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 »
3,594 ( 572)

Watch Now

With Prime Video

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



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Pleasantville (1998)
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Two 1990s teenage siblings find themselves in a 1950s sitcom where their influence begins to profoundly change that complacent world.

Director: Gary Ross
Stars: Tobey Maguire, Jeff Daniels, Joan Allen
Citizen Ruth (1996)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An irresponsible, drug-addicted, recently impregnated woman finds herself in the middle of an abortion debate when both parties attempt to sway her to their respective sides.

Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: Laura Dern, Swoosie Kurtz, Mary Kay Place
About Schmidt (2002)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A man upon retirement embarks on a journey to his estranged daughter's wedding only to discover more about himself and life than he ever expected.

Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Hope Davis, Dermot Mulroney
Sideways (2004)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Two men reaching middle age with not much to show but disappointment embark on a week-long road trip through California's wine country, just as one is about to take a trip down the aisle.

Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen
Heathers (1988)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In order to get out of the snobby clique that is destroying her good-girl reputation, an intelligent teen teams up with a dark sociopath in a plot to kill the cool kids.

Director: Michael Lehmann
Stars: Winona Ryder, Christian Slater, Shannen Doherty
Ghost World (2001)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

With only the plan of moving in together after high school, two unusually devious friends seek direction in life. As a mere gag, they respond to a man's newspaper ad for a date, only to find it will greatly complicate their lives.

Director: Terry Zwigoff
Stars: Steve Buscemi, Thora Birch, Scarlett Johansson
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Two vicious step-siblings of an elite Manhattan prep school make a wager: to deflower the new headmaster's daughter before the start of term.

Director: Roger Kumble
Stars: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon
Nebraska (2013)
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An aging, booze-addled father makes the trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son in order to claim a million-dollar Mega Sweepstakes Marketing prize.

Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A land baron tries to reconnect with his two daughters after his wife is seriously injured in a boating accident.

Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller
High Fidelity (2000)
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Rob, a record store owner and compulsive list maker, recounts his top five breakups, including the one in progress.

Director: Stephen Frears
Stars: John Cusack, Iben Hjejle, Todd Louiso
Rushmore (1998)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The extracurricular king of Rushmore preparatory school is put on academic probation.

Director: Wes Anderson
Stars: Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray, Olivia Williams
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A couple of high school grads spend one final night cruising the strip with their buddies before they go off to college.

Director: George Lucas
Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul Le Mat


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 | 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:






Release Date:

7 May 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Eleição  »

Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


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

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Alexander Payne: [Omaha] Most of his films take place in and are filmed in Omaha. See more »


Gavrilo Princip's surname is misspelled "Princep" on the blackboard following the eighth period pop quiz. See more »


Tammy Metzler: [narrating] I don't why, but Lisa decided she wanted to hurt me, and she knew exactly what to do.
[cut to Lisa's bedroom]
Paul Metzler: [narrating] I sure was surprised the day Lisa Flanagan asked me for a ride home and ended up blowing me.
Lisa Flanagan: I've wanted this for so long.
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 »


Featured in Hollywood's Top Ten: All About Politics (2011) See more »


Right in the Back of Your Mind
Written by Edgar Jones
Performed by Spacehog
Courtesy of Sire Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Alexander Payne's uncompromising look at highschool politics. Foul-mouthed, sharp and funny
28 October 2006 | by (The Dutch Mountains) – See all my reviews

With me, Alexander Payne can do no wrong. Before he entered Hollywood's big league of directors with ABOUT SCHMIDT and SIDEWAYS, he made this remarkable film about a highschool election. But this is hardly your average highschool flick, this is an intelligently written, foul-mouthed film, filled with colorful characters and plenty of laughs in the process.

In a pitch-perfect role, Reese Witherspoon is Tracy Flick, one of those irritating girls that are always in the front row, always raise their hand and wanna do something for the sake of the school, read, for their own resume. Tracy Flick is one of those, a fiercely calculating careerist who will stop at nothing to get the main prize, the office of student body president at Carver High. Since she's running unopposed, nothing seems in her way at getting what she wants, again. History teacher and student government adviser Jim McAllister (Matthew Broderick, Ferris Bueller reversed) seems content with his life, but is worn out by his love-less marriage, and by the plight of his best friend and colleague, sacked for sleeping with consenting but under age Tracy Flick. With the coming elections, McAllister is appalled by the prospect of working closely with this little nagging career bitch, and charged with overseeing the proceedings, discreetly sponsors a rival candidate, dumb but popular jock Paul Metzler (Chris Klein), to enter the election. But when Paul's sister Tammy (Jessica Campbell), an embittered and unpopular girl announces her candidacy, the election becomes a really back-biting and nasty affair, with Jim McAllister getting more than he bargained for.

I think this film might appeal even more to adults than teenagers. If you like Alexander Payne's uncompromising approach to his subjects, this will definitely be up your alley, with everything from lesbianism to adultery thrown in the mix. Ideally casted all the way, with Matthew Broderick, after a number of uninteresting roles in lame movies, really making his mark. He gives his role a sort of understatement that makes Mr. McAllister a hopelessly tragic, but utterly lovable loser.

Camera Obscura --- 9/10

36 of 52 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why did Tracy sleep with the teacher? Swollenclip
Those strange, horror movie-like sounds. lilcharmer
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
Discuss Election (1999) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: