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Election (1999)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  7 May 1999 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 70,041 users   Metascore: 83/100
Reviews: 439 user | 171 critic | 33 from

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 24 wins & 24 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 <>

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?


Since the movie was shot in a real High School (Papillion La Vista High School, Omaha, Nebraska), adjacent classrooms had real class going on while some scenes for the movie were being done. In the soundtrack, some background noises come from real teachers and students. The director decided to leave that in as to give the movie a more realistic sound. See more »


In the last scene Jim McAllister is in Washington, DC. He says in the voice-over that, having spent the morning on the National Mall, he was on his way to the Holocaust Museum when the scene occurred. That scene was shot outside the Hays-Adams Hotel, just north of Lafayette Square and the White House, and Jim is clearly walking north on 16th Street; the Holocaust Museum is about a mile south of the White House and only a few hundred feet from the Mall. See more »


[Dave's affair with Tracy has been discovered]
Dave Novotny: [tearfully] Tracy's mom, she doesn't understand.
Walt Hendricks: No, I'd say she doesn't. The fact is I have never seen a mother so upset. All right, I know what Tracy told her mother, what her mother told me, I need to hear this from you, because I have a legal responsibility here. Let me ask you this... Did you cross the line with this girl?
Dave Novotny: I... We... We're in love.
[he sobs helplessly]
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 »


Three Times a Lady
Written by Lionel Richie
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User Reviews

One of the best 'high school' movies
7 July 2010 | by (Ontario, Canada) – See all my reviews

"Election" is a dark comedy - dark and funny. Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon) is an over-achiever and creates havoc in the life of her teacher (Matthew Broderick) as the school elections approach.

I have to echo the sentiment that this is one of the best (if not the best) movie set in a high school. It's hard to even call it a high school movie as the topics encompass a broader range, and it's a very intelligent and thoughtful script. It's dramatic with its dark situations, and at the same time it's a very smart comedy.

Starring a young Reese Witherspoon who proves her bright future and Matthew Broderick who is perfect in the role and floats effortlessly between drama and comedy. A well deserved Oscar nomination for Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor for the screenplay. Their other movies include "About Schmidt" (2002) and "Sideways" (2004).

"Election" is one of the best films of its kind. I recommend it.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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