7.3/10
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454 user 181 critic

Election (1999)

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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.

Director:

Alexander Payne

Writers:

Tom Perrotta (novel), Alexander Payne (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 16 wins & 33 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Matthew Broderick ... Jim McAllister
Reese Witherspoon ... Tracy Flick
Chris Klein ... Paul Metzler
Jessica Campbell ... Tammy Metzler
Mark Harelik ... Dave Novotny
Phil Reeves ... Walt Hendricks
Molly Hagan ... Diane McAllister
Delaney Driscoll Delaney Driscoll ... Linda Novotny
Colleen Camp ... Judith R. Flick
Frankie Ingrassia ... Lisa Flanagan
Matt Malloy ... Vice-Principal Ron Bell
Jeanine Jackson ... Jo Metzler
Holmes Osborne ... Dick Metzler
Loren Nelson Loren Nelson ... Custodian
Emily Martin Emily Martin ... Girl in Crisis
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Storyline

The high school Class President election is approaching and it looks like Tracy Flick is going to win, unopposed. However, teacher Jim McAllister has other plans. He convinces jock Paul Metzler to run, sparking off an interesting chain of events. Written by grantss

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

7 May 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Candidata See more »

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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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby Digital | SDDS | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Melissa Joan Hart auditioned for the role of Tracy Flick. See more »

Goofs

When Paul Metzler is falling down the mountain the outfit he is wearing changes colors from blue to red and back again. See more »

Quotes

Jim McAllister: Tracy, you're a very intelligent girl. You have a lot of admirable qualities. But one day maybe you'll learn that being smart and doing whatever you need to do to get ahead, and stepping on other people to get there... well, there's a whole lot more to life than that. And in the end you're only cheating yourself.
Tracy Flick: Why are you lecturing me?
Jim McAllister: This isn't the time or the place to get into it, but there is, for just one example, a certain former colleage of mine, who made a very big mistake, a life ...
[...]
See more »

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 »

Connections

Featured in The Cutting Edge: The Magic of Movie Editing (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

This Road I'm Traveling
Written by Neil Halstead
Performed by Mojave 3
Courtesy of Sire Records Records Group
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User Reviews

Alexander Payne's uncompromising look at highschool politics. Foul-mouthed, sharp and funny
28 October 2006 | by Camera-ObscuraSee 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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