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Election (1999)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  7 May 1999 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 70,654 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?


The apples on the tree in Mrs. Novotony's back yard were tied onto the branches. See more »


The placement of Jim McAllister's black bag while looking for the key to the box that the ballots were in. See more »


Jim McAllister: [to himself, in the shower] "Mr. McAllister, Mr. McAllister, somebody tore down my posters, it's not fair, it's not fair. Can I get an A? Can I get a recommendation? Can I? Can I?" Fuck 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 »


Featured in The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing (2004) See more »


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

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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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