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.

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 16 wins & 33 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

Reading, Writing, Revenge.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

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:

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Details

Country:

Language:

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Release Date:

7 May 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Eleição  »

Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

$14,879,556 (USA) (6 August 1999)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While shooting the basement scene involving Jim McAllister, the film crew left everything the real tenants of the house had in their basement. They only made room for the film equipment. See more »

Goofs

When Linda puts on lipstick at the mall, she turns and asks Jim, "What do you think?" But it's dubbed in, because her lips don't move. See more »

Quotes

Jim McAllister: [narrating] What happens to a man when he loses everything? Everything he's worked for... everything he believes in? Driven from his home... cast out of society... how can he survive? Where can he go? New York City! For centuries people have come to New York seeking refuge from their troubled lives. Now I am one of them.
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 »

Connections

Referenced in After Lately: A-list BFF (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

The Jody Grind
Written by Horace Silver
Performed by Quintetto X
Courtesy of Instinct Records
By Arrangement with Ocean Park Music Group
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User Reviews

 
Witherspoon and Broderick make this work
19 November 1999 | by (Brooklyn, NY) – See all my reviews

I don't know how many people who saw ELECTION saw Alexander Payne's previous film, CITIZEN RUTH(1996). That film was a satire on abortion, with Laura Dern as a pregnant homeless woman with several children already taken away by social services, and who is caught in a tug-of-war between pro-choice and pro-life activists. I've never seen an abortion satire before, so that was fresh, but all the characters where instead caricatures, so it was difficult for me to laugh. And the points were made with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer swatting a fly.

ELECTION suffers somewhat from that problem, but most of it works. Much of that, of course, is due to Matthew Broderick and Reese Witherspoon. Both of them embody their characters down to a T, and while they show us their flaws and their laughable parts, they also made them human beings. As much as we're meant to dislike Tracy, for example, I actually felt sorry for her when she talked about being lonely. And how events proceed between them is logical and well-told.

Less well-done is Chris Klein as the jock who runs against Tracy. He's likeable at times, but I could see Klein condescend to him and make him a boob at times(as his sister Tammy, on the other hand, Jessica Campbell makes a good impression; I was actually surprised at an action she took, though it does make sense). I also thought the sexual repression stuff was obvious and overdone, especially when Broderick sees and hears Tracy when he's making love. We got that already. Nevertheless, this is often funny and biting.


29 of 53 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Those strange, horror movie-like sounds. lilcharmer
Why did Tracy sleep with the teacher? Swollenclip
Why Did McAllister Throw the Ballot Slips Into The Trash Can? stephanielaur92
Message? Mononoke-hime
Omaha Accent bauhausblack
Wouldn't the wife be mad at her friend? zeroyear27
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