7.3/10
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455 user 179 critic

Election (1999)

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.

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(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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4,255 ( 284)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 16 wins & 33 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Jim McAllister
... Tracy Flick
... Paul Metzler
... Tammy Metzler
... Dave Novotny
... Walt Hendricks
... Diane McAllister
Delaney Driscoll ... Linda Novotny
... Judith R. Flick
... Lisa Flanagan
... Vice-Principal Ron Bell
... Jo Metzler
... Dick Metzler
Loren Nelson ... Custodian
Emily Martin ... Girl in Crisis
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Storyline

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 <falvey@scf.usc.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Reading, Writing, Revenge.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

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:

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Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

7 May 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Elección  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$119,080, 25 April 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$14,879,556, 8 August 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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. See more »

Goofs

In the newspaper article about the election, it says that Paul is the son of Dick and Elaine Metzler. However, when they meet Mr. McAllister at the restaurant, Paul's mother introduces herself as Jo Metzler. See more »

Quotes

Tammy Metzler: [narrating] Sometimes when I'm sad, I sit and watch the power station. They say if you lie between two of the main wires, your body just evaporates, you become a gas. I wonder what that would feel like.
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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 »


Soundtracks

Matchmaker, Matchmaker
Written by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick
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User Reviews

Alexander Payne's uncompromising look at highschool politics. Foul-mouthed, sharp and funny
28 October 2006 | by See all my reviews

With me, Alexander Payne can do no wrong. Before he entered Hollywood's big league of directors with ABOUT SCHMIDT and SIDEWAYS, he made this remarkable film about a highschool election. But this is hardly your average highschool flick, this is an intelligently written, foul-mouthed film, filled with colorful characters and plenty of laughs in the process.

In a pitch-perfect role, Reese Witherspoon is Tracy Flick, one of those irritating girls that are always in the front row, always raise their hand and wanna do something for the sake of the school, read, for their own resume. Tracy Flick is one of those, a fiercely calculating careerist who will stop at nothing to get the main prize, the office of student body president at Carver High. Since she's running unopposed, nothing seems in her way at getting what she wants, again. History teacher and student government adviser Jim McAllister (Matthew Broderick, Ferris Bueller reversed) seems content with his life, but is worn out by his love-less marriage, and by the plight of his best friend and colleague, sacked for sleeping with consenting but under age Tracy Flick. With the coming elections, McAllister is appalled by the prospect of working closely with this little nagging career bitch, and charged with overseeing the proceedings, discreetly sponsors a rival candidate, dumb but popular jock Paul Metzler (Chris Klein), to enter the election. But when Paul's sister Tammy (Jessica Campbell), an embittered and unpopular girl announces her candidacy, the election becomes a really back-biting and nasty affair, with Jim McAllister getting more than he bargained for.

I think this film might appeal even more to adults than teenagers. If you like Alexander Payne's uncompromising approach to his subjects, this will definitely be up your alley, with everything from lesbianism to adultery thrown in the mix. Ideally casted all the way, with Matthew Broderick, after a number of uninteresting roles in lame movies, really making his mark. He gives his role a sort of understatement that makes Mr. McAllister a hopelessly tragic, but utterly lovable loser.

Camera Obscura --- 9/10


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