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Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Romance, Thriller | 23 July 1999 (USA)
A small-town beauty pageant turns deadly as it becomes clear that someone will go to any lengths to win.

Writer:

Lona Williams
Reviews
Popularity
2,930 ( 117)

On Disc

at Amazon

2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kirsten Dunst ... Amber Atkins
Ellen Barkin ... Annette Atkins
Allison Janney ... Loretta
Denise Richards ... Rebecca 'Becky' Ann Leeman
Kirstie Alley ... Gladys Leeman
Sam McMurray ... Lester Leeman
Mindy Sterling ... Iris Clark
Brittany Murphy ... Lisa Swenson
Amy Adams ... Leslie Miller
Laurie A. Sinclair ... Michelle Johnson (as Laurie Sinclair)
Shannon Nelson ... Tess Weinhaus
Tara Redepenning Tara Redepenning ... Molly Howard
Sarah Stewart ... Jenelle Betz
Alexandra Holden ... Mary Johanson
Brooke Elise Bushman Brooke Elise Bushman ... Tammy Curry
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Storyline

In a small Minnesota town, the annual beauty pageant is being covered by a TV crew. Former winner Gladys Leeman wants to make sure her daughter follows in her footsteps. Explosions, falling lights, and trailer fires prove that. As the Leemans are the richest family in town the police are pretty relaxed about it all. Despite everything, main rival (but nice) Amber Atkins won't be stopped. There could well be more death and disappointment to come. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The battle between the good and the bad is about to get ugly.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for irreverent and crude humor, sex-related material and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

Germany | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 July 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Dairy Queens See more »

Filming Locations:

Jordan, Minnesota, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,986,269, 25 July 1999, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$10,561,238, 12 September 1999
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The sports teams at Mount Rose High School are called the "Muskies." This is in reference to the muskellunge, a fish found in northern Minnesota, whose name derives from the Ojibwa word for "ugly pike." See more »

Goofs

On the opening credits of the Region 1 DVD, the words read "...a documentary film crew film was sent to Mountrose Minnesota...." - it should obviously read "a documentary film crew was sent..." See more »

Quotes

Amber Atkins: Hi. I'm Amber Atkins, and I'm signing up cause uh my two favorite people in the whole world competed in pageants: my mom and Diane Sawyer... Course, I hope I end up a little more like Diane Sawyer than my mom.
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Crazy Credits

(referencing Hank's request to be freed from the car door) It is the policy of the documentary crew to remain true observers and not interfere with its subjects. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Midnight Screenings: Drop Dead Gorgeous (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Downtown
Written by Tony Hatch
Performed by Petula Clark
Courtesy of GNP Crescendo Records
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User Reviews

 
Intelligent, witty and biting dark satire
16 July 2004 | by The_VoidSee all my reviews

Drop Dead Gorgeous is a film about a teenage beauty pageant. As you might expect; it features plenty of young girls in skimpy outfits, dancing, singing and all that crap. However, unlike a lot of films of the same ilk; here, hidden behind a facade of teen beauty and all the other trademarks of the teen comedy genre, is an intelligently written, witty and very dark satire on the consumer society.

Drop Dead Gorgeous is a filmed in the style of a documentary, a la 'This is Spinal Tap' and follows the escapades of a group of contenders in the annual beauty pageant. The contenders are introduced via a very amusing sequence, which sees them tell the audience about themselves. It's very MTV in the way it's done, with all the girls introducing themselves as shallow, fussy, typical teenage girls. After that, the film starts to set its dark tone, with one of the girls being blown up, and is the tone that will be carried throughout the rest of the movie. Some of the humour in this movie is so dark that even I, a fan of very black comedy, couldn't decide whether to laugh at or not; a woman that gets a beer can melted to her hand, an anorexic previous winner, and the pageant winner being blown up on a huge float are all included in this movie. It's lighter and more tongue in cheek moments are also done very well, such as the part in which one of the judge's brothers gets caught in the car door, or a hilarious 'home video' of an explosion.

The characters in Drop Dead Gorgeous are all, with the exception of Amber Atkins, disagreeable, shallow and overblown stereotypes. This is one of this movie's main assets; it has the parodying of stereotypical people spot on; we've got an "I'm not a pervert" pervert judge, an insensitive, egotistical head of the richest family in town, the overenthusiastic boyfriend and many other colourful and amusing characters. Some of the lines said by these characters are priceless; stupid, but not overly stupid and you really could imagine people like these saying things like the characters in this film do.

The entire cast of this movie excels; it features a lot of small characters and each one plays their part to perfection. The main acting plaudits come for Kirsten Dunst in the starring role of Amber Atkins. Kirsten has the ability to act, and act well and she's also extremely good looking. Many actresses look good and can't act, or vice versa but Kirsten has both abilities, which makes her a very good lady to have in your film. With a few more hits under her belt; Kirsten may well be remembered as the finest actress of her generation. Two other stand out performances come from Kirstie Alley as the former winner of the pageant and mother of one of the contestants; and Ellen Barkin, who brings the characters of Amber's mother to life brilliantly.

Drop Dead Gorgeous is a film that will be overlooked by many because it's a teen comedy. This is a great injustice; here we have a film that is extremely funny, well acted and actually has something to say.


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