May 7th, 1999



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Still of Matthew Broderick and Reese Witherspoon in ElectionStill of Matthew Broderick in ElectionStill of Matthew Broderick in ElectionStill of Reese Witherspoon in ElectionMatthew Broderick and Alexander Payne in ElectionReese Witherspoon and Alexander Payne in Election

A high school teacher's personal life becomes complicated as he works with students during the school elections.

Release Year: 1999

Rating: 7.4/10 (45,301 voted)

Critic's Score: 83/100

Director: Alexander Payne

Stars: Matthew Broderick, Reese Witherspoon, Chris Klein

Tracy Flick is running unopposed for this year's high school student election. But school civics teacher Jim McAllister has a different plan. Partly to establish a more democratic election, and partly to satisfy some deep personal anger toward Tracy, Jim talks popular varsity football player Paul Metzler to run for president as well. Chaos ensues.

Writers: Tom Perrotta, Alexander Payne

Matthew Broderick - Jim McAllister
Reese Witherspoon - Tracy Flick
Chris Klein - Paul Metzler
Jessica Campbell - Tammy Metzler
Phil Reeves - Walt Hendricks
Molly Hagan - Diane McAllister
Delaney Driscoll - Linda Novotny
Mark Harelik - Dave Novotny
Colleen Camp - Judith R. Flick
Frankie Ingrassia - Lisa Flanagan
Joel Parks - Jerry Slavin
Matt Malloy - Vice-Principal Ron Bell
Holmes Osborne - Dick Metzler
Jeanine Jackson - Jo Metzler
Loren Nelson - Custodian

Taglines: Reading, Writing, Revenge.

Release Date: 7 May 1999

Filming Locations: 683 Parkwood Lane, Omaha, Nebraska, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $119,080 (USA) (25 April 1999) (6 Screens)

Gross: $14,879,556 (USA) (8 August 1999)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

The apples on the tree in the back yard of Mrs. Novotony were tied onto the branches.

Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): When Tracy enumerates her accomplishments, she states she played Hodel in _Fiddler on the Roof_, but is then seen singing the part of Chava. Also, Tracy mispronounces Hodel, which ought to rhyme with "huddle", not "yodel".

Tracy Flick: When I think back on my relationship with Mr. Novotny, what I miss most... is our talks.

User Review

Cynical - just the way I like them!

Rating: 9/10

This is quite simply one of the finest movies I have ever seen. It has incredible pace and flair, with both the script and the direction demanding equal attention. And it just works so well on so many levels. Whilst it is a political satire, it also stands well as a story in its own right. It's great to see Matthew Broderick in a good film. Reese Witherspoone turns in what I consider to be a career-best, and Chris Klein is wonderfully endearing as a jock with a heart of gold.

What I really love about Election is the way its pace doesn't let up at all. By the time you've finished you feel like you've seen a good two and a half hours of movie. It's the only film I know that seems longer than it is in a good way.

This film made me laugh out loud more than any other I can remember that isn't just a dumb comedy. But Election also doesn't take itself too seriously. The direction can accurately be described as deadpan - with Chris Klein, stripped of his ability to play football, gazing soulfully out to sea, and falling asleep over a book on philosophy. The way that each major character is afforded a voiceover, giving us an amusing insight into their pysche, is a wonderful technique, and the freezeframes of Reese Witherspoone's contorted facial expressions truly are moments to treasure.

What more can I say? Election is smart, funny, and biting. It maintains its brilliance for the entire duration of the movie, and the ending is wholly satisfying. In fact, I can't actually think of one word of criticism. You'll have to search long and hard to find a better film anywhere, which is why I'm giving it a stellar nine out of ten.


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