6.5/10
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Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Romance, Thriller | 23 July 1999 (USA)
A small-town beauty pageant turns deadly as it becomes clear that someone will go to any lengths to win.

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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Michelle Johnson (as Laurie Sinclair)
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Tara Redepenning ...
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Brooke Elise Bushman ...
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Storyline

In a small Minnesota town, the annual beauty pageant is being covered by a TV crew. Former winner Gladys Leeman wants to make sure her daughter follows in her footsteps. Explosions, falling lights, and trailer fires prove that. As the Leemans are the richest family in town the police are pretty relaxed about it all. Despite everything, main rival (but nice) Amber Atkins won't be stopped. There could well be more death and disappointment to come. Written by Jeremy Perkins <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The battle between the good and the bad is bound to get ugly.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for irreverent and crude humor, sex-related material and language | See all certifications »

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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

23 July 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dairy Queens  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$3,986,269 (USA) (23 July 1999)

Gross:

$10,561,238 (USA) (10 September 1999)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The giant cow statue is located at a creamery in Bongards, Minnesota. See more »

Goofs

The opening claims that "1995 Marked (sic) the fiftieth anniversary of the nation's oldest beauty contest..." The "Miss America Pageant" has been ongoing since 1921. See more »

Quotes

Colleen Douglas: Look at that one there. I think that she's had a boob job.
Terry Macey: Oh, come on. She's too young for a boob job.
Colleen Douglas: They do that at birth now, what are you talking about?
See more »

Crazy Credits

(referencing Hank's request to be freed from the car door) It is the policy of the documentary crew to remain true observers and not interfere with its subjects. See more »

Connections

References Soylent Green (1973) See more »

Soundtracks

Ballad Of A Teenage Queen
Written by Jack Clement
Performed by Dale Watson
Courtesy of Sire Records Group
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User Reviews

 
Intelligent, witty and biting dark satire
16 July 2004 | by (Beverley Hills, England) – See all my reviews

Drop Dead Gorgeous is a film about a teenage beauty pageant. As you might expect; it features plenty of young girls in skimpy outfits, dancing, singing and all that crap. However, unlike a lot of films of the same ilk; here, hidden behind a facade of teen beauty and all the other trademarks of the teen comedy genre, is an intelligently written, witty and very dark satire on the consumer society.

Drop Dead Gorgeous is a filmed in the style of a documentary, a la 'This is Spinal Tap' and follows the escapades of a group of contenders in the annual beauty pageant. The contenders are introduced via a very amusing sequence, which sees them tell the audience about themselves. It's very MTV in the way it's done, with all the girls introducing themselves as shallow, fussy, typical teenage girls. After that, the film starts to set its dark tone, with one of the girls being blown up, and is the tone that will be carried throughout the rest of the movie. Some of the humour in this movie is so dark that even I, a fan of very black comedy, couldn't decide whether to laugh at or not; a woman that gets a beer can melted to her hand, an anorexic previous winner, and the pageant winner being blown up on a huge float are all included in this movie. It's lighter and more tongue in cheek moments are also done very well, such as the part in which one of the judge's brothers gets caught in the car door, or a hilarious 'home video' of an explosion.

The characters in Drop Dead Gorgeous are all, with the exception of Amber Atkins, disagreeable, shallow and overblown stereotypes. This is one of this movie's main assets; it has the parodying of stereotypical people spot on; we've got an "I'm not a pervert" pervert judge, an insensitive, egotistical head of the richest family in town, the overenthusiastic boyfriend and many other colourful and amusing characters. Some of the lines said by these characters are priceless; stupid, but not overly stupid and you really could imagine people like these saying things like the characters in this film do.

The entire cast of this movie excels; it features a lot of small characters and each one plays their part to perfection. The main acting plaudits come for Kirsten Dunst in the starring role of Amber Atkins. Kirsten has the ability to act, and act well and she's also extremely good looking. Many actresses look good and can't act, or vice versa but Kirsten has both abilities, which makes her a very good lady to have in your film. With a few more hits under her belt; Kirsten may well be remembered as the finest actress of her generation. Two other stand out performances come from Kirstie Alley as the former winner of the pageant and mother of one of the contestants; and Ellen Barkin, who brings the characters of Amber's mother to life brilliantly.

Drop Dead Gorgeous is a film that will be overlooked by many because it's a teen comedy. This is a great injustice; here we have a film that is extremely funny, well acted and actually has something to say.


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