Extremely smart little satire that uses a state beauty pageant as a microcosm for a stinging look at American values, with hypocrisy rampant and greed triumphant. Writer Jerry Belson delineates his characters very carefully, so that we know whom to side with and whom to despise, and the nearly no-name cast portrays them brilliantly. Talented Joan Prather is the contestant we most identify with, decent, but slowly being corrupted as the urge to win overtakes her, and Michael Kidd is the semi-big-time choreographer who at first seems callous and unlikable but turns out to be merely seeing, and telling, it like it is. There's some too-easy comedy as we view the contestants' terrible talent competition entries, but at the end we've seen a remarkably thorough put-down of American values circa 1975. (Maybe it didn't get more attention because its utter honesty and accuracy about the American way of winning, a pet theme of the director's, made people uncomfortable.) The final scene, in the police car, is just a perfect wrap-up.