326 user 69 critic

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.


2,314 ( 15)

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2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
... Amber Atkins
... Annette Atkins
... Loretta
... Rebecca 'Becky' Ann Leeman
... Gladys Leeman
... Lester Leeman
... Iris Clark
... Lisa Swenson
... Leslie Miller
... Michelle Johnson (as Laurie Sinclair)
... Tess Weinhaus
Tara Redepenning ... Molly Howard
... Jenelle Betz
... Mary Johanson
Brooke Elise Bushman ... Tammy Curry


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 <jwp@aber.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The battle between the good and the bad is bound 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:






Release Date:

23 July 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dairy Queens  »

Filming Locations:



Box Office


$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  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


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 »


During the opening number of the pageant, Michelle Johnson is wearing a "Hollywood" hat; near the end, she can be seen standing behind Amber Atkins with no hat at all. See more »


Voice of Documentarian: [Gladys has just thought of a theme for the pageant: Proud to be an American] So what was the theme of the pageant last year?
Gladys Leeman: Oh, that was "Buy American"
Voice of Documentarian: And the year before that was...?
Gladys Leeman: "USA is A-OK!"
Voice of Documentarian: And can you remember the theme of your favorite pageant?
Gladys Leeman: Can I? "Amer-I-Can!" People ask me where I get this, I don't know, it's... maybe a gift from God or somethin'.
See more »

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 »


References Batman (1966) See more »


Queen Of The House
Written by Roger Miller (as Miller) & Mary Taylor (as Taylor)
Courtesy of Capitol Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Excellent - A Gem of a Movie
19 December 2005 | by See all my reviews

One of the best films I've ever seen (and I've seen a lot). As a mockumentary, it actually deserves an 11 ...

Bought it on DVD - can watch it again and again and my admiration for the perfection with which it has been made only grows. Every detail is right on the spot, the actors are fantastic, the script is amazing, and the director hits just the right note ...

A biting social commentary if there ever was one, it shows a side of America which people pretend doesn't exist, and that without any exaggeration - it only condenses a lot of things into one story which in reality you probably would not find that close together. One can see that the author knows exactly what she is writing about. I can understand that many people don't like this film - it hits too close to home ... though they'll never admit that this is the reason and cite bad taste or whatever. The miracle for me is that this picture got made at all.

Hard-hitting as it is, the film never gets mean - it always stays human and in a detached way almost compassionate towards all its characters. The author is a woman, and I noticed one thing about women as artists: if the're bad, they're bad as any male artist who's bad, but when they're good, they tend to be *exceptionally* good, and often they bring up angles which a man would have never thought of.

One thing - I do not think the critique in this film concerns only America: exchange just a few minor cultural details for their continental counterparts and you'll see that here in Europe we have the same types of people who recognize themselves in this movie and consequently hate it, like their cousins overseas ... so finally I think its valid worldwide, wherever people live.

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