talk to me like I'm an idiot.

I was first in my class at Harvard Law School.

There we go. What have you got? Forty-three seconds.

Not bad. Railroad regulation.

Now that's political dynamite he's playing with.

Oh, just an oversight.

We're an oversight committee. Right.

The end of next week. That'll be just fine.

And I'll send you a little helpful reminder, okay?

You'll notice it 'cause it'll look very much like a subpoena.


Thank you.

You know, Dick, you stick with this... I don't know.

Ten, fifteen years, you could bring the Interstate Commerce Commission to its knees.

Of course, by then, there may not be rail roads.

You'll still be sittin' right there, too, Alex.

He's so sensitive. Truce.

Herb, you got ten points.

The category is "Explorers. " How many you want to try for?

- I'll try for 11 points, Mr. Barry. Hello!

Gonna go all the way, huh? All right.

I'm gonna name four spots on the globe.

You name the explorer who discovered them.

- First, Newfoundland. John Cabot.

Hi. I see you're really churning out the chapters today.

Go away. No cigar in the bedroom.

- That's correct. Out.

The Cape of Good Hope.

No cigar in the bedroom. We allow a television in the bedroom, but no cigar in the bedroom.

- This. .. Bartolomeu Dias.

- He originally called it... You're right, Herb.

So today, chairman calls me aside.

MY big break, right?

He asks me to write him a speech to deliver to the Kiwanis Club of Arkadelphia, Arkansas.

You're good at that. Gee, do we get to go there?

Yeah. Just like to know where the challenge is.

You know? I feel like a race horse whose gate won't open.

You didn't want the Wall Street job.

Yeah, I know. Well, money isn't everything.

I'm not the one who came home with the Chrysler catalog.

Give me the name of the explorer who discovered Mozambique.

Vasco da Gama. Vasco da Gama.

Well... Maybe I should get on a quiz show.

At least I could get in my own bedroom.

It's just a job, Dick. It's not sex.

Vasco da Gama?

Great show, Herbie. Terrific show. I really think so.

Jack, wasn't Herb terrific tonight? Can't you see I'm busy, Dan?

Okay. Oh, Herb, I'd like you to meet next week's challenger, Charles Van Doren.

Hello. I'm scared of you. Boy, oh, boy, let me tell you.

Scared of me?

More wine, Herb? Thank you, Dan. Why not?

You've earned it. How's that steak?

Nothing like a fine piece of meat.

You know, Herb, it's a hell of a thing. I'm lookin' at the thing today.

You know, the Trendex rating? Yeah?

Well, it's the damndest thing, but you've plateaued.

Plateaued? What kind of word is that?

What, plateaued? Plateaued.

Plateaued? Well, it's like you...

You mean people don't like me anymore?

No, no, no, it's not you per se.

It's just... No, it's... Maybe I should get my teeth capped.

It's the nature of the show.

They've already seen you win, and they want something new.

So what are you saying? You think they want me to lose?

Well, don't you think that's natural?

Joe Louis was the champ for 12 years. Nobody ever wanted Joe Louis to lose.

Think about the cause of education. The cause of education?

I waited 29 years for this.

Now I'm supposed to take a dive for the cause of education?

I didn't say take a dive. Now I'm askin' you for your help.

Fine. Just let me play it honestly.

Will you keep your voice down?

Go ahead. Give me a number. Give me a number.

Excuse me, sir. Give me a number, a random number.

I don't know. Twenty-three?

Beethoven was 23 when he composed his first piano sonata.

In 1923, Jack Bentley set the record for average by a pitcher, batting .427.

There are 23 chromosomes in the human egg. Herb...

Also, the human sperm. Twenty-third president, Benjamin Harrison.

Asian countries along the 23rd parallel...

Look, don't start believing your own bullshit, all right?

You wouldn't know the name of Paul Revere's horse if he took a crap on your lawn.

She. What?

It was a mare, remember? Look, you lose when I tell you to lose.

But why now? it's an arrangement.

It's always been an arrangement. But if you told me to lose before, if you told me to lose right from the beginning, that I'd understand.

That'd be the story of my life. But why now? What did I do?

Look at the big picture. It's not like television is gonna go away, you know.

I mean, think about the future. You mean like a panel show?

Check. Look, I'm gonna do what I can do, Herb.

But meanwhile, maybe you could use somebody to talk to.

I'm gonna give you the name of my analyst. Just send me the bills.

You know, I could be terrific on one of those panel shows.

Here you go, sir.

Witty, off-the-cuff. A Bill Cullen sort of thing.

Now the last category is movies.

We're gonna ask you what won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1955.

You don't know it. You answer On The Waterfront.

Oh, no. Oh, no. Don't... Don't do that.

Not Marty. I saw Marty three times.

The Best Picture from two years ago and I don't know it?

Someone of your intellect, and it's such a simple question.

Don't you see the drama of that? Drama?

Herb, don't do this to yourself.

Please, let me lose on a physics question, not Marty, Dan.

Don't do this to me. It's too humiliating.

For 70 grand, Herb, you can afford to be humiliated.

Who was the captain of the Mayflower?

Christopher Jones.

What year? 1620.

Here's Mr. Moto!

And we'll return to Mr. Moto after this.

Will Herbert' Stempel become the first man to win over $100, 000 on television ?

No, Herbert Stempel is not going to win over $100,000.

Herbert Stempel is going to take a dive!

Dad, the quiz is tomorrow. If you're gonna talk to the All right, big shot. So who bought Manhattan Island from the Indians?

Peter Minuit.

What year? 1626.

How much? Twenty-four dollars.

...this week on Twenty-One.

- Now back to our program. This week on Twenty-One, watch Herb Stempel be fed to the Columbia Lions.

Watch Charles Van Doren eat his first kosher meal on Twenty-One.

What are you doing? Why aren't you dressed?

The child has to learn.

The child has to learn the depths that humanity can sink to.

The tribes of the Iroquois League, Mohawks, Cayugas, Oneidas... Twenty-four bucks for Manhattan.

First the Indians, then us.

What's eatin' you? You know why they call them Indians?

Because Columbus thought he was in India. Mohawks, Cayugas...

They're Indians because some white guy got lost.

You're gonna give him your ulcer. Let him grow up with his own ulcer.

He wouldn't let me practice my drums. Who won Best Picture for 1955?

- Marty. Thank you.

Well, what's the problem? Lester, do me a favor.

Go in your bedroom, do your homework, all right? Hey, hey!

With your books.

Homework with your books.

They want me to take a dive. What?

They're going to ask me what won the Best Picture for 1955, and I have to answer On The Waterfront.

They have to utz me with a question any child knows.

How can they do that? I thought the questions were in a bank vault.

They just put me in an isolation booth and pump cyanide into it.

Herbie, they can't do that.

How can they do that? Well, obviously, Toby, this particular question isn't in the bank vault.

Why? How the hell do I know why?

Well, then the hell with them. Just answer Marty then.

I already agreed. Well, screw them.

Let them ask you a question you really don't know. Good luck.

You're Herbert Stempel. What are they gonna do to you? Huh?

Judo chop into the throat. Once again, it's a judo chop-

You're right. What could they do to me?


Screw 'em. Yeah.

Remember, call him "Jack" as often as possible.


Fifteen seconds.

Good evening. I'm Jack Barry.

Good evening. I'm Jack Barry.

- Five. Good evening. I'm Jack Barry.

Watch your headroom. Coming to air in ten, nine, eight, seven... I'm Jack Barry.

...six, five... Steady, one.

...four, three... Good evening. I'm Jack Barry.

...two, one. Fade up. Cue up.

Good evening. I'm Jack Barry.

So let's meet our first two players as Geritol, America's #1 tonic, presents Twenty-One.

From New York City, Mr. Charles Van Doren.

And returning with $69,500, from Queens, New York...

Van Doren?

...Mr. Herbert Stempel.

Think that's his son? Are you related in any way to Mark Van Doren of Columbia University...

I don't know. I guess so.

-...the famous poet and author? Yes, he's my father.

He is your father.

Yes, both he and my uncle Carl have won the Pulitzer Prize, and Dorothy Van Doren, the author of the recent The Country Wife, is my mother.

Okay, Herb, you know something about Mr. Van Doren.

You have $69,500. Do you want to take it and quit while you're ahead or risk it by playing against him?

It's a tough decision, I know.

- What'll it be? I'll take a chance.

You will take a chance. All right, then, here we go, gentlemen.

You sure Herbie's on board with this?

Can I take the third part last?

I guess that Atahualpa was the leader of the Incas at the time of the conquest.

Correct. Wouldn't that be William Allen White?

That's correct. I'd like to take the third part last.

His fourth wife was Anne of Cleves.

He divorced Catherine of Aragon.

He divorced her. He beheaded Anne Boleyn.

Well, they all died.

Herb Stempel leads at this point by 18 to 10.

- Herb? Yes, Mr. Barry?

The category is "Movies." How many points you want to try for?

I'll try for three. Three points.

Which motion picture won the Academy Award for 1955?


Best Picture.


Best Picture.


He doesn't know it?

All right, Herb, I'll tell you when your time is up.

I don't remember. I don't remember.

Are you sure you wouldn't want to guess at it, Herb?

- Otherwise, I'll have to call it wrong- Wait.


Your time is up, Herb. I'll need your answer.

Best Picture...

...Of 1955...

On The Waterfront?

No, I'm sorry. The answer is Marty.

Marty. It was Marty that won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1955.

Marty was Ernest Borgnine. Geez, what an easy question.

The Academy Award for 1955. You lose three points.

You go back down to 15. Better luck on the next round.

And now for you, Professor, the category is...

Civil War.

How many points you want to try for, from 1 to 11?

Civil War. That's a... That's an awful big subject.

Well, here goes nothing. I'll... I'll try for 11.

Eleven points will bring you to 21, and you will be our new champion!

Because of a disagreement with his commanding general, Ulysses S. Grant was virtually placed under arrest for a brief time early in 1862.

Who was the commanding general of the Union Army at that time?

Tough question.

It's just so oddly familiar.

Would you like some more time?

Whatever you can spare. All right.

Do you know the name?

Yes, I know his name. Halleck. General H.W. Halleck.

You are our new champion for $20, 000!

Come on out, Herb. Come on out, Professor.

Wasn't that somethin', folks? Huh?

You feelin' all right?

Very good. Perhaps we can get an ice pack out here for the professor.

I suspect his gray matter is red-hot.

I wonder if he's married.

Our congratulations for a wonderful victory. Professor Charles Van Doren.

I am constantly amazed at the facts these guys have at their fingertips.

Tough questions tonight. Yeah. Oh, well, not really.

Wow, you were fantastic. Hey, you better unlist your phone number.

Can you believe the pressure? Look at him, he's soakin' wet.

Is this guy a natural or what? Jesus! He's a natural.

Do you think he's involved with anyone?

I don't know.

I'm gonna miss ya, Herb. You know, I'm really gonna miss this guy.

Hey, Dan, listen, that guy is really terrific.

We could easily beat out I Love Lucy with him.

I know we can.

Let's get a photo here. Oh, George. Here we go.

Charles Van Doren. Miles Bronfman, an executive here at the network.

Oh, there we go.

So what do you think, Charlie? You excited?

Professor, can I interrupt you? Charlie, I just wanted to...

My son was in your father's class.

Oh, really? Says he's a saint.

Charlie, I want you to meet Bill Henderson. He promotes the show.

Congratulations. Sensational. Thank you.

Now we have a clean-cut intellectual instead of a freak with a sponge memory.

See you next week, Charlie.

I don't even want to think about that. I was so nervous.

Dan! Dan!

So pure, it floats? Hmm?

Are you kidding? it was great.

Go home and have a martini. We'll talk in the morning.

Uh, I'm gonna take the stairs.

How did you know he'd go for it? What would you do?

Meanwhile, it's okay if you know the answer.

Yeah, so it's... My God, it's not like I haven't worked hard.

I deserve $20,000 as much as anybody.

My God! $20,000.

The highest navigable lake in the world is, Lake Titicaca. Lake Titicaca.

That'd have to be Lake Titicaca. Correct for ten points!

Michel Montaigne. Around his neck, Montaigne wore a medallion which read, "What do I know?"

Hello. This is Herb Stempel calling for Mr. Enright.

I'm terribly sorry. He's not in.

Our current reigning champion, from New York, New York, Mr. Charles Van Doren.

...twenty-four hours, Geritol liquid, or now, in new...

It's the only town house available in the Village.

I'll take it.

Will do. It's just that he's out of the office right now...

This is Herb Stempel.

This is about the 17th time I've called.

I guess William Pitt, the Elder.

You have 21!

Come to me, Charlie. Good. Smile. Hold the bag right there.

Hold it right there. Good.

Here, Professor Van Doren turns in the evidence of his amazing popularity, thousands of letters a week for the egghead turned national hero.

Winnings to date, $50,000!

Hey, Charlie! The check's in the mail.

-Is Mr. Enright in? I'm sorry. He's not right now.

This is Herb Stempel. You tell him that he promised that he would call me back, and if he doesn't, something is going to happen.

Do you understand that? I understand.

That's right. Okay, bye.

You just tell Mr. Enright that if he doesn't want to talk to me, maybe the district attorney would like to talk to me.

If he wants to play hardball, I'll play hardball.

Very well.

Good morning, Mr. Van Doren. Hello.

And returning with $83,000, our champion, after seven weeks, Charles Van Doren.

Welcome to Twenty-One, gentlemen.

- Evening, Jack. Charlie...

Gentlemen, please.

It was a totally humiliating experience. All my friends knew that I loved Marty.

It's one of my favorite films.

I saw it three times. It's about a boy in the Bronx...

Mr. Enright will see you now.

Have a seat, Herb.

Thanks for comin' up.

I feel we have some unfinished business we need to hash out.

I have some unfinished business with you, too.

This whole thing with the grand jury and the things you said, well, they hurt me.

I can't tell you how... Well, they hurt me deeply.

I told the truth. There you go again.

You promised me, Dan. You promised that you'd help me out.

Don't you think that I want to help you more than I already have?

But the point is, you've made it impossible.

Look, you want me to apologize?

I want you to sign this statement. I apologize.

What kind of statement?

It clears me and the show of any wrongdoing.

What about the panel show? See? That's a perfect example.

I told you I'd do what I could, and I did. I put your name on a list.

You put me on a list? That's it?

NBC owns our company. Everything goes through them.

NBC bought your company for two million bucks. What about me?

People watched me on that show. Look. Look. Look at this.

Oh, Herb, don't start... "He has become a friend

"in over 50 million homes, "whose weekly visits the whole family eagerly anticipates."

I was a friend, too, in 50 million homes. Look, what can I tell you, Herb?

Life is unfair. Life is unfair to me.

Life's not unfair to Charles Van Doren.

Remember how he snubbed me after the show?

There'll be other shows.

What other shows? I need the money, Dan.

What? How could you need the money?

It's gone. I mean it's invested. It's tied up. It's...

Well, can't you talk to your broker? He's not a broker.

He's more of a bookmaker. It's seed money.

He's setting up in Florida right now. He says it's the next growth area.

You gave your money to a bookie who skipped town?

I want what I have coming, Dan. I have to get back on television.

Herb, I'm gonna... Show me this list. Where's this list?

I submitted a list of 45 names.

They rejected three. You were one of them.

That big uncircumcised putz is on the cover of Time magazine, and I can't even make the top 42 for a panel show.

Look, maybe you could warm up the audience before the show.

I could throw you 50 bucks a week. Fifty bucks a week?

That should be me on the cover of Time.

Shit, Herb, just sign the statement. Charles Van Doren.

He wouldn't know the answer to a doorbell if you didn't give it to him.

Sign the statement, and get on with your life!

Sign the statement, Herb. Sign the statement. Who cares if it's true?

I'm giving you a chance. You promised me!

You get me that panel show, or I'm gonna bring you down with me, ya lousy, lyin' prick!

You and Charles Van fuckin' Doren! No, you're not.

I'll just tell everyone that it's a fraud. That'll warm 'em up.

"The fix is in, this week on Twenty-One. "

When's my next appointment?

The cover of Time? His mug shot will be on the cover of Time!

What the hell happened?


Why am I the only one workin' this mornin'?

You got here earlier, Mooie.

"Demonstrators stoned Vice President Nixon's motorcade

"as it proceeded through Caracas."

Gee, Dick, what's the New York Times say? Same thing?


Most people who live in Washington settle for the Washington papers.

Well, the Times is the paper of record.

Ah. Ooh.

Dick hopes someday to be confused with an important person.

"Although the crowd was cordoned off at a distance of a hundred yards, "an unidentified Venezuelan struck Nixon in the head with a thrown onion."

The Senators should sign this guy.

Did you guys know there was a grand jury in New York on the quiz shows?

Jim Lemon can't even hit the cutoff man.

This guy throws a 300-foot strike with an onion.

Have they come up with anything? They sealed the presentment.

That's a no. Why do you say that?

A presentment's a statement of findings.

If there were anything in it, they'd want to release it to the public, right?

If the purpose is to make findings public, then why keep it a secret?

Why seal the presentment? It's illogical.

It's a local matter. it's television.

Whoa. TV.

It's under our jurisdiction, right?

I mean, we have oversight over all the agencies.

It includes the F.C.C.

You're gonna investigate a dead investigation?

We're gonna put television on trial. Television.

Everybody in the country'll know about it.

What do you have? There's somethin' there.

Mr. Chairman, I'll find it.

The networks, pharmaceutical industry?


That's big game, son. You don't go huntin' in your underwear.

Sir, I smell somethin'. At least give me a chance to see what I can dig up.

Let me go up to New York.

This isn't some junket for you to stay in a hotel and see a Broadway show.

I'm givin' you exactly one week to find something. You get that?

Unseal a presentment. I don't know.

I don't know how you go about that. I've never...

Oh, here you go. Look at this.

Hasn't been a presentment under seal in the State of New York since 1869.

That explains it.

1869? Yeah.

Counselor, I've reviewed in detail the material submitted in your request.

A man's reputation is coin of the realm to him.

I sealed this presentment to protect the reputations of those unfairly implicated by a certain mentally unstable finger-pointer.

That interest, along with important issues of federalism, dictate that I reject your committee's request at this time.

Mr. Enright's office. Mr. Enright?

It's Judge Schweitzer.

Yes? Hi. Miss Mitchell?

Uh-huh. My name is Richard Goodwin.

I'm with the Congressional Subcommittee on Legislative Oversight.

We've been investigating the quiz shows recently.

I was wondering if I could ask you a quick question.

On! I've got people-

Could I just have a moment of your time?


I was curious how many episodes you appeared on.

Not very many. No. How...

Three weeks.

Did anyone ever ask you not to talk to anyone?

The Today Show with Dave Garroway, and Dave's regular co-host, Mr. J. Fred Muggs.

Dave's guests this morning are, the Aga Khan, Lyle Goodhue, inventor of the aerosol spray can, and quiz champion Charles Van Doren.

Take a look at that. Look at that. You see that?

Yes. Uh-huh.

Well, you have that conversation, and I'm gonna begin the show.

I'll see you, Mr. Muggs.

Good morning.

And good morning, Charlie. Good morning, Dave.

How are you this morning? I'm fine, thank you.

I see we have an unusually large crowd outside there this morning.

So how long has it been now, Charlie? it's been nine weeks now.

And you've won how much? $93,000.

Hmm, so that's $10,000 a week. That's right.

Although last week, I know you were preempted for another program.

Well, that's the problem with television. The pay's good, but it's not that steady.

Don't remind me. I'm up for renewal.

So tell us about the book you're working on.

Well, it's called Lincoln's Commando, and I hope people will find it as interesting as I do.

How do you think Honest Abe would do on a quiz show?

Honest Abe? Yeah.

Well, I think he'd do very well.

And, of course, on a show like this, he'd be wonderful.

I'm sure he would.

Here we are, Professor.

Yeah, I'm just... I just have to tie my shoe.

Hi, Mr. Van Doren. Hey, Mr. Van Doren.

Oh! Hey!

Oh! Good morning. Hi.

Good morning, Mr. Van Doren. Good morning.

Where's the monkey? I saw you on TV this morning.

Is Thomas Merton Episcopalian or Catholic?


Hello. Are you here for office hours?

Oh, no. I'm Richard Goodwin.

Did Clark Byse call? Clark Byse? No, he didn't.

See, I'm up from Washington. He suggested I might look you up.

You're not a stockbroker, are you? Lawyer, which is bad enough.

Professor Byse taught me Contracts. Then we have something in common.

He taught me my backhand.

I'm with the House Subcommittee on Legislative Oversight.

I've been swarmed by stockbrokers lately.

I feel like a girl with a bad reputation.

The Committee has jurisdiction over television.

I'm sorry. Please have a seat.

Thank you.

You must have done very well at Harvard. Clark doesn't like anyone.

I was, uh, actually first in my class.

You make it sound like an affliction. Well...

Did you clerk?

Frankfurter. Oh, really? Hmm.

It's nothin'. I tell you, what I love is what you do, literature.

Well, hell, if I was first in my class, I'd get a tattoo.

So, what brings you to New York, Dick, literature?

Let me ask ya.

Did you ever notice anything out of the ordinary about the quiz show you're on?


Anything suspect. Anything at all.

You mean besides its popularity?

What I'm hoping is that you might be able to give me some kind of road map here.

I feel like we speak the same language. Well, of course.

Anything I can do to help.

Oh, um, Mr. Van Doren. Yes? Yes, yes.

I'm sorry. I'm in your class on the Romantics, and...

Of course you are.

I... Actually, I'm auditing it because you've been on television.

Do you... Should I come back later? Oh, if you don't mind...

I'll come back. I tell you what.

Why don't you meet me tomorrow?

I'll take you to lunch at the Athenaeum. The what?

I'm sorry. The Athenaeum Club at Forty-third and Fifth?

Say, tomorrow at noon?

Lunch at The Athenaeum. At noon.

Great. Great. See you then.

I wanted to talk to you about Ode on a Grecian Urn.

"Beauty is truth, truth, beauty.

"That is all ye know on earth and all ye need to know."

Does he really mean that about beauty and truth?

Why foster child? I don't under...

Congress investigates communists.

Congress investigates mobsters. That is not me.

Yeah, well, look on the bright side. You'll be on national television.

That's a joke, Charlie. Well, that's not funny.

Charles Van Doren. it's just not funny.

Hey! Charles Van Doren!

How ya doin'? I'm worried about this.

Yeah, well, look, I... Who was that? it's just some guy.

Well, look, I already know about this guy Goodwin, and I'm on top of it. So trust me.

You callin' Information? You don't understand.

What are you dialin' for?

Oh, for information? I have a name.

Charles Van Doren, he's dialin' for information.

Hey, Chuck, what do you do? Chuckie! Answer this question.

I'm sorry. I gotta go.

What street do I live on in Brooklyn, huh?

Did you tell him anything? No, no, I didn't...

I gotta go. I gotta go! I've gotta go!

Come on! Let's go! Hey, Chuck, how ya doin'? How ya holdin' up? All right?

Hey, can I get an autograph for my wife?

Give me an autograph for my wife!

Come on, Charles, don't be a snob. Give me an autograph for my wife!

So Sandra says what's ever on her mind.

And you've been married how long?

Five years. You?

Oh, no. I'm supposed to be fixed up with this girl on the cover of the new Harper's Bazaar, but...

Well, you know how that is. Yeah.

Waldorf salad for you, Mr. Van Doren. Oh, thank you.

And a Reuben sandwich. Thank you.

So... Oh.

What do you know about this grand jury investigation, Charlie?

Oh, I remember Dan mentioned something about this, that it was all some... Some wild goose chase.

Uh, a political thing.

They talk so fast in that business. Half of it goes right past me.


Enright. He's really the one to talk to.

You know if he testified? Uh, uh, more water?

You can reach him at NBC. Dan Enright.

So, how long have you been with this committee, Dick?

Six months. Seemed like a good way to postpone the inevitable.

Postpone the inevitable. ls there a spot for me?

I mean Wall Street.


So, back to this grand jury business.

I'm wondering... Oh.

Dad. Charlie.

Excuse me, Frank.

This is a surprise.

How are you, son? We share an office, and I never see you anymore.

I'm there, Dad. I'm just hiding behind your reputation.

No, I'm serious. We all miss you at home.

Please, join us. Dad, this is Dick Goodwin.

He's up from Washington.

Narrow escape. Dad doesn't like Washington.

A swamp that traded malaria for politics.

What's the special? it's the Reuben.

Reuben sandwich is the only entirely invented sandwich.

Won the National Sandwich Contest two years ago.

A salient point. Who invented it? Reuben Kay.

At a poker game in Omaha. I knew there was a "K" in Nebraska.

Unfortunately, they have the sandwich here, but they don't seem to have any Reubens.

Touché. Dick's a protégé of Clark Byse.

I just finished a clerkship with Justice Frankfurter.

Of course you did.

Frankfurter collects brains the way other people collect stamps.

Did you happen to see the show Monday, Dad?

Monday. Uh, we were with Bunny Wilson.

Oh, no, it's nothing. Just there was a question about Hawthorne.

Oh, well, you know how it is with Bunny once he gets going.

So, Dick, Charlie invite you to his poker game yet?

He's a helluva poker player.

We have a regular game Thursday nights, just some friends I went to school with.

You're welcome to come over next week.

Are you a gambler, Dick?

I don't know if I'm a gambler. I know which end of an ace is up.

Well, Dick, if you look round the table and you can't tell who the sucker is, it's you.

Yeah, Dan Enright, please.

Uh, Dick Goodwin.

Uh, no. Actually, I'll just call back. Thanks.

"Name the three heavyweight champions who preceded Joe Louis."

Oh, I know that. Uh, Jim Braddock.

Mmm-hmm. Max Baer.


Damn. Primo Camera.

Primo Camera. Of course. Yeah, good old Primo.

I was there that night at the Garden, the night Baer beat him.

Really? Yeah.

The big guinea. 12 times Baer knocked him down.

Al, I've been thinking.

Maybe you shouldn't give me the answers anymore.

Now what do you wanna do that for, Professor?

Charlie, you're doin' the right thing, really.

Everybody's makin' money.

Well, what if you just gave me the questions and I could look up the answers on my own?

I mean, don't you think that'd be... Well, be less egregious.

Only in the balcony.

You know about that.

All right. Now, your consequence...

Doesn't want the answers anymore. Just wants the questions.

Who? "Who." The Great White Hope.

Dan, what the hell is "egregious"?

He just wants the questions?

Excuse me. Mr. Noland?

Yeah? My name is Richard Goodwin.

I'm with the Congressional Subcommittee on Legislative...


No, no, I don't wanna say anything. No, can't help you.

I told them everything I had to say.

Everything I knew, I told them.


Mr. Stempel. My name is Dick Goodwin.

I'm an investigator with the Subcommittee on Legislative Oversight of the U.S. Congress.


Did you recently testify before a grand jury?


Well, if you have a minute, I'd really like to talk to you about it.


Finally. I knew it was just a matter of time.

Come in.

Didn't you go to City College?

Harvard. Toby.

This is my wife, Toby. This is Mr. Goodwin.

He's an investigator from the United States Congress.

Would you like a cup of coffee, Mr... I already got the pot on.

I tell ya, that sounds great, actually.

And bring some rugulach if there are any left.

I love my wife, but it's like livin' with a plague of locusts.

If Charles Van Doren told 'em what I told 'em, do you think this whole grand jury thing would be squashed?

Quashed. It's not "squashed." Not in a million years.

Quashed, okay?

What exactly did you tell the grand jury?

Have one. No, thanks.

Lester, will you knock it off for 10 minutes?

Come on. They're a Jewish delicacy. Before Toby eats it.

I'm retainin' water for your information. You and the Grand Coulee Dam.

Come on. You don't know what you're missing.

I'm quite familiar with rugulach, thank you.

How'd a guy like you get into Harvard? Capped teeth.


Herb, what exactly did you tell the grand jury?

