Smile (1975)

PG  |   |  Comedy  |  9 July 1975 (USA)
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Reviews: 34 user | 22 critic

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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Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Kidd ...
Little Bob
Titos Vandis ...
Orren Brooks
William Traylor ...
Ray Brandy
Dick McGarvin ...
Ted Farley
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 <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


This beauty pageant's about to get ugly. See more »




PG | See all certifications »




Release Date:

9 July 1975 (USA)  »

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?


Although Neil Sedaka is credited on-screen for being "heard through the courtesy of Polydor International/Rocket Records," he is not mentioned in the soundtrack listing or anywhere else in the print. This is because his song, "Yes Sir! That's My Baby" is incorrectly credited to Michael Chain See more »


When Robin is playing the flute, she takes a breath while the flute sound continues. See more »


Wilson Shears: Are you all right, darling? Can I get you anything? A doctor? A Pepsi?
See more »


References Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (1967) See more »


California Girls
Written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love
Sung by The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys are heard through the Courtesy of Capitol Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Beauty's slimy underbelly

So rarely do we find such a dark and acidic commentary filmed in such an exquisitely light fashion. "American Beauty" is an example of success in this genre, but the relatively obscure "Smile" reigns supreme.

It lays bare all the emptiness and hypocrisy of suburban America relentlessly and without mercy, and yet somehow manages to keep itself funny and bright and rarely deals with its subject matter with an overt contempt or scorn.

"Agent 99" Barbara Feldon is superb as the veneer ice-queen teen beauty pageant coordinator -- all diplomacy and smiles glossing over a charred and empty soul. (She greets the dog with smiles and kisses then ignores the husband.) Likewise, Bruce Dern portrays his vapid community leader role with perfect candor, and it becomes delicious to see him question what he perceived as the status quo.

A truly classic and trail-blazing film, well directed and edited and brilliantly written and acted. Such a shame it remains so obscure and unknown. This is one of my top five favourite films and becomes richer and more intricate with each viewing.

And I will never hear Nat King Cole sing the title song again and not picture the strained and pained perma-grins as the opening shot pans across the hopeful beauty contestants.

32 of 32 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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