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Top 10 Movie Game Shows

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by George Cimurt. Whether we watch them for the suspense, the entertainment, or to see how smart we are, there’s no avoiding it—game shows are the bomb! Join WatchMojo.com as we count down our picks for the top 10 movie game shows. For this list, we’re taking a look at both real and fictional game shows as portrayed on the silver screen. Special thanks to our user Daniel John for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Transcript
Script written by George Cimurt.

Top 10 Movie Game Shows


Whether we watch them for the suspense, the entertainment, or to see how smart we are, there’s no avoiding it—game shows are the bomb! Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 movie game shows.

For this list, we’re taking a look at both real and fictional game shows as portrayed on the silver screen. For the purpose of this list, to qualify, the game show portrayed in the film must be broadcast in some way to the public, whether through television, the Internet, or some other medium, and there must be a clear winner or prize.

#10: Live!
“Live!” (2007)

Well, we can all be glad that this TV show is fictional! Released at the Tribeca Film Festival and starring Eva Mendes as television executive Katy, the movie documents her efforts to produce a new show in which six contestants must play Russian roulette and the winner receives $5 million dollars. In a film that goes in-depth into the process of starting up the deadly game show and the lives of the contestants, our suspense goes through the roof as, all ethics aside, the first episode is broadcast to the world and we watch to see who will win and who will die.

#9: Pig in a Poke
“National Lampoon’s European Vacation” (1985)

Any game show that requires all the contestants to wear pig costumes is a show worth watching! Starring Chevy Chase and Beverly D'Angelo as Clark and Ellen Griswald, “National Lampoon’s European Vacation” opens with the Griswald family competing against a family of intellectuals in the trivia game show “Pig in a Poke.” After raising the stakes and deciding to go for the show’s grand prize, the Griswalds find themselves as the unlikely winners and the recipients of an all-expenses-paid European vacation that keeps the fun and laughs coming in this classic comedy.

#8: Twenty One
“Quiz Show” (1994)

Directed by Robert Redford and nominated for multiple Academy and Golden Globe awards, this film chronicles the scandal surrounding the real-life 1950s quiz show. When the ratings of “Twenty One” begin to decline as contestant Herb Stempel, played by John Turturro, wins show after show, the producers decide that the only way to break the streak is to hire a Columbia University professor, played by Ralph Fiennes, and give him all the right answers. Featuring exceptional performances and a very clever script, the historical drama is a compelling watch, especially as we see the show come under Congress investigation.

#7: Truth or Date
“Mallrats” (1995)

Written and directed by comedy master Kevin Smith, this funny and romantic prequel to 1994’s “Clerks” features a game show very similar to “The Dating Game” woven throughout the plot. When love-struck college student T. S. Quint and his girlfriend Brandi break up over an argument in which she reveals that she will be a contestant on her father’s dating game show, he joins his best friend Brodie on a trip to the mall. When he finds out that the same mall is hosting the filming of “Truth or Date,” they alternately conspire to wreck the show’s stage, get the contestants wasted, and appear as contestants themselves in this laugh-out-loud flick.

#6: The Dating Game
“Confessions of a Dangerous Mind” (2002)

In a film based on the autobiography of Chuck Barris, a man that produced and hosted hit TV game shows while also claiming to be an assassin for the CIA, we see a combination of great performances, humor, intrigue, and, of course, game shows. While he also created “The Gong Show” and “The Newlywed Game,” “The Dating Game,” a show where a bachelorette questions three hidden bachelors and picks one for a date, is unique and was extremely popular over its long run. That fact, and the hilarious scene where the bachelorette picks a not-so-attractive man over contestants Brad Pitt and Matt Damon, puts the show on our list.

#5: What Do Kids Know?
“Magnolia” (1999)

In this intense Oscar-nominated drama, we watch as multiple storylines play out on screen, several revolving around the troubles and issues surrounding the lives of people connected to a children’s quiz show. Philip Baker Hall plays the show’s host, Jeremy Blackman plays a current contestant, William H. Macy plays a former contestant, and Jason Robards plays the show’s former producer. These men and their families are showcased dealing with divorce, cancer, death, drug addiction, relationship problems, suicide, and abuse. Remind us never to get involved with a show called “What Do Kids Know?,” should it ever air.

#4: The Running Man
“The Running Man” (1987)

Combine science fiction, action, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and a film based on a Stephen King book, and you’ve got one gripping movie! Based in a future dystopian society where the state holds complete authority over every person and activity, “The Running Man” has Schwarzenegger playing Ben Richards, a good-hearted police pilot who’s falsely accused of a crime and then forced into participating in a game show that features convicted criminals fighting for their lives. Trying to survive a game where death is almost guaranteed by the show’s “stalkers” - all in the hopes of winning and being pardoned - is no easy task, but we have a feeling that Schwarzenegger just might be able to handle it.

#3: The Hunger Games
“The Hunger Games” (2012)

Based on a similar concept to “The Running Man,” this first installment in “The Hunger Games” film series was a box office success, critically praised for its themes, messages, and performances. The movie takes place in Panem, a dystopian nation where the Capitol rules over twelve poor districts and chooses one teenage boy and girl to compete in the titular Hunger Games. This is a televised fight to the death in a massive arena, in which the survivor is compensated with fame and wealth. Starring Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss, a girl that finds herself as one of the contestants, our suspense goes through the roof as she tries to stay alive while fighting the other contestants, the natural elements, and the system.

#2: Death Race
“Death Race” (2008)

In this adrenaline-pumping sci-fi thriller set (again) in a dystopian society where unemployment is rampant and the leaders are corrupt, we find Jason Statham’s Jensen Aimes wrongfully convicted of killing his wife and sent to prison. This is no ordinary prison, however; they raise money by organizing a game show, or a pay-for-view Internet race, where prisoners drive heavily armored cars bearing weapons and blow each other to smithereens. Each contestant hopes to win 5 races, at which point they receive their freedom, and in the meantime, we are left alternately biting our nails and gripping our seats while viewing this high-octane action flick.

Before we unveil our top picks, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Wheel of Fish
“UHF” (1989)
- Untitled
“The Condemned” (2007)

#1: Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
“Slumdog Millionaire” (2008)

In this award-winning hit that took the world by storm in 2008, we can’t help but cheer for 18-year-old Jamal Malik, an orphan from the slums who appears as a contestant on the Indian version of the famous quiz show. After answering question after question correctly, he is beaten and interrogated by officials who marvel at his intelligence and figure he must be cheating. The movie recounts the young man’s hard life through flashbacks and how he knows the answer to every “Millionaire” question. The inspiring story, incredible direction, and emotive music were just some of the critically praised aspects of this film, and it won an Oscar for Best Picture.

Do you agree with our list? What are your favorite movie game shows? For more entertaining top 10s published every day, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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