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The Great American Beauty Contest (TV) More at IMDbPro »

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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Pre-"Smile" Made-for-TV Beauty Pageant Movie Teases Then Disappoints

3/10
Author: herbertatara from New Haven, CT
15 June 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie has a lot going on, and discusses briefly many issues on the exploitative nature of the beauty pageant world. However, any time one of the character threatens to have something interesting to say, or is plotting something political, unethical, or illegal, we quickly switch to the next typical made-for-TV subplot.

The underrated Eleanor Parker puts in a well-rounded performance as a former queen who had been robbed of many of her illusions and ideals, but still puts forth a stiff upper lip and tries to play it straight, because at the end of the day, she really has nowhere else to go.

Robert Cummings, on the other hand, brings none of the glib humor that characterizes so many of his performances. Instead, he plays this so unbearably stiff and mechanically, he makes Bob Barker seem like Richard Pryor. Plenty of eye candy abounds, but none of it is risqué by the standards of its day, let alone by today's standards. And, just to top it off, the cop-out dramatic ending will leave an extremely sour taste in your mouth.

If you are a folklore major or a sociologist, this may be an interesting time capsule. Otherwise, don't waste your time.

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"I've never slept away from home before." .. "Sooner or later it happens to us all."

6/10
Author: moonspinner55 from las vegas, nv
26 September 2015

50 single girls show up in Los Angeles for the annual Miss American Beauty contest, overseen by a former winner (the implacable Eleanor Parker) and her version of a Bob Barker (Bob Cummings), both desperate to keep the proceedings honest. Aaron Spelling-Leonard Goldberg TV-movie portends to have some modern relevance amongst the standard fluff: Miss Oklahoma is really a feminist--planning to use her acceptance speech to shame the archaic institution of beauty pageants--while Miss New Jersey is "a Negro" with a race-chip on her shoulder. Unfortunately, the teleplay is more soap opera than incisive document, and the finale appears to be making a quasi-point when really it's just a cop-out. Farrah Fawcett is a giggling, high-spirited Miss Texas, Louis Jourdan is a shady movie producer and substitute judge, however Brett Somers gives the film's best performance as Fawcett's seen-it-all chaperone. Not much style, wit or humor here, just a run-of-the-mill movie of the week.

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Wasn't Bad

7/10
Author: garyldibert from United States
18 January 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

TITLE: THE GREAT American BEAUTY CONTEST was a TV movie that was released on television on February 13 1973 and this movie took 74 minutes to watch. The movie starred, Farrah Fawcett, Joanna Cameron and Susan Damante Shaw

SUMMARY: The integrity of a beauty contest is threatened by a scandal involving a judge, a former winner, and one of the finalists. The contestants start to arrive one by one. Farrah arrives with her boyfriend and he was told to leave if she wanted a chance to win. Joanna Cameron shows up with a group of women who are against The Great American Beauty Contest. She trying to get into the contest to win so she can belittle the contest if she does win. Susan Damante Shaw arrives and she is caught in a scandal that was somewhat similar to the one that the head of the contest was in. One of the judges wants to see Susan in his room so he can make her an up and coming star. However, it doesn't happen and the Judge is ask to leave.

QUESTIONS: Where did all these girls come from? Was there a scandal involved in this contest?

MY THOUGHTS: This wasn't a bad movie but it wasn't a good one either. Sure, you see Joanna Cameron, Farrah Fawcett, and Susan Shaw in bathing suits but you didn't see them very long. Based on action and drama in movie along with Farrah, Joanna, and Susan in bathing suits I give this movie 7 weasel stars

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