37 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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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


This beauty pageant's about to get ugly. 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?


The final scenes were staged at the actual pageant, and no one - except script writer Jerry Belson and director Michael Ritchie - knew the winner, so the conclusion seems realistic. 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 »


Big Bob Freelander: "A guy turns 35." That's really what's buggin' you, isn't it? That you're about to turn 35.
Andy DiCarlo: Maybe. Maybe. Or maybe I don't see what's fun about kissing a dead chicken's ass.
Big Bob Freelander: Well that's 'cause you haven't tried it.
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 »


Referenced in Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) 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

Funny and disturbing satire
28 November 2004 | by See all my reviews

There's something very disturbing and creepy about the "wholesome" teen beauty pageant. It might be the "stage mothers" who are not just living through their daughters, but seem to actually be re-living the vainglorious days of their own pathetic lives before they became frumpy, boring housewives. It might be the way every male from the horny pre-teens to dirty old rotters leers at the teenage girls as they go through the "talent", "swimsuit", and "vim and vigor" portions of these ridiculous contests. Whatever it is, the subject is ripe for satire. This forgotten 70's movie is less famous than the more recent "Drop Dead Gorgeous", but it's really a lot more on-target as far as satire goes. Whereas the later film has its moments (Ellen Barkin's trailer trash mom with a beer can burnt onto her hand or the stupid contestant who has had a sexual encounter with Adam West), the satire in this movie is a lot more subtle and effective. There's the idiotic emcee who says things like: "Isn't she beautiful? Aren't they all beautiful? Isn't everybody beautiful?". There's the scary, Stepford-like pageant director (Barbara Feldon)who for the sake of "the girls" doesn't press charges after her drunken husband (quite understandably)tries to shoot her. Then there's the male community leaders led by "Big Bob" (Bruce Dern) who at one point dress in bedsheets and have an initiation ceremony in the park which ends up looking like an especially homoerotic Ku Klux Klan rally.

The adult actors are mostly just hilarious caricatures, but the contestants are more realistic and likable. The most famous faces are Melanie Griffith and Colleen Camp, but the main stars are Joan Prather (from TV's "Eight is Enough") and a young Annette O'Toole. The ending is kind of anti-climactic, but something about it kind of stays with you. It's not a great movie perhaps, but it was one made at a rare time when America could honestly look at itself in the mirror--and what is there is both funny and disturbing.

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