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Spellbound (2002)

7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 10,354 users   Metascore: 80/100
Reviews: 103 user | 102 critic | 34 from Metacritic.com

Spellbound follows eight teenagers on their quest to win the 1999 National Spelling Bee.

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Title: Spellbound (2002)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 18 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Angela Arenivar ...
Herself - Spelling Bee Participant
Ubaldo Arenivar ...
Himself - Angela's Father (as Ubaldo)
Jorge Arenivar ...
Himself - Angela's Brother (as Jorge)
Scott McGarraugh ...
Himself - Ranch Owner (as Mr. McGarraugh)
Lindy McGarraugh ...
Herself - Ranch Owner (as Mrs. McGarraugh)
Concepción Arenivar ...
Herself - Angela's Mother (as Concepción)
Mrs. Slaughter ...
Herself - Angela's Teacher
Neelima Marupudi ...
Herself - Potter County Champion (as Neelima)
Nupur Lala ...
Herself - Spelling Bee Participant
Ms. Whitehurst ...
Herself - Nupur's Teacher
Parag Lala ...
Himself - Nupur's Father (as Parag)
Meena Lala ...
Herself - Nupur's Mother (as Meena)
Kuna Lala ...
Himself - Nupur's Brother (as Kuna)
Ted Brigham ...
Himself - Spelling Bee Participant
Ms. Blair ...
Herself - Tes's Teacher
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Storyline

This documentary follows 8 teens and pre-teens as they work their way toward the finals of the Scripps Howard national spelling bee championship in Washington D.C. All work quite hard and practice daily, first having to win their regional championship before they can move on. Interviews include the parents and teachers who are working with them. The competitors not only work hard to get to the finals but face tremendous pressure as the original group of over 250 competitors is whittled down and the words they must spell get ever more difficult. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Little kids. Big words. American dreams. See more »

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

10 October 2003 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Agonisma orthografias  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£57,735 (UK) (10 October 2003)

Gross:

$5,728,431 (USA) (5 December 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

While interviewing Harry in his room the boom mic is deliberately shown after Harry asks "Is that thing edible?" See more »

Quotes

Ted's Mom: I think Ted's got the advantage of parents, who think he's great irregardless.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Special thanks to The Blitz Family, The Arenivar Family, The Brigham Family, The DeGideo Family, The Kadakia Family, The Lala Family, The Lieberman Family, The Natarajian Family, The Pagels Family, The Stagg Family, The Stoecker Family, The Thampy Family, The White Family, Linda Loeffler & Family and all the participants of The National Spelling Bee. See more »

Connections

Featured in The 50 Greatest Documentaries (2005) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The Documentary With a Way With Words
16 January 2005 | by (San Francisco, California) – See all my reviews

"Spellbound" is the acclaimed documentary that follows four young contestants in the 72nd Annual National Spelling Bee. One might think a spelling bee wouldn't be an even interesting enough to warrant a documentary. But this is the grand championship of spelling bees, the equivalent of the Super Bowl, the Academy Awards or the Presidential Election. Out of nine million schoolkids, only 249 make it to the finals. The young contestants and their families struggle to make it to the top. It's an exciting and stressful experience for those involved. "Spellbound" covers what these people are going through. You will feel for the young contestants, and want them to win it all. It's thrilling to see these children tackle the most overwhelming words in the English language. One young standout is Harry, the eccentric young boy from New Jersey. He lightens up the doc, and steals the show! You won't understand the prestige and daunting psychology of spelling bees until you see "Spellbound."


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