36 user 24 critic

Smile (1975)

PG | | Comedy | 28 March 1977 (Poland)
It's time again for California's "Young American Miss" beauty pageant, the biggest event of the year for Big Bob Freelander and Brenda DiCarlo, who give their all to put on a successful ... See full summary »




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1 nomination. See more awards »


Cast overview, first billed only:
William Traylor ...
Ray Brandy
Dick McGarvin ...
Adam Reed ...
Brad Thompson ...
Man at Party
George Skaff ...
Dr. Malvert


It's time again for California's "Young American Miss" beauty pageant, the biggest event of the year for Big Bob Freelander and Brenda DiCarlo, who give their all to put on a successful pageant. But Brenda is having marital difficulties and Bob's son is up to some mischief. Could this year's pageant be in jeopardy? Written by George S. Davis <mgeorges@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Raised on hamburgers and soda pop, She's got a winning smile that's hard to top. A credit to her family, the ideal teen, She's America's daughter, she's a beauty queen. See more »




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

28 March 1977 (Poland)  »

Also Known As:

Lauter nette Mädchen  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Bruce Dern improvised part of his dialogue in the scene where he talks with the soldiers. In the original script he was just suppose to simply end the conversation and leave. See more »


One of the audience members seen prominently during opening scene in Imperial Valley pageant later shows up again in closeup as Santa Rosa businessmen attending Bears Club luncheon. See more »


Wilson Shears: I... I realize that you and I have gotten off to a rather shaky start. But things don't have to stay that way. What do you say?
Tommy French: Let's keep it shaky.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Because Mara Finerty's most noticeable scene in the movie shows her saying, "Rotting maggots of death, crawling out of the skull of war," she is listed in the closing credits as "Maggots Girl." See more »


References Buck Rogers (1939) See more »


Symphony No. 9 In D Minor (Choral), Opus 125
(1826) (uncredited)
Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven
Excerpts from Movement 4 "Presto - Ode to Joy" in the score for Doria's Performance
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User Reviews

One of the funniest films I've ever seen
9 February 2005 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

I recently saw this as part of the London National Film Theatre's retrospective of 1970s American film. I had no knowledge of it beforehand, but what a gem this is.

It's not just a comment on beauty pageants, it also takes an incisive look at 70s American home life in everyday small towns, while examining the need to belong and fit in.

Overall though, it's very very funny, displaying a humour that is never over-the-top or played for easy laughs. This is helped by good, fluid, natural-sounding dialogue from writer Jerry Belson, and solid acting from everyone, especially Bruce Dern, Michael Kidd and Annette O'Toole.

Other things I liked included the way that the girls are often shown as the dignified ones while the (mostly male) pageant organisers and other satellite characters are shown in the opposite light, an interesting take for a film you might think is going to send up the idea of the beauty pageant mercilessly and depict the girls as nothing more than bimbos. Also, the way it neatly side-steps our possible expectation of seeing leering, lascivious men drooling over fresh young girls. There is an element of this, but it's kept to a subtle level in order to make way for better observations and more effective humour.

I highly recommend this, and if you do see it, look out for the scene where Big Bob takes his son Little Bob - for reasons I shan't bother explaining - to see a psychiatrist. I laughed more than I have at anything else for quite some time.

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