7.3/10
82,559
455 user 182 critic

Election (1999)

Trailer
2:29 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
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 »
Reviews
Popularity
3,805 ( 383)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 16 wins & 33 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Citizen Ruth (1996)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

An irresponsible, drug-addicted, recently impregnated woman finds herself in the middle of an abortion debate when both parties attempt to sway her to their respective sides.

Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: Laura Dern, Swoosie Kurtz, Mary Kay Place
Sideways (2004)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Two men reaching middle age with not much to show but disappointment embark on a week-long road trip through California's wine country, just as one is about to take a trip down the aisle.

Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen
About Schmidt (2002)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A man upon retirement, embarks on a journey to his estranged daughter's wedding, only to discover more about himself and life than he ever expected.

Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: Jack Nicholson, Hope Davis, Dermot Mulroney
Pleasantville (1998)
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Two 1990s teenage siblings find themselves in a 1950s sitcom, where their influence begins to profoundly change that complacent world.

Director: Gary Ross
Stars: Tobey Maguire, Jeff Daniels, Joan Allen
Nebraska (2013)
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

An aging, booze-addled father makes the trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son in order to claim a million-dollar Mega Sweepstakes Marketing prize.

Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: Bruce Dern, Will Forte, June Squibb
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A land baron tries to reconnect with his two daughters after his wife is seriously injured in a boating accident.

Director: Alexander Payne
Stars: George Clooney, Shailene Woodley, Amara Miller
Edit

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 ... 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 ... Custodian
Emily Martin Emily Martin ... Girl in Crisis
Edit

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

7 May 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Candidata See more »

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was produced in the fall and a freak snowstorm interrupted filming. See more »

Goofs

The morning after McAllister is stung by a bee/wasp on the eye he goes back to the school to get changed. His eye does not appear to be swollen because the prominent side of his face in the reflection is his left eye, whereas his right eye was stung. See more »

Quotes

Jim McAllister: Paul, what's your favorite fruit?
Paul Metzler: Pears.
Jim McAllister: [goes to the chalkboard] Pears, good. OK, let's say...
Paul Metzler: Oh, no wait! Apples.
Jim McAllister: Apples. Fine.
[he starts drawing circles on the chalkboard]
Jim McAllister: Let's say all you ever knew were apples. Apples, apples, and more apples. You might think apples were pretty good, even if you got a rotten one every once in a while. But then one day...
[he draws another circle which looks the same as the others]
Jim McAllister: ...there's an orange. And now you can make a decision, do you want an apple ...
[...]
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 »


Soundtracks

AI Grandota
Written by Joseph L. Altruda (as Joey Altruda)
Performed by Joey Altruda and His Cocktail Crew
Joey Altruda performs courtesy of Will Records
By Arrangement with Ocean Park Music Group
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
When it focuses on the High School it's at its best
27 December 2013 | by estebangonzalez10See all my reviews

"You see, you can't interfere with destiny, that's why it's destiny. And if you try to interfere, the same thing's just going to happen anyway, and you'll just suffer."

Election is Alexander Payne's sophomore film and many consider it to be his best work since it uses some slick and witty dark humor to make a satirical political comedy. Payne manages to mix this political satire with High School life by using the school elections as a metaphor for American politics and in doing so the film is rather successful. Just like that famous short essay written by Robert Fulghum "All I Really Need to Learn I Learned in Kindergarten" where he claims that if we sticked to the basic rules we learned in kindergarten we would live in a better society, here Payne compares politics to High School elections and shows how corrupt the system actually can be and how selfish these people are. The dirty campaigns all begin in High School and these people seem to be doing things for themselves rather than to help others. I think this is what works best in Payne's ambitious film. I enjoyed the scenes that took place in the High School, but when Payne takes us out of the school to the characters homes it kind of loses its magic. I didn't care very much about their lives outside of school. One of the things that Payne does best is create interesting characters and that is why the actors give engaging performances because they have a lot to work with. These characters are usually dislikable, but somehow we end up routing for one despite all their flaws. Reese Witherspoon's character is so annoying that we actually want Matthew Broderick to succeed despite all the immoral acts he is committing. They both give strong performances, although compared to other Payne films I thought they were the weakest characters. Sideways still remains as my favorite Payne film, but his work here obviously opened a lot of doors for him. Payne is one of the best when it comes to creating Midwestern American characters.

Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon) is a very driven and ambitious student from Carver High who has high goals and expectations for her life. One of those goals is becoming class president, and despite the fact that she is running unopposed she still dedicates most of her time in school to achieving this. Jim McAllister (Matthew Broderick) is one of her teachers, but he doesn't like her very much because she had an affair with his best friend, Dave (Mark Harelik), a former teacher who got expelled from school when the director found out. Jim, who is married to Diane (Molly Hagan), decides to complicate things for Tracy by convincing the school jock, Paul (Chris Klein) to enter the race. When Paul's lesbian sister, Tammy (Jessica Campbell), discovers that he is campaigning for class president, she decides to run as well to pay him back for dating a former love interest of hers. And soon what seemed to be a simple election becomes chaotic as the dirty campaign begins. Will Tracy achieve her goal or will her teacher crash her dream?

The film has each character describe the events that are going on through voice over narrations. At first I thought it didn't work very well as it took me out of the story, but then I understood what Payne was trying to achieve (or at least this is what it transmitted to me), by letting his characters narrate what they were experiencing we understood what they were trying to achieve, the way they wanted others to see them, but of course their actions were completely opposite to the way they wanted to be perceived. It was like their own mask, because they were nothing like what they wanted to be perceived as (take Jim for example who considered himself a likable and influential teacher, but really he ends up being quite the opposite). The characters in this film are very well developed, but they were probably my least favorite from a Payne film. I wasn't a big fan of Chris Klein's performance, but the rest of the cast was pretty strong. The dark humor was witty, but it just wasn't my cup of tea and didn't care for any of the characters. Election may be one of Payne's most ambitious and satirical films, but I would rather sit through Sideways a hundred times than seeing these characters again.


3 of 3 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 455 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Check Out What's Playing on IMDb Freedive

See what movies and TV series you can watch for free today, and visit IMDb Freedive for even more. Select any poster below to play the movie!

Find more things to watch

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed