7.2/10
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471 user 188 critic

Election (1999)

Trailer
2:29 | Trailer
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
1,492 ( 660)
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 ... 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
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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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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie isn't really about high school. It's about the inherent ruthlessness, corruption and chaos in the American political system; as exemplified through this high school election. Just as Lord of the Flies was about man's inherent savagery, as played out by these young British boys who gradually become murderous little cretins while stranded on an island; Election is an elaborate metaphor for the corruption in politics as played out by this student government election. When Jim Mccallister/ Matthew Broderick asks the students about the difference between ethics and morals; Perrotta and Payne are asking the audience to think about morality and how it gets tested throughout the movie. The fact that Mccallister later questions Tracey about her morals; and Mccallister also confronts his friend Dave Nvotney about his morals are supposed to underline this point; and then when Mccallister ironically commits a huge moral gaffe himself by sabataging the election; underline the point even further. Mccallister throwing away the voting slips and Tracey tearing up her competitors posters are both examples of ruthlessness; and how these savage acts inspire similarly savage acts. Tracey ruthlessly tears up all of Paul Metzler's posters; which in part inspires Mccallister to tear up her votes; which then later inspires another student to savagely spit at him; all of which causes Mccallister to savagely throw his Big Gulp of Coke at Tracey's car; and so on. Savagery inspires more savagery; it's a never ending cycle. See more »

Goofs

The placement of Jim McAllister's black bag while looking for the key to the box that the ballots were in. See more »

Quotes

Jim McAllister: [while counting the votes, he sees Tracy in the hall looking into the room] The sight of Tracy at that moment affected me in a way I can't fully explain. Part of it was that she was spying, but mostly it was her face. Who knew how high she would climb in life? How many people would suffer because of her? I had to stop her, now.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Film title logo appears when end credits are finished See more »

Connections

Referenced in After Lately: A-list BFF (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Find a Way to Win
Written and Performed by Tim Carroll
Courtesy of Sire Records Group
See more »

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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

7 May 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Election See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$119,080, 25 April 1999

Gross USA:

$14,902,041

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,902,041
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby Digital | SDDS | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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