No, you can't ask me that. It's... It's sealed. It's illegal.

Well, just between us.

They made me take a dive. Marty.

They made me lose on Marty just to humiliate me.

Who made you take a dive? Dan Enright.

He told me I had plateaued, that the ratings had plateaued.

A sinking ship and the rats stayed.

Do you think in a million years I wouldn't know Marty, and meanwhile, Charles Van Moron would be on the show 11 weeks in a row?

I don't understand. How could they make you take a dive?


Why didn't you just answer Marty if you knew it?

What, and throw away his future in television?

Would you please go inside and tell Gene Krupa to take five?

Lester. Lester!

You're so naive. It's a fix. It's all... It's all a fix.

A setup. I made a study of it. They always follow a Jew with a Gentile.

And the Gentile wins more money. What is that, a coincidence?

Herb, you're saying this whole grand jury thing was because of you.

You know what you have to do? You have to nail Van Doren.

Are you gonna nail Van Doren?

Look, first of all, I'm not here to nail anyone, okay?

This isn't McCarthyism.

Listen, think about what McCarthyism did for McCarthy.

Let me ask you something.

Do you have any corroborative evidence to what you're saying?

Listen to me. Don't make necessarily the mistakes that I might have made in life.

Think about your career.

You nail Van Doren, it'll be bigger than Sputnik.

It'll be like a big, blond Sputnik crashing right down on his, whew, friggin' head.

Charlie? Hi. Dick Goodwin.

I hope you don't mind.

The English Department gave me your number up in Connecticut.

Yeah. Look, I met with Herbert Stempel yesterday.

He told me a couple of things. I'm kinda curious...


Sure. Well, what train was that?

Yeah, just hold on. I got a pen right here.

Grand Central Station.


Cornwall, Connecticut.

I will...I will... I'll get right on the way.

Dick, I'm glad you could make it. Charlie.

That's some snappy-looking Mercedes.

Come around the back. We're just about to eat.

What's that, the 300?

Yeah, it's my father's birthday, so I bought myself a car.

It's only got 110 miles on it. The show's treatin' you well, huh?

Dorothy, your tomato salad is fabulous.

What's your secret? Manure.

Now, look at Thomas.

Thomas is aerodynamically designed to go directly to heaven.

And who are you? Dick. Goodwin.

I'm a friend of Charlie's. Ah.

You sound like you're from Boston. Brookline, actually.

The wrong girl for me.

You know I didn't. You did.

We have horseradish growing in the garden.

Well, that's true.

How long have you been married? 20 years.

Aunt Irita had an affair with Wendell Willkie.


"Now see summer bloom upon this lea. Three score rings around this tree.

"Once green, now bare.

"Once lush, now sere.

"Consoled only that I am

"planted here." You certainly are.

"Roots thick..." And old.

"...and deep," And doddering.

"...assuage my woes..." A termite nibbles at my toes.

- Et tu, Bunny? Charlie, is Jack Barry single?

I think so.

My roommate has a crush on him. She wants you to introduce her.

What's Dave Garroway like?

Cheap. "Cheat"?

Wasn't I talking?

You were, yes. Talking and talking and talking.

Charlie's famous, like Elvis Presley.

Like Leopold of Belgium, usurped by his son before his time.

I suppose that makes me King Baudouin?

Next birthday, you all get a dirty limerick.

I certainly hope so.

So how's it feel, Charlie?

Well, I can't even eat dinner in a restaurant anymore.

People follow me inside to discover what kind of "brain food" I eat.

In my day, it was flagpole-sitting and swallowing goldfish.

Last week alone, I had 11 proposals of marriage.

Perhaps you should accept one of them.

To think they unleash you on those impressionable young minds.

Why not? He's 33 years old.

Jesus Christ had a girlfriend at 33 years old.

Look how that turned out. And he shared an office with his father.

I'm sure they're all very nice girls.

In that case, perhaps I should appear on a quiz show.

The money, meanwhile, no one knows what to do with it.

Though every stockbroker in New York seems eager to try.

Why don't you just put it in the bank?

That's what I've always done with my prize money.

No, it's just... You don't understand, Dad.

There are all sorts of tax implications.

I think I can understand the concept of taxes.

At this level, it's a bit more complicated.

And at my level?

I never thought of myself having a level, Charlie.

What level might that be?

I mean, it's not as if the money fell into my lap. I worked for it.

Work? on!

Millions of people watch the game shows, Dad.

Then I suppose we've become a nation of proctors.

Mark. Help me out here, Harvard.


Claim victory and depart the field.

We don't have a television.

Why on earth would we need a television?

How much money is it again?

What? They don't have a television.

You haven't seen the show?

We were supposed to watch it the other night at Thurber's...

Even Thurber has a television, and he's blind.

How much is it now, Charlie?

$122,000. What?

She heard that all right.


"Some rise by sin and some by virtue fall."

Measure For Measure.

"To do a great right, do a little wrong."

Merchant Of Venice. it's this game our family plays.

"O, what men dare do! What men may do!

"What men daily do, not knowing what they do!"

Much Ado About Nothing.

"Things without remedy should be without regard, "what's done is done."

"Things without all remedy." Macbeth.

"How ill white hairs become a fool and jester."

Now, Professor, open your presents.

Well, what have we here? Aftershave.



Oh, now.

Oh, my God. How swell.

I guess I'm surrounded. Thank you, Charlie.

I thought you might like it, Dad.

So do you remember Herbert Stempel?

Remember him? I still can't believe I beat him.

Stempel tells me that Dan Enright made him take a dive from the show.


He tells me that Dan Enright made him take a dive.

That's ridiculous. Yeah?

A little odd, though, don't ya think?

I mean, losing on such an easy question?

You know, frankly, Dick, if Stempel can just run around and smear a man like Dan Enright to the United States Congress...

No, nobody's smearing anybody.

I'm just trying to figure out the truth here.

Could you just untie the bowline there and shove us off?

All right.

Dick, could you raise the jib for us, please?

The jib. Just... Yeah.

Do you remember what it was like for guys like us when we were in school?

Being smart was like being cross-eyed.

But you should see the letters I get.

Kids are excited about... About books and learning and general knowledge.

Dan Enright had a lot to do with that.

Yeah, but don't you think he wanted you to win?

I mean, if you look at the ratings, they're staggering.

Well, what did he say, they "made" him take a dive?


Well, how did they "make" him take a dive anyway?

He didn't want to jeopardize any future he might have in television.

Yeah, well...

Anyway, how many people did you say testified in front of the grand jury?

Why? What's your point?

Well, if what you're saying is true, then everybody lied.

Hi. Al Freedman. Hi. I'm Danny.

Good to see you. I'm sorry for the delay. Come on in. Have a seat.

Would you like a cup of coffee or a soft drink?

Anything? I'm fine. Thanks.

You sure? We're very well stocked up here.

Nothing? I'm fine.

No trouble.

I understand you've spoken to Charles Van Doren.

And Herbert Stempel. Oh, I was afraid of that.

He says and I quote, that he was made to "take a dive."

Believe me, I'm quite familiar with Herb's allegations.

I could recite them by rote.

46 witnesses swore up and down Herbie's a lying tub of shit.

Al. Sorry.

Why the big secret? Well, to protect people's reputations.

I mean, frankly, you never know what the public is gonna believe, you see?

There's that and...

And what?

Look, Dick, I... Can I call you Dick?

Sure, Dan.

After the loss, Herb came to visit me in an agitated...

Well, I suppose the clinical term would be... What?

The guy's nuts. Manic.

He was in a manic frame of mind. Manic.

And I took the precaution of tape recording that meeting.

Al, would you play the tape?

Listen to this.

You get me that panel show or I'm gonna bring you down, you lousy lyin'' prick.

You and Charles Van fuckin' Doren.

What is this, Herb? Are you blackmailin' me?

I need that money, Dan. I need to get back on television.

You get me that panel show

- or I'll tell everyone it's a fraud. You know that's not true.

Who cares if it's true?

"The fix is in this week on Twenty-One."


So he needed more money after all that money he won.

Gambling. And that's the least of it.

I mean, if the judge was protecting anyone, he was protecting Herb.

Given... Well...

His medical condition. His medical condition?

Oh, yeah. Al, get the bills.

I mean, put yourself in his shoes.

He's no longer in the public eye.

He's remembered, if he's remembered at all, as "the guy that lost to Van Doren."

Television is like a monkey on his back, and we're not talking about someone who is necessarily stable to begin with.

No. So you paid for his psychoanalysis?

I felt responsible. You're too nice.

No, I'm not. if it were up to me, I would've sent him to the skating rink the fast way.

Five sessions a week? Five, and not a dent.

Herb is so angry with himself for losing, and it was on such a simple question, too.

Marty. Marty. His ego couldn't handle it.

He blames Charles Van Doren for his downfall.

And, of course, the real downfall of Herbert Stempel has always been Herbert Stempel. Herbert Stempel. Absolutely.

You met him. Does he seem stable to you?

Well, I definitely have an inkling of what you're talking about.

He told me this whole story about how when a Jew is on the show, he always loses to a Gentile, and then the Gentile wins more money.

Right? Who could dream up a scheme like that?

A symptom of his Van Doren fixation.

The thing of it is, I looked it up. It's true.

We could check it.

Herbie, I wanna go home.

I took you to dinner, didn't I? Just hold your horses.

This is ridiculous.

Where have you been?

Why don't you return my phone calls? Did you talk to Van Doren?

