Paul Scofield

Paul Scofield

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Quiz Show Review


Very Good
People have tried to peg the "end of American innocence" on all sorts of things -- Vietnam, Watergate, the nuclear arms race -- but Robert Redford is, I believe, the first and only person to blame the decline of western civilization on the 21 game show scandal of the 1950s. But there you have it: A curious incident from the past -- and an inevitability, really -- in which upstanding blueblood Charles Van Doren (Ralph Fiennes in a very memorable role) gets caught up in a fixed game show, bringing the show and its producers (but ultimately, no one else) to its knees. Strangely, for such a buildup -- and Redford manages to build quite a snowball of drama in all of this, full of heroes and antiheroes -- the payoff is a real letdown. America survived the quiz show scandals, and trying to overblow the impact of what amounts to a novelty investigation rings a little bit false.

Animal Farm (1999) Review


Very Good
The dark side of Babe. Impressive attempt at recreating Orwell's classic book for TV, but it's lacking a few components, and has a really abrupt and unfulfilling ending. Keeps your attention for the full two hours, though, and worth a look, especially for Orwell fans who don't mind a little bastardization. Check out also the reissued 1954 version of the film.
Paul Scofield

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