Quiz Show by Robert Redford Essay

Quiz Show by Robert Redford Essay

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Ethics have been the principles that shape individual lives in modern society. It is a subjective idea that seems to have a standard in society. Ethics and morals are the major factors that guide individuals to make right and wrong choices. Something that is morally right to one person might be the very opposite of what another person will view as right. There are many factors that can trigger a change in an individual’s view of morality. These factors might be personal and self-centred, while others might be for the “general good”. In the 1994 movie, “Quiz Show” by Robert Redford, Charles Van Doren, a university professor from a very respectable family is faced with a decision that goes against his ethics and morals. Herb Stempel also faces difficult ethical decisions from the producers of the show, Twenty-One, just like Charles Van Doren, which could have affected his whole life. Richard Goodwin also had his own view of morality and his views did not change throughout the movie. Robert Redford in the movie Quiz Show shows that ethics play a decisive role when individuals respond to competing demands.

In the movie Quiz Show, Charles Van Doren’s motives, such as money, fame, and pleasing his father come in the way of his ethics, which makes him take actions that he regrets afterwards. Charles Van Doren is a handsome English professor at Columbia University and is the son of the famous poet, Mark Van Doren. The hard thing for Van Doren was that he was forced to make a decision on the spot and did not have any time to think about his options. The producers of the quiz show, Twenty-One, Dan Enright and Albert Freedman, wanted Van Doren as a contestant on the show that would be versing Herb Stempel because he was from a famous famil...


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... Redford shows that every character in the movie is highly depended upon their moral decisions to determine their outcome. Charles Van Doren was persuaded by the producers of the show to make decisions which when against his ethics and morals. Herb Stempal was also pressured by both producers, Enright and Freedman, to “take a dive” in the show, Twenty-One, and allow Van Doren to become the show’s new champion. He had to make a decision which conflicted with his ethics and morals. Richard Goodman also thought ethically when he made his own decisions. He wasn’t persuaded by the producers, like Van Doren and Herb Stempal. Robert Redford demonstrates that decisions of the main character in the movie were influenced by their ethical thinking. Some of these characters made decisions based on their ethics and morals and some didn’t, which lead to inevitable consequences.

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