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Election (1999)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  7 May 1999 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 70,656 users   Metascore: 83/100
Reviews: 440 user | 171 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

A high school teacher's personal life becomes complicated as he works with students during the school elections, particularly with an obsessive overachiever determined to become student body president.



(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 16 wins & 32 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Loren Nelson ...
Emily Martin ...
Girl in Crisis


Tracy Flick is running unopposed for this year's high school student election. But school civics teacher Jim McAllister has a different plan. Partly to establish a more democratic election, and partly to satisfy some deep personal anger toward Tracy, Jim talks popular varsity football player Paul Metzler to run for president as well. Chaos ensues. Written by R. P. Falvey <falvey@scf.usc.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Reading, Writing, Revenge.


Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexuality, sex-related dialogue and language, and a scene of drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

7 May 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Eleição  »

Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$119,080 (USA) (23 April 1999)


£168,090 (UK) (1 October 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Apples are featured prominently in the movie, usually before trouble arrives for a character. They are used as an analogy to entice Paul Metzler to enter the election, an apple tree is shown before Mr. McAllister is stung by a bee, apples hang above the doorway to Mr. McAllister's living room right before he discovers his wife knows he cheated on her, and Mr. McAllister wins the Apple Teacher of The Year Award at the beginning of the movie. See more »


In the newspaper article about the election, it says that Paul is the son of Dick and Elaine Metzler. However, when they meet Mr. McAllister at the restaurant, Paul's mother introduces herself as Jo Metzler. See more »


Dave Novotny: It know it seems crazy, but, Jim, what I'm trying to tell you is that Tracy and I are totally, totally... in love.
Jim McAllister: [in disbelief] In love?
Dave Novotny: Yeah. It's serious. She inspires me in ways that Linda never has. She even wants to read my novel.
Jim McAllister: But you haven't written your novel.
Dave Novotny: That's the whole point! I've got the whole thing right here, I just need to get it out there. And Tracy wants me to write it so she can read it. It's beautiful.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The end titles include four "The producers wish to thank the following:" cards, one "Very Special Thanks to:" card, and one "Extra Very Special Thanks to:" card. See more »


References The Godfather (1972) See more »


Gonna Get Along Without Ya Now
Written by Milton Kellem
Performed by Patience and Prudence
Courtesy of EMI Records
Under license from EMI Music Special Markets
See more »

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User Reviews

One of the most pleasurable aspects of the film is its total lack of sentimentality…

High-school comedies became popular because the milieu was familiar to a large proportion of the film-going audience… But the best examples of the genre in the 1980s and 1990s satirized not only the constant battle of the sexes, but other elements in American life… The frequent struggles between jocks and nerds were a kind of microcosm of the class difference which is supposed not to exist in the United States…

In "Election," one of the best examples of this popular genre, much of the humor is at the expense of the 'democratic' process… The film's guiding insight is that in practice democracy reduces to a popularity contest, in which dirty tricks are the norm…

Tracy is a Nebraskan high-school blonde who is brilliant and hard-working… She is standing for election as student president… Played by Reese Witherspoon, Tracy is bright and intolerant, eaten up by ambition and her ruthless determination to win… She is regarded with disgust by a career teacher and student adviser, Jim McAllister, for her self-righteousness, and also for her role in the dismissal of his fellow teacher Dave after a sex scandal… Jim encourages student football star Paul to stand against Tracy…

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