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Election (1999) Poster

(1999)

Trivia

Jump to: Director Trademark (1) | Spoilers (4)
In the text of a newspaper article in the film: "If you've paused the film in order to read this entire article, your time would be better spent renting Citizen Ruth (1996) from your local video store. Do you know how hard it is to write these fake few stories for newspaper movie props? I've got better things to do."
Apples are featured prominently in the movie, usually before trouble arrives for a character. They are used as an analogy to entice Paul Metzler to enter the election, an apple tree is shown before Mr. McAllister is stung by a bee, apples hang above the doorway to Mr. McAllister's living room right before he discovers his wife knows he cheated on her, and Mr. McAllister wins the Apple Teacher of The Year Award at the beginning of the movie.
If you look closely at some of the 'PICK FLICK' cupcakes Tracy places on the table before offering one to Mr. McAllister, you'll notice some of them spell out a very obscene word because the bottom of the 'L' in the word 'FLICK' is elongated.
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.
In the gym scenes, since the extras were real high school students, the director faced the problem of not having enough of them because of the SAT season, and many of them having already found out the sometimes tedious process of working as an extra. As a solution for the shots requiring a full gym to be seen, the director asked the extras to move two or three times from their seats to look as if there were more people with the help of editing. The wide shot showing both sides of the gym was done in less than 20 minutes when the teachers of Papillion La Vista Highschool asked more students to join the film shooting.
Chris Klein's debut film and his first professional acting job. He was a student at Millard West High School in Omaha when he was discovered by Alexander Payne while looking for a school to use for filming (another one was eventually used). Although a number of other actors auditioned for Paul, Klein stuck in Payne's mind.
Thora Birch left the filming in Omaha on her third day because of creative differences with the director.
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.
The apples on the tree in Mrs. Novotony's back yard were tied onto the branches.
Loren Nelson, who played the custodian in the movie, was actually a custodian at Duchesne Academy in Omaha. He has since retired.
The source novel by Tom Perrotta is a reworking of Budd Schulberg's 1941 novel "What Makes Sammy Run?" In Schulberg's novel, an older writer (Al Manheim) watches young Sammy Glick rise through the ranks of New York journalism and the Old Hollywood studio system. In "Election," Al Manheim is replaced by Jim McAllister and Sammy Glick by Tracy Flick.
One of the porno videos in Jim McAllister's collection is called "The Big Election".
Matthew Broderick actually urinated against the tree in the scene outside Linda's house.
The yearbook office seen in a scene involving Tracy Flick is the real yearbook office for Papillion La Vista High School, as opposed to the director's office, which is actually the detention room, refurbished for the movie.
When Tracy rips up the posters of Paul in the school hallway, the theme form Navajo Joe (1966) (which was also used at the end of Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)) plays in the background.
The film was produced in the fall and a freak snowstorm interrupted filming.
G.W. Carver High School is actually Papillion-LaVista High School, located in Papillion, Nebraska, a suburb of Omaha. Director Alexander Payne wanted to use Omaha North High School (an older, more "traditional"-looking three-story school), but the Omaha Public School's superintendent refused after reading the script and deeming it inappropriate.
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.
The casting director of the movie is the football player that appears in the adult movie that McAllister watches.
Ranked at #9 on Entertainment Weekly's 50 Best High School Movies (2006)
Reese Witherspoon's portrayal of Tracy Flick was voted as the 45th Greatest Movie Performances of All Time by Premiere Magazine.
Melissa Joan Hart auditioned for the role of Tracy Flick.

Director Trademark 

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

Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

When Paul is called in to the office to be told the truth about the election, his Spanish class is conjugating the verb "perder", meaning "to lose".
The number of "disregarded" votes outnumbered those for both Tracy and Paul. Tammy would have won the election had she not been expelled.
The ending was re-shot, presumably after poor test screenings. The original ending was closer to the novel, featuring Mr. McAllister working at a car dealership and Tracy going to visit him before she leaves for college.
During Paul's acceptance speech, in a close-up of Matthew Broderick, over his right shoulder (camera left) is a portion of a poster that reads "ill man".

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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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