Razzle Dazzle, Pt 3: The Fraud

A six-part video essay about fame and the movies
by Aaron Aradillas and Matt Zoller Seitz  posted July 8, 2010
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This is the third part of a six-part video essay that looks at how movies have examined the many facets of fame. Also in this series: Part 1 (The Pitch), Part 2 (The Hero), Part 4 (The Parasite), Part 5 (The Maverick), and Part 6 (The Takeaway). In this chapter we examine the Hero's doppelganger, the Fraud, as portrayed in Quiz Show, Broadcast News, Meet John Doe, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Hail the Conquering Hero, and other Hollywood features. Marrying screwball comedy and social satire, the fraud movie shows how institutions and corporations manufacture false idols, satisfying the audience's desire for role models while furthering their own agendas.



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Buena Vista Pictures
Ralph Fiennes, Christopher McDonald and John Turturro in Quiz Show, directed by Robert Redford


video essay  |  fame


Razzle Dazzle, Pt 1: The Pitch by Aaron Aradillas and Matt Zoller Seitz
Razzle Dazzle, Pt 2: The Hero by Aaron Aradillas and Matt Zoller Seitz
Razzle Dazzle, Pt 4: The Parasite by Aaron Aradillas and Matt Zoller Seitz
Razzle Dazzle, Pt 5: The Maverick by Aaron Aradillas and Matt Zoller Seitz
More: Article Archive


San Antonio-based film critic Aaron Aradillas is a contributor to The House Next Door, the founder and publisher of Rockcritics.com and the host of “Back by Midnight,” an Internet radio program about film and television.

More articles by Aaron Aradillas

Matt Zoller Seitz is a writer and filmmaker whose debut feature, the romantic comedy Home, is available through Netflix and Amazon. His writing on film and television has appeared in The New York Times, New York Press, and The Star Ledger, among other places. He is also the founder of The House Next Door, a movie and TV criticism website.

More articles by Matt Zoller Seitz
Author's Website: The House Next Door