I'll tell you who I spoke to. I spoke to Dan Enright.

Forget Enright.

Goodwin, 1535.

You threatened to blackmail him if he didn't get you on a panel show?

What? When? I didn't blackmail him. What are you talking about?

He's got the whole thing on tape. He promised me that panel show.

What tape? What are you talking about?

Listen, Goodwin, don't think I don't see what you're doin'.

You're building this great case against me.

A pile of evidence, an army of witnesses against me, Herb Stempel.

And meanwhile, you and Van Doren are off giving each other the secret Ivy League handshake.

Herb, you're makin' me look like a jerk.

I know what they're doin' to you. They did it to me.

Just because you went to Harvard, you think you have some stake in the system?

He didn't pay for your psychiatrist bills?

The point is Van Doren got the answers.

He did not get the answers. If anything, he gave them the answers.

I know he got the answers.

Ah, bullshit, Herb. How do you know he got the answers?

Because I got the answers.

You got the answers?

What do you mean, you got the answers?

Not very many answers.

I just wanted to get out from under the financial thumb of my in-laws.

I don't understand. I thought you were a victim in all this.

I didn't hold myself up to be the crowned prince of education.

I didn't preen myself on the cover of Time magazine with a face full of phony humility...

Good night, Herb.


Toby, where do you think you're going without me?

You never told me you got the answers.

I knew the answers to a good part of the questions anyhow.

The ones I didn't, they fed me.

I'm sure I must've mentioned it. it's not a thing you mentioned.

What else did you do that you didn't mention?

Enright sat right in our kitchen and said, "How'd you like to make $25,000?"

I don't know any man in America who would turn that down.

It's dishonest. Let me tell you about honest.

You know what my father used to tell me?

"Work hard and you'll get ahead." Was that honest?

Look at Geritol. "Geritol cures tired blood."

And I'm the one who's supposed to be ashamed.

You never said that you were getting the answers.

Let them believe whatever they want. What do I care?

What do I care if a bunch of saps... I was one of those saps, Herbert.

He got the answers.

Now why would he admit that? He's only implicating himself.

Well, maybe it's the truth. Yeah, well I have a hunch it is the truth.

Though meanwhile, we'll have to have him testify in a straitjacket.

But Van Doren isn't crazy. Maybe you should put him on the stand.

What's Van Doren got to do with this? They gave Stempel the answers.

Why would Van Doren be any different?

You have no idea what these people are like.

It's all Thurber and Trilling and Bunny Wilson.


Yeah, Edmund Wilson. That's what they call him.

Well, that doesn't mean you have to.

Look, my point is, why would a guy like that jeopardize everything he has?

Which is what? Sandra, the man is on the cover of Time magazine.

He's not gonna be on the cover of Time as Mark Van Doren's son, Dick.

Boxing. How many points would you like to risk?

I'll risk eight points, Jack.

All right. For eight points, name the three heavyweight champions immediately preceding Joe Louis.

- Well, my father would know that.

- That'd be James J. Braddock. Correct.

Max Baer lost the belt to Braddock.

Yes. And the fellow Baer beat?

Oh, now, I remember he knocked him down 12 times before he finally succumbed.

- Would you like to guess? Primo Camera.

Correct. You have 21.

Second base is Eddie Stanky.

No, it's Red Schoendienst.

I hear that Pat Boone plays on the White Shoes.

No, that's Daniel Boone. Ace-King bets.

Check. Check.

Bet five.

I'll raise that a dollar. I'm out.

You better watch out, Fred.

Dick's one of the brightest young lawyers down in Washington.

Great. All my money already goes to Washington. Taxes.

It's nothin' but organized theft. No, property.

What? "Property is theft," I believe.

That's the locus classicus from Proudhon.

I warned you.

Oh, great, another one. Ace bets five.

And another one. I'll see that.

What are you working on, Charlie? I raise $5.

I'd love to know what you got under there, Charlie.

The truth has its price.

Everything has its price.

So where'd ya prep, Dick?

Dick's up here on a witch hunt. He thinks Twenty-One is rigged.

Is it?

Hey, which face cards are in profile, without looking?

Jack of spades, king of diamonds, jack of hearts.

Can we play cards? It's bad enough my wife makes me watch this crap.

Okay, you're writing a book on Lincoln. The night he was shot, who was the doctor at his deathbed?

Joseph K. Barnes was the doctor.

Whoa. Who was the detective on the case?

The detective was Clarvoe. John Alexander Clarvoe.

Who embalmed him? Come on.

Black or brown, Charles D. Brown.

Then he was murdered with estate taxes. Let's play.

You're not impressed? Ace checks.



Now I'm impressed.

Go ahead, Dick, call 'em.

What do you say, Dick?

I know you're lying.


Bluffing. The word is bluffing.

Too rich for my blood.

Try Geritol. Sandwich time.

How 'bout a drink?

This game could use a little juice, huh?

Charlie? Charlie?

The only people who can implicate you directly are all in this room.

Just think about that.

You think that nudzh is gonna get me to talk?

He may be a nudzh, but he was also first in his class at Harvard Law School.

Oh, Harvard? Will you please stop that?

Al, stop it. Sorry.

Charlie, they could kill me, I wouldn't talk.

They could subject me to any kind of torture...

The rack? Thank you.

They could put me on the rack...

The iron maiden? Whatever.

The bastinado?

Charlie, I'm not tellin' 'em a goddamned thing.

Correct me, Dan, if I'm wrong. No, you're right.

Plus, what did you do wrong?

Everybody knows the magician don't saw the lady in half.

It's not exactly the same thing. it's entertainment.

I am a college professor.

They need the professor in make-up.

Oh, Well.

Aren't you Charles Van Doren?

I'm sorry, Dad. I didn't mean to wake you.

I just had to get out of the city.

You're always welcome, Charlie.

Sometimes it's hard sleeping in the city.

I hope you don't mind. I took the rest of the cake.

You look like you could use it.

Under a little strain lately.

That's the way it always is when you're finishing a book.

Oh, no, actually, it's the television show.

Oh, Jesus, I just realized, we watched your show.

Did I tell you? Mother and I moved the television to the den.

No, no, you didn't mention it. Anyway, what was it?

Something about the Galapagos Islands?

You know what? I'll try some of that.

The origin and the destination of the voyage of the Beagle.

That's right. Biology for six points.

Good God, the pressure.

All those lights, the money, those strange little booths, that man talking so fast, like being in a bull ring.

I don't think I could remember my name.

You know, I always had a good head for that kind of stuff.

It's just amazing that you could make it look so easy.

But your mother always said you were the actor in the family, Charlie.


As long as it doesn't interfere with your teaching, why not?


Huh? What?

Something on your mind?

You never told me you felt pressure...

You know, like finishing a book.

Oh-ho, are you kidding?

When I was finishing the Hawthorne book, I tossed and turned so badly your mother threatened to check into a hotel.

Oh, sure.

You know, I think the old bird's finally getting the hang of this.

You know, I just had the strongest memory.

Coming home from school, going to the fridge.

Ice-cold bottle of milk, big piece of chocolate cake.

It was just the simplicity of it.

I can't think of anything that will make me feel that happy again.

Not till you have a son.

That would be our most difficult question on American literature.

For 11 points, I'll read you lines from America's greatest poets.

You must identify the author. First, "I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear. "

That would be Walt Whitman.

That's right. Second, "I shot an arrow in the air. It fell to earth I know not where. "

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Right again, Jim.

Finally, "Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul. "

That is actually by one of my favorite poets, Emily Dickinson.

I'm sorry, Jim.

Did... Did you say Emily Dickinson?

Oh! Well, yes. All right.

-...Dickinson. I'm sorry, Jim.

Did... Did you say Emily Dickinson? Oh! Well, yes.

...favorite poets, Emily Dickinson.

I'm sorry, Jim.

Did... Did you say Emily Dickinson?

Oh! Well, yes.

Who is it? Mr. Snodgrass?

Yeah? My name is Richard Goodwin.

Yeah? Hi.

I'm a Federal Investigator on a congressional subcommittee.

The committee's been investigating the quiz shows.

I was just looking at a kinescope of your appearance on Twenty-One, and I noticed...

Mr. Snodgrass?

This is good. Yeah? What is it?

Drive on by. What?

Go around to the back entrance. Okay.

Mr. Kintner's office.

Excuse me. Do you think he might see me before the peacock molts?

Who are you with again?

I'm with the U.S. Congress. Perhaps you've heard of them.

Oh, your name is Gold... Excuse me, not you. Your name is Goldwyn?

Goodwin. Yes.

Please have a seat, Mr. Goldwyn... Goodwin.

I'll see if he's available. Right.

Yes, that's red, long stem. Thank you.

Well, I'm sure he'd be available if my name were Geritol.

Perhaps if you could come back another time.

Good night, Rose. Good night, Mr. Kintner.

Mr. Kintner. My name is Richard Goodwin.

I'm with the Congressional Subcommittee on Legislative Oversight.


How's Chairman Harris? He's fine.

Still in that sand trap where I left him?

I am here to give you a chance to cooperate.

We'll cooperate in any way we can. Now will you excuse me?

Twenty-One is rigged, and I can prove it.

Who won, how long they were on, it was all a scheme to keep the ratings up, and NBC made millions off it.

Young man, I am the President of the National Broadcasting Company.

I have no idea what the day-to-day operations of Twenty-One are.

Does Chairman Harris know every little thing you're up to?

I have Enright cold. And, sir, that means I have you.

Really? Really.

Then why are you the one that's sweating?

This week's challenger from New York, New York, welcome Mrs. Vivienne Nearing.

And returning this week with $139,000, our champion, Charles Van Doren.

A very cordial welcome to the show, Mrs. Nearing.

Mr. Van Doren. Jack.

You're back again with a lot of money at stake.

Mrs. Nearing, let's tell the Professor and our audience a little something about you.

A sometimes painter, pianist and Double-Crostics fan, she has a Bachelor's Degree from Queens College, New York, and a M.A. and L. L.B. from Columbia.

She and her husband Victor are lawyers in New York.

Quite a bean inside that pretty head, huh?

She's terrifying.

All right, I think you both know how to play the game.

Don't forget to put your earphones on.

The very best of luck to both of you. Let's play Twenty-One.

Some of the most important airplanes of World War II were the following, the P-40, the P-47, the P-51, the B-24, the B-25 and the B-26.

Give me the nicknames the Air Force gave to these planes.

That's much harder than the question they asked that woman, and hers was 10 points.

Do you know the names of those planes?

Of course not. Sit down.

Who would know the names of those planes?

He's not the Secretary of Defense. Shh, shh.

As we enter our final round, Mrs. Nearing leads by a score of 21 to 16.

It is the moment of truth, as it were, for Charles Van Doren, our reigning champion, after a record-breaking 14 weeks.

Will he hold onto his title?


- Mrs. Nearing. Yes?

You have the required 21 points.

We're going to let you listen in on this last round.

Please do not divulge your score or speak in any way.

Mr. Van Doren, the category is royalty.

- Royalty. Yes, sir. Royalty.

How many points would you like to try for?

Well, let's see.

I'll take five, five points.

All right. Name the kings of the following countries, Norway, Sweden, Belgium and Iraq.

- Could I take the third part last? Certainly.

Take as much time as you need, Charlie.

You have a lot riding on these answers.

I sure have. Well, Norway, that would be Haakon- King Haakon-

- That's right. And Sweden, um, Gustavus.

- Right again, Charlie. The King of Iraq? Iraq, uh...

Turn it... Turn it off. Turn the damn thing off.

Good God. What got into you? it's just too nerve-wracking.

I remember that's his great-uncle in that wonderful book, The Seven Pillars Of Wisdom.

Um, Do... No, um...

King Faisal.

Correct. And Belgium?

Belgium. Belgium. Belgium. Belgium. Let me see... That's the third part?

That's right.


King of Belgium...

Let me see...

Professor, would you like more time?

Belgium, the King of Belgium.

I can picture him, Jack.

Right down to that Hapsburg lip that they...

I can't seem to summon the name.


He's gonna dump it.

Is Garroway here?

Professor, I'm sorry. I'm going to have to ask for your answer.

It seems like an easy one.



No, I'm... I'm sorry, Charlie. The answer is Baudouin.

King Baudouin.

Leopold is Baudouin's father, the former king.

What a stunning turn of events.

Mrs. Nearing, you have just unseated our champion.

Baudouin. Of course.

Come out here, both of you.

You don't know what to do? Give him another chance, that's what.

Call it a bonus round, but get him on that show again.

Someone will call if he loses, won't they?

I'm sure.

Congratulations. Thank you.

Changing of the guard, as it were.

You take home $10,000 of Mr. Van Doren's money.

We'll try not to hold that against you. Please, come back next week.

Tell us you want to continue playing. I sure hope you do.

How 'bout a warm hand for our new champion, Mrs. Vivienne Nearing. Thank you.

Whoa, who is that in our wing? Is that Dave Garroway?

Dave Garroway of the NBC Today Show, ladies and gentlemen.

Hello, Dave.

How are you, Charlie? Fine, thank you, Dave.

I was wondering, what are you gonna do now?

Well, I was hoping to enjoy some peace and quiet now and a chance to get back to my books.

You know, eventually, this sad day had to come, but we don't wanna lose you.

So, at the Today Show, we decided why not make Charlie our special cultural correspondent, to the people and to the schoolchildren of America.

Well, I... I hope you're not firing the chimp.

How does $50,000 a year sound to you, Professor?

Well, I...

I was hoping to, um... To get back to my teaching.

Well, this is the largest classroom in the world, Professor, television.

So, if you will, just sign right here on the dotted line.

Charlie, walk away. Come on. You don't need it.

Congratulations, Charlie. Thank you.

Did Mr. Garroway leave? Yes, sir.

Good show, Dave. Thanks.

Mrs. Nearing, congratulations. Thank you.

It was a wonderful show.

Gentlemen, this is Mrs. Nearing. You know Al Freedman.

Yes, we've met.

You're gonna be needed tomorrow.

You're a very disruptive young man.

Okay, let's bring the camera out, and let's bring the blackboard in.

You remember James Snodgrass? Who?

And can we get Mrs. Nearing in there?

James Snodgrass. Get her in there with her family.

He was a contestant on your show.

You know how many contestants we've had?

This man was an artist. Maybe that'll jog your memory.

Al digs these people up. God knows where he finds them.

Now, a picture with her mother. He's in Greenwich Village.

There was a question about the first line of a poem by Emily Dickinson.

Barry apparently expected he was going to say Ralph Waldo Emerson and get it wrong.

Really? I'm very busy now.

Yeah, and I have it on the kinescope, okay?

It's clear as day. The man literally did a double take.

He did a double take. And who told you this?

Is this Herb again?

Or is this the Greenwich Village beatnik?

That's interesting.

Why is he a beatnik? Because he's not Charlie Van Doren?

Yeah, you're damn right. He's not Charlie Van Doren.

You got crackpots comin' out of the woodwork.

You're snoopin' around askin' questions.

You don't have a shred of concrete evidence.

Let me tell you somethin'.

In this envelope are all the questions that James Snodgrass was asked on Twenty-One, okay?

The odd thing about this envelope is he appeared on the show on January 13, yet somehow he mailed this to himself January 11, registered mail.

I'd say that's pretty goddamn concrete, wouldn't you?

Look right into the camera.

I wasn't in there, was I? You didn't see me?

No, you were out. It's okay.

Why would he do that?

How's that trap feel clamped on your leg?

He sent it to himself registered mail?

Why should you be the fall guy here when NBC and Geritol are makin' the real money?



You want me to implicate the network?

You don't owe them a thing.

If I even hinted that the network knew, and they didn't know,

they'd never let me through the door again.

I got a sneakin' suspicion you're not going through that door anyway.

Television's my life, Dick.

It's over. Why don't you go talk to your family?

I just had a thought.

Would you be interested in your own panel show?



I'll get back to you on that, Dan.

Excuse the robe. That's all right.

First decent night's sleep I've had in months. Would you like coffee?

I thought I'd drop by before I head back to Washington. I got a 10:00 train.

We're going to announce our hearings later today.

Oh, really? As I exit the stage, you enter.

Well, don't forget the world's biggest classroom.

Oh, that. Well, it's... It's the world's biggest something.


How do you like it, Dick? You seem like a black coffee man.

Yeah, black's fine.

Here we go.

A toast to escape.

"It is the basket in which the heart is caught

"when down some awful Battlement the rest of Life is dropt."

King Baudouin.

Emily Dickinson, actually.

The one you lost on.

Oh, that.

Well, it seems the Belgian Consulate has formally protested my ignorance.

Up at Cornwall, Charlie, your father said he felt like Leopold, remember?

You lost on one you knew. Same as Stempel.

Well, I... I must have had a mental block.

I was there last night.

I could swear a smile crept across your face when you lost.

I wanted to get off the show. You can understand that.

I feel like I've been holding my breath for 14 weeks.

Why? What'd you think it was?

Look, I spoke to the committee, okay?

We're going to hold the hearings without you.

I am not out to destroy you or your family.

You go on and you live your life, and God bless you. Okay.

But I wanna know, man to man, did you get the answers?

"Man to man"? Yeah, just between us.

What is this? Is this still that business with Stempel?

I mean, Dan says he's not the most reliable fellow.

There's a problem, Charlie.

I found another contestant, a man named James Snodgrass.

He says he got the answers, too.

Are you sure these people are telling the truth?

He put the questions in a sealed envelope and sent them to himself, registered mail.

That was two days before he appeared on the show.

That doesn't prove anything.

You don't have to be a genius to connect the dots.

Don't connect them through me.

Don't treat me like I'm some member of your goddamned fan club.

Are you telling me everybody got the answers but you?

You're so persistent. I envy that.

Was it just the money?

You'll forgive me, but anyone that thinks money is everjust money couldn't have much of it.

You wanna insult me, fine. But you can't envy me at the same time.

Jesus. If someone offered you all this money to be on some rigged quiz show, instant fame, would you do it?

No. Of course not. No, no.

Throw the whole thing in. Cover of Time, Dave Garroway, 50,000 to read poetry on TV, would you do it?


And I would?

Honestly, Dick.

All right.

Look, do me a favor. Don't embarrass me.

Keep your mouth shut. Don't say anything. Don't talk to the papers.

Just disappear for two weeks.

Please, don't make me call you.

More coffee, Dick?

Nope. I better go.

I don't wanna miss my train.

The subcommittee will be in order.

The special Subcommittee on Legislative Oversight was created pursuant to Section 136 of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 to conduct a general investigation into the operation of the federal regulatory agencies.

I'll ask if you were assisted in any way. You answer, "Yes." I'll say, "How?"

You say, "I was given the questions and answers in advance."

Why don't you just sit on my pants? I'll ask, "Was this done routinely?"

You answer, "Yes." Not that tie. The television tie.

We've gone over this five times already.

Just try to relax.

Be confident. Look at the Chairman directly when you answer.

Enough. You're worse than Enright. I'm telling the truth.

If they prefer to be lied to, they can just turn on the television.

There's a lot riding on this.

You're telling me there's a lot riding on it, yeah.

What do you think, Toby? What do I think about what?

Ready to watch your husband give 'em hell?

I don't know what you're gonna accomplish.

As soon as Enright realizes...

What do you want, the two-tone or the oxford?

You should wear the oxford.

When Enright realizes he's alone up there and they're gonna cut him loose, he will implicate NBC and Geritol like that, and believe me, you're gonna see somethin'.

I know what you're gonna accomplish.

I just don't know what he's gonna accomplish.

You wanna know what? If I do nothing else, I will convince them that Herbert Stempel knows what won the goddamned Academy Award for best goddamned picture of 1955.

That's what I'm going to accomplish. I'm sick of all this.

The subcommittee calls Herbert Stempel.

So, in other words, you kept on winning.

Yes, sir, that is correct.

At any time during this championship run, were you ever assisted in any way?

I was given the questions and answers in advance.

Generally, I would receive the questions and answers on Friday.

Then we'd have sort of a rehearsal on Monday.

This is from the very beginning? Yes.

Dan Enright came to see me in my kitchen and he said, "How'd you like to make $25,000?" And I said, "Who wouldn't?"

What do you mean by rehearsal?

Well, for example, he told me how to breathe heavily into the microphone and sigh such as this.

He taught me how to stutter and say in a plaintive voice, "I will take, nine... Nine points." it was all choreographed.

How to bite my lip. How to mop my brow.

He told me specifically not to smear my brow, but rather to pat for optimum effect.

Of course, I'm shvitzing the whole time because they turned off the air conditioning.

Excuse me?

That's funny. Mr. Chairman.

With your permission, we might at this point, view a portion of the program, Twenty-One.

Whenever you're ready.

Herb Stempel, with your $69,500 still at stake, although now at $2,500 a point, the category is...


How many points you wanna try for?

There. There's the lip biting.

Yes, we see.

Finally, I was told to open my eyes and with a dazzling smile, give the answer and explode when Jack Barry says, "That is right."

The Emporia Gazette?

That is right.

I don't know where he got it all.

Some article on mass psychology he read in Esquire.

- I'll try eight points. Watch Van Doren.

He's better at it than I am. Mr. Stempel, if I might refer you...

Are you suggesting that Charles Van Doren was also coached?

Of course he got the answers.

Why would they give me the answers and not give him the answers?

Why would they make me take a dive unless they knew the other guy would get to 21?

It's illogical. You don't fix one guy without fixing the other guy.

It's implausible, mathematically.

It would be, and you have eight points.

You see? Look at him. You see with the brow?

Patting, not smearing.

Mr. Stempel, have you ever received any psychiatric treatment of any kind?


Mr. Stempel, I was wondering... Mr. Goodwin, please.

Five sessions a week. That's pretty extensive, isn't it?

Well, I believe we can all use a little help at various times in our lives.

Is it possible that any of your testimony is motivated by an irrational animosity toward Mr. Enright?

I don't know. If a man doesn't live up to his agreement...

A morbid fixation on Mr. Van Doren?

If a man promises certain things just to shut me up...

"How'd you like to make $25,000?" And you said, "Well, who wouldn't?"

In retrospect, look at Van Doren. I should've held out for a lot more.

You prostituted your intellectual ability for money.

That's the difference between me and Van Doren.

I admit it. I have my morality.

Charles Van Doren is a professor at Columbia University.

A Master's degree in astrophysics.

A PHD. in literature.

Hails from one of the most prominent intellectual families in this country.

Isn't it just possible, Mr. Stempel, that you got the answers and he didn't?

So I told my husband, "We really need a vacation."

My husband says, "What are you gonna do with the cat?"

Uh-huh. And I said, "I don't know."

Good morning.

Will you excuse us?

Charlie, I'm Bob Kintner.

Oh. Don't get up.

It's about time we met. Hi. It's a pleasure.

This whole quiz show mess, and hearings and all that.

I've been following that in the paper.

Well, our legal department has prepared this for you.

We'd like you to hold a press conference.

Oh, there's a split infinitive here in the second paragraph.

Shall I schedule it?

Well, look, um...

I haven't been subpoenaed, and I can't think of anything that'd sound guiltier than a man who hasn't been accused of anything protesting his innocence.

Charlie, speculation in our society has a way of becoming fact.

Television is a public trust.

We can't afford even a hint of a scandal in our company.

Well, I... I'd rather not do it.

I'm sorry.

Haven't we been good to you?

Haven't we treated you like part of our family?

We have great expectations for you, Charlie.

I know you're gonna do the right thing.

I'm sorry, Mr. Van Doren. Is he in?

He's gone, Mr. Van Doren. He's gone to Washington?

Mr. Freedman's gone to Mexico.

I still don't understand how you can hold a quiz show hearing without Van Doren.

Van Doren had no contact with NBC or Geritol.

Don't you understand, they deal with Enright. Enright's the key here.

The key to what? The jury hears the public.

The public doesn't know Dan Enright.

The purpose is not to reform the souls of the contestants.

The purpose is to reform TV.

It's like the Barenblatt and the Sweezy cases.

You don't wanna call him.

Fine, Dick. Just don't patronize me with your legal bullshit.

She's got a point, Dick.

Bob, maybe it's time for you to go home.

How'd you like Dick's steak done, Bob? Medium?

There's absolutely no need to drag the man into the spotlight.

You dragged Herb Stempel in.

The man has to be dragged from the spotlight with his teethmarks still on it.

Yeah, well, nobody forced Charles Van Doren to go in front of 50 million people either.

This is not McCarthyism. We are not here to expose for the sake of exposing.

This is not the point. That is the point. That is not your point.

You are ten times the man Charles Van Doren is.

Ten times the brain and ten times the human being.

Meanwhile, you're bending over backwards for him.

You are like the Uncle Tom of the Jews.

I'm glad it's so easy for you to destroy a man's life.

I'll have to keep that in mind.

Bob, sit down.

The quiz show hearings without Van Doren is like doing Hamlet without Hamlet.

The Chairman's instructions are for me to get you up there as promptly as possible.

The questions are to take no longer than 15 minutes.

You're to receive the questions in advance, and I'm to thank you for the courtesy of attending this hearing.

Mercy. What a grueling line of inquiry.

Must have a familiar ring, the questions in advance.

Would you excuse us for a moment, please?

Take this, please. Thank you.

Young man...

The ratings went up if the same contestant came back week after week.

There was only one way for that to happen. You had to know that.

Young man, I sell over $14 million a year worth of Geritol.

Geritol. That's the kind of businessman I am.

That show, Twenty-One, cost me three and a half million year in, year out.

Sales went up 50% when Van Doren was on. 50%.

So the very idea that I was unaware of every detail of that show's operation, frankly, it's very insulting.

So you knew. That's even more insulting.

You had to know... it's not about what I know.

It's about what you know.

You don't know what I know.

You know that Dan Enright ran a crooked quiz show.

He never informed you?

Did he?

Let's see what he says.

Dan? Look, Dan Enright wants a future in television, okay?

You have to understand that the public has a very short memory.

But corporations, they never forget.

He's not that stupid. He knows he's through.

No. He'll be back. NBC is gonna go on. Geritol's gonna go on.

Makes me wonder what you hope to accomplish with all this.

Don't worry. I'm just gettin' started.

Even the quiz shows'll be back. Why fix them?

Think about it.

You could do exactly the same thing by just making the questions easier.

The audience didn't tune in to watch some amazing display of intellectual ability.

They just wanted to watch the money.

Imagine if they could watch you.

You're a bright young kid with a bright future. Watch yourself out there.

I turned in my clubs after that day.

Well, you weren't too good when you were out on the links with me that day.

I can't wait to get you out there again.

Stuck in that sand trap for an hour. No more for me.

Would you state your name and profession?

My name is Robert Kintner.

I'm the president of the National Broadcasting Company.

My name is Martin Rittenhome. I run Pharmaceuticals Incorporated.

I take that responsibility very seriously, Congressman.

We immediately commenced our own internal investigation.

To ferret out this corruption wherever it may exist.

Nobody brought the article in Time magazine to your attention?

I was in Europe. I didn't see it.

You didn't see it. You were traveling.

I didn't see it. I was traveling at the time.

You sure you never asked about particular contestants or about the ratings, nothing?

That was their department.

I relied on the excellent reputation of Dan Enright.

Dan Enright was more in the nature of an independent contractor.

Do you remember what you thought when you found out?

I was as shocked as you are. I mean, this was a terrible thing to do to the American people.

I never, never imagined they could perpetrate this fraud on the American public.

I'd like to say one other thing. I think all that money should be returned.

Mr. Goodwin, any further questions?

No, sir, thank you. No further questions.

On behalf of the subcommittee, I wish to thank you for your appearance and your testimony here.

Van Doren's made a statement.

I look like the mark in a shell game here, and you look like the shill.

Sir, if you... Shut up.

When is Van Doren coming here?

I don't see him on the schedule. He's not on the schedule.

Wait a minute. We discussed this. The contestants are not the villains.

We were gonna only bring in the ones who would come in voluntarily.

