On a site featuring Ivy Style, the 1994 movie Quiz Show has received one line of mention. Yet it stands amongst the great Ivy movies of all time.
There is a piece on here about Charles Van Doren, which is good. He had Ivy bona fides. Columbia. His father, Mark Van Doren, was even-more-Ivy, teaching at Columbia almost 40 years.
In Quiz Show, Mark Van Doren’s Ivy got turned up, if that is even possible.
Charles Van Doren is played by Ralph Nathaniel Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes. For real. That’s his name. I loved him before, I love him even more now. A few years ago, if he can do funny (I don’t know if he can do funny, I saw some unintelligible movie he was in about a hotel that lasted about 12 minutes before it got switched off), he would have been my pick to play John Sutter in The Gold Coast. I’m not going into a ton of plot here because I don’t want to spoil the movie if you don’t know it or the scandal if you don’t know it, but this is One Ivy Brother.
Van Doren becomes a rock star of sorts in the movie, and Fiennes does an amazing job of portraying Van Doren hating loving the fame.
I have had on my desk for a year a draft of a piece about how Robert Redford both respects intellectualism and has the best wardrobes in his movies. I gotta finish that. It should also include how in Quiz Show (Redford directed) he draws out the difference between the Ivy-educated and the Not via clothes.
I really don’t want to ruin the movie for you, but there are some pitch perfect Ivy lines in here:
“Cheating on a quiz show? That’s sort of like plagiarizing a comic strip.”
Student: Professor Van Doren, I took your course at Columbia – “Hawthorne, Original Sin, and the American Experience”. Well, as silly as it sounds, it changed my life.
Van Doren: Was it the Hawthorne or the sin?
Or… (this is Mark Van Doren talking about his son Charles)
“Well why not? He’s 33 years old. Jesus Christ had a girlfriend when he was 33 years old.” … “And look how that turned out.”
Can’t recommend highly enough if you want to learn the roots of a lot of this. It is streaming on Apple TV, You Tube, and Amazon Prime. It’ll cost you $3.99 but this post was free so you are still ahead.
Have a great weekend – JB