First Person: One in a Million Trillion: An Interview with Rick Rosner

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Description
What do you do when things don’t quite go your way? Give up? Try something new? Not if you’re Rick Rosner. Obsessed with “getting it right,” Rick went back to high school. Not once, not twice, not three times. Four separate times. In fact, he kept going back until he was 34 years old using a combination of fraudulent IDs, wigs, and prosthetics. You might consider him an expert, not on make-overs, but on do-overs. Now a bouncer, a nude model, and a cosmologist, Rick … More >>

First Person: One in a Million Trillion: An Interview with Rick Rosner

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2 Comments
  1. Having known Rick Rosner personally, I have been searching for years to find out what became of him. I bought this video before I knew who Errol Morris was, and later saw Morris’ The Fog of War. If you enjoyed that movie, you will enjoy this DVD.

    Rosner is probably the world’s most interesting human being. It’s a shame that Morris left out the Time magazine IQ test story in which Rosner was listed among the 4 most intelligent men in the U.S., and how he taught himself to ace IQ tests — just another symptom of his unique compulsions. However, much of the oddness of Rosner’s life is explored and put into context in Morris’ unique style. I personally thought the interview devoted too much time to the “Millionaire” issue, but then again, that episode in this man’s amazing life is the door by which most people would enter into Rosnerland.

    There is a certain feeling reminiscent of A Beautiful Mind that remains after watching this DVD that is slightly disturbing but not totally unpleasant. Even if you never met the subject of the interview, you can feel for him and want him to get the resolution he deserves. He is right — he got a flawed question on the show and he deserves another opportunity. And yet, just knowing that he found love and has a daughter and some semblance of a normal life is profoundly moving and inspirational. Somehow, I believe, there will be another chapter to this story. Wish someone would realize the screenplay potential of Rosner’s life story.
    Rating: 4 / 5

  2. I’m a huge Errol Morris fan so I’ll watch practically anything he produces/directs. Over the years, he has touched on the oddest subjects with a passion (okay, an obsession) that makes for intriguing looks at his subjects. There is nothing like his particular take on American life, both large issues and smaller, quirkier ones.

    In this film: One in a Million, he focuses on Rick Rosner, a man bent on getting things right, even though that personal journey involves going back to high school four times, using wigs, prosthetic devices and other disguises to keep the deception going. After that, he was employed in a variety of odd jobs unti he finally appeared on the television show Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

    His loss there set him on a journey to prove that the final question he was given was “a bad question” and he spent two years trying to correct this wrong, with his usual fervor and a detailed statistical analysis of questions from the show.

    Blessed (or cursed) with a genius IQ, Rossner is proof that intellect and sanity don’t always go together. As the film goes on, things get weirder and weirder but it is director’s special genus for making viewers care about what happens to Rossner. So much better than the usual fare on tv or cable and selected as one of the best films on television in 2002. Now you can get a personal copy.
    Rating: 5 / 5

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