All I know is in the last hour, I've gotten over 200 telegrams from people askin' me why I won't let poor Charles Van Doren defend himself.

I've got every woman in Arkadelphia squealin' like a pig under a gate.

Let me tell you somethin'. These women vote.

I cannot believe this.

Where is Albert Freedman?

The marshals are bringing him back from Mexico.

By what? By mule?

Sir, please, just tell me what it is that he said.

"Mr. Van Doren made himself available to the subcommittee staff.

"He has advised them at no time was he supplied

"with any questions, answers..."

That statement of yours took me a bit by surprise.

I know. I know. We had a deal.

I asked myself, "Why would he make a statement like that?

"He knows I'll come after him."

But then it occurred to me.

He knows I'll come after him.

I can't decide if you think too much of me or too little.

Charlie, I wanna think the best of you.

Everyone does.

That's your curse.

Did you bring a subpoena? Right here.


I remember five, six years ago, my Uncle Harold told my aunt about this affair he had.

It was a sort of mildly upsetting event in my family.

Mmm-hmm. Mildly?

You have to put it in context.

The thing of it is, the affair was over like eight years.

So, I remember askin' him, "Why'd you tell her? You got away with it."

I'll never forget what he said.

It was the "getting away with it" part he couldn't live with.

I might take that chance.

A chance is what I'm givin' ya.

Don Quixote is life. I still don't see how this old guy with a horse and a fat old sidekick can think he's a knight.

It means if you wanna be a knight, act like a knight.


Act like a knight? You act like a knight. lam a knight.

I shall miss them.

What is this? That retirement business again?

That'd be like a snail retiring from his shell.

I can't go on doing this forever. It's for you now, Charlie.

So, what's the news? Did you read Norman Mailer in Dissent?

I only glanced at it.

Everyone's talking about it. They don't know whether he's a genius or a fool.

Have you heard there's this congressional committee that's...

Well, they're investigating the quiz shows.

I read that. What's it about?

Well, evidently, certain of the contestants were given the answers in advance.

Cheating on a quiz show. That's like plagiarizing a comic strip.

Well, at any rate, it seems the committee wants to call me to testify.

Oh, I've testified before. Funding for the arts. It's nothing.

I think this is a little different. You'll run circles round them.

It's not exactly Jefferson and Lincoln down there anymore.

I think this is a little different.

I'd think you'd be glad at a chance to clear your name.

Otherwise, people might believe...

People will believe whatever they want to believe. That's not the issue.

Just tell 'em the truth. You'll do fine.

The real issue, Charlie, is how this keeps distracting you from your teaching.

This and that program in the morning, though you insist that it doesn't.

Dad, I can't simply just tell 'em the truth.

Can't tell them the truth?

Why on earth not?

It's complicated.


Yeah, I can't. I...

Charlie, from what I understand, it's just this bunch of frauds showing off an erudition they didn't really have.

All you have to do... The problem is it seems I was one of those frauds.


What... What do you mean?

They gave me the answers.

They gave you the answers.

They gave you the answers.

Well... No, no.

At first, they asked me questions they already knew I knew the answers to.

We ran through those, and I still didn't want them to give me the answers, so I had them give me questions and I'd go look up the answers, as if that were any different.

We ran through those in a couple of weeks.

Then I just didn't have the time. Finally, it just seemed silly.

They gave you all that money to answer questions they knew you knew?

Now, that's inflation. You're not being very helpful.

I'm sorry, Charlie. I'm an old man.

It's all a little difficult for me to comprehend.

It's television, Dad. It's just television.

You make it sound like you didn't have a choice.

What was I supposed to do at that point?

Disillusion the whole goddamn country?

You took the money. Yes, I know. I took the money.

Is that what this was about? No. No. I don't know.

It was a goddamned quiz show, Charlie.

"An ill-favored thing, sir." This is not the time to play games.

"But mine own." It was mine. Your name is mine.


I'm sorry.

I'm really sorry, Dad.

You'll be dragged into all this, you and Mother.

Oh, my God, Charlie.

How are you gonna tell that committee?

Will you come down there with me?

The, uh, subcommittee calls Charles Van Doren.

Photographers will please clear the room.

Will you please state your name? Charles Van Doren.

I've gotta get in there. I've gotta get in there.

Excuse me, sir.

Wait a minute. Hey, you, come back here.

Do you solemnly swear that the testimony you are about to give will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?

I do.

Now, we are advised that you have a prepared statement that you would prefer to give at the outset?

Yes, sir. Might I first have a glass of water?

Of course you may.

You may proceed.

I would give almost anything I have to reverse the course of my life in the last year.

The past doesn't change for anyone.

But at least I can learn from the past.

I've learned a lot about life.

I've learned a lot about myself and about the responsibilities any man has to his fellow men.

I've learned a lot about good and evil.

They're not always what they appear to be.

I was involved, deeply involved, in a deception.

I have deceived my friends.

And I had millions of them.

I lied to the American people.

I lied about what I knew, and then I lied about what I did not know.

In a sense, I was like a child who refuses to admit a fact in the hope that it'll go away.

Of course it did not go away.

I was scared, scared to death.

I had no solid position.

No basis to stand on for myself.

There was one way out and that was simply to tell the truth.

It may sound trite to you, but I've found myself again after a number of years.

I've been acting a role,

maybe all my life, of thinking I've done more, accomplished more, produced more than I have.

I have had all the breaks.

I have stood on the shoulders of life, and I've never gotten down into the dirt to build, to erect a foundation of my own.

I have flown too high on borrowed wings.

Everything came too easy.

That is why I am here today.

Mr. Van Doren, I want to compliment you for that statement.

Thank you, sir.

Mr. Van Doren, I would like to join the Chairman in commending you for the soul-searching fortitude displayed in your statement.

Thank you, sir. Thank you very much. Mr. Van Doren, I just wanna add my kudos.

I have listened to many witnesses, in both civil and criminal matters, and yours is the most soul-searching confession I think I've heard in a long time.

Thank you, sir.

Mr. Van Doren, I'm also from New York, a different part of New York.

I'm happy that you've made the statement, but I cannot agree with most of my colleagues.

You see, I don't think an adult of your intelligence ought to be commended for simply at long last telling the truth.

If the committee has nothing to add, Mr. Van Doren, you are dismissed.

Charlie. Over here.

Let him out, boys.

The subcommittee will come to order.

Our next witness will be Mr. Daniel Enright.

Charles, you're gonna have to answer some questions.

Okay, one at a time.

How do you feel, Charlie? Relieved.

...the truth, the whole truth and nothin' but the truth, so help you God?

I do. Who helped you write that statement?

Did you know you'd been fired by NBC?

No, I didn't know.

What do you have to say to the young people?

Are you proud of your son?

I've always been proud of Charlie. Proud of what he did?

The most important thing now is for Charlie to get back to his teaching.

Did you know Columbia trustees are meeting right now?

They're going to ask for Charlie's resignation.

Professor Van Doren, you spent your whole career at Columbia.

What's your reaction to that?

Prof. Van Doren?

Dad, go ahead with Mother. I'll meet you outside.

No reaction. Charles, a few more questions.

Did the network or sponsor bring pressure on you to bring the same contestant back week after week?

No, sir.

Did they express any approval or disapproval of any particular contestant?

Never. Not to me.

Were they aware that you were supplying the contestants with the answers?

No, sir. They had no knowledge whatsoever.

Herb Stempel. Herbie, how 'bout a picture, you and Van Doren together?

No. Not now. Christ, look at the guy.

Come on, the both of you.

You know what the problem with you bums is?

You never leave a guy alone unless you're leaving him alone.

Who do you blame, Charlie? Professor, one more shot.

Did you feel the committee treated you fairly?

How'd the pressure up there compare to Twenty-One?

So you freely admit that you helped rig these shows?

What else could we do? Congratulations.

For what? Van Doren.

I thought we were gonna get television.

The truth is television is gonna get us.

And you obviously don't think you did anything wrong.

Yes, we did one thing wrong. We were too successful.

You were too successful.

Those advertising dollars came from somewhere.

Why do you think the newspapers and magazines are making such a big thing about this?

Mr. Enright, you make it sound like you are the victim here.

The sponsor makes out, the network makes out, the contestants see money they would never see in a lifetime and the public is entertained.

So who gets hurt?

Mr. Freedman, you freely admit that you helped rig these shows?

- Yes, sir. "Yes, sir"? That's it?

Well, sir, I don't know what else to say.

Give the public what they want. It's like your business-

Do you see a need for government regulation in this area ?

You know, it's not like the quiz shows are a public utility, sir.

It's entertainment.

We're not exactly hardened criminals here.

We're in show business.

See the shark with Teeth like razors You can read his Open face And Macheath He's got a knife, but Not in such An obvious place On a beautiful Blue Sunday See the corpse Stretched in the Strand See a man dodge Round the corner Mackie's friends will Understand Mr. Meier Reported missing Like so many Wealthy men Mack the Knife Acquired his cash box God alone knows How or when Jenny Tow/er She turned up lately With a knife stuck Through her breast While Macheath He walks the Embankment Nonchalantly Unimpressed And the ghastly Fire in Soho Seven children At a go In the crowd stands Mack the Knife, but He isn't asked He doesn't know And the child-bride In her nightgown Whose assailant's Still at large Violated In her slumbers Mackie, how much Did you charge?

Yes, the child-bride In her nightgown Her assailant's Still at large Violated In her slumbers Mackie, how much Did you charge?

Mackie, how much did you charge?

How much did you charge?

How much did you charge?