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 & 33 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 | 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?


Both actor Chris Klein and director Alexander Payne are from Omaha, and the film was shot almost entirely in and around Omaha using actual high school students from the Omaha area. See more »


Right before McAllister gets stung by the bee, while he is calling for Linda, a bug can be seen crawling on the camera. It is on the right side of the camera, where the tree is seen, and while it may appear to be flying or crawling on the tree it is obvious that the bug is clearly on the camera because of its proximity and crawling patterns. See more »


Paul Metzler: [narrating] Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I'd actually won the election. Maybe my whole life would be different, like I might never have gone to Yosemite with Greg and Travis.
[out loud, to the viewer]
Paul Metzler: Or maybe I'd be dead.
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 »


Referenced in About Schmidt (2002) See more »


AI Grandota
Written by Joseph L. Altruda (as Joey Altruda)
Performed by Joey Altruda and His Cocktail Crew
Joey Altruda performs courtesy of Will Records
By Arrangement with Ocean Park Music Group
See more »

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User Reviews

A fun, cynical film
29 April 2002 | by (Tucson, AZ) – See all my reviews

For some reason, this film has always brought a laugh to the bottom of stomach. Some people may call it boring due to the fact its not some gross-out teen comedy, but this is really the antithesis of a great satire. One can't see the scaly nature of politics simply because its always drowned in newspeak and bad reporting. But to see it at this level of understanding, it proves to be quite entertaining. It also provides a precursor to our most recent (2000) election. We have the longtime politician, the incompetent who people like, and the iconoclast who wants to shake up government. And of course, there is the cheating regulator who gets the wrong person elected for his own slimy means. Who would have guessed life would imitate art. A great film for all to see. Matthew Broderick is at his best, Reese Witherspoon really sells her role, and I actually tolerated Chris Klein's role in this film.

28 of 45 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
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