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3.7 8
Director: Alexander Payne

Cast: Matthew Broderick, Reese Witherspoon, Chris Klein


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In this satirical comedy, a hotly contested high school election becomes a metaphor for the current state of American politics. Jim McAllister (Matthew Broderick) is a popular and well-respected instructor at George Washington Carver High School in Omaha, Nebraska, but lately he's been unhappy in both his personal and professional life, and his anxieties finally come


In this satirical comedy, a hotly contested high school election becomes a metaphor for the current state of American politics. Jim McAllister (Matthew Broderick) is a popular and well-respected instructor at George Washington Carver High School in Omaha, Nebraska, but lately he's been unhappy in both his personal and professional life, and his anxieties finally come to a head with the school's student elections. Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon) is running for student body president, and she certainly seems like the sort of girl who would win a high school election -- she's pretty, popular and takes part in all the right extra-curricular activities. In fact, she seems so perfect she's running unopposed, which offends McAllister's sense of democracy (not to mention the fact he doesn't like her very much). So Jim intervenes and persuades Paul Metzler (Chris Klein) to run against Tracy. Paul is not terribly bright and is entirely unqualified to be student president, but as a star of the school's football team (before a leg injury sidelined him), he's popular enough to at least give Tracy a run for her money. Just as the race begins to heat up, a spanner is truly thrown into the works when Paul's sister, Tammy (Jessica Campbell) announces she's also running for office. Publicly, Tammy's platform is that the student elections are ultimately pointless and if she's elected, she'll eliminate them altogether. Privately, Tammy is out for revenge against her brother; it seems Tammy is experimenting with her sexuality, and a recent fling with a bisexual classmate named Lisa (Frankie Ingrassia) ended when Lisa dumped her to start going out with Paul. Based on the novel by Tom Perrotta, Election was directed by Alexander Payne, who won enthusiastic reviews for his debut feature, Citizen Ruth; Payne also co-wrote the screenplay with Jim Taylor.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
An insidiously funny black comedy, far superior to the book from which it was adapted, Election returns Matthew Broderick to the milieu that made him famous: high school. But this time he's not Ferris Bueller, and there are no days off for him. Broderick plays overworked teacher Jim McAllister, whose frustration with an unsatisfactory personal life colors his judgment and propels him into conflict with the school's Little Miss Prim. Insufferable overachiever Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon in a pitch-perfect performance), running for student body president, will do anything to beat popular, good-natured jock Paul Metzler (Chris Klein in his first major role), a reluctant candidate encouraged by McAllister. The battle lines are thus drawn, teacher against student, and it's anybody's guess who will emerge victorious. Director Alexander Payne, who co-wrote the script based on Tom Perotta's novel, re-creates with amazing fidelity the countless little cruelties, minor disappointments, and petty grievances that often make high school such an interminable ordeal. He's especially perspicacious in his portrayal of the feckless McAllister, whose tiniest indiscretions have a way of snowballing into massive crises. Ironic situations, tart dialogue, deftly limned characters, and dexterous direction are rarely found in such felicitous combination -- and that uniquely winning formula makes Election a minor masterpiece of modern comedy.
All Movie Guide - Lucia Bozzola
A satire of electoral and scholastic politics, Election may have been set in high school but it was not just another teen movie. Directed and co-scripted by Alexander Payne with the same even-handed sharpness as his comically incendiary debut Citizen Ruth (1996), Election's contest between Type-A student overachiever Tracy Flick and resentful civics teacher Jim McCallister delves into the behavioral minutiae ruling the ultimate popularity contest, presaging the deviousness and inertia that define national politics. Superbly cast as the anti-Ferris Bueller, Matthew Broderick is deceptively nice as the schlub teacher who hates the student destined to power herself out of Omaha (even as he finds her attractive). Reese Witherspoon's Tracy may be a monster, but Payne and co-writer Jim Taylor wisely reveal how the balance of power against the less privileged (and female) fuels her sociopathic drive. Jessica Campbell's astutely anarchic teen lesbian, however, provides the electoral coup de grace. Hailed for its excellent performances, expert pacing, and humor both broad and subtle, Election received several critics' prizes and an Oscar nomination for Payne and Taylor's screenplay, but failed to convert some of the best reviews of the year into equally outstanding box office popularity.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Paramount Catalog
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Special Features

Closed-Caption Audio Commentary By Director Alexander Payne

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
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 Barbara Flick
Frankie Igrassia Lisa Flanagan
Matt Malloy Vice Principal Ron Bell
Jeanine Jackson Jo Metzler
Holmes Osborne Dick Metzler
Loren Nelson Custodian
Emily Martin Girl in Crisis
Jonathan Marion Classroom Student
Amy Falcone Classroom Student
Matt Justesen "Eat Me" Boy
Nick Kenny "Eat Me" Boy's Buddy
Brian Tobin Adult Video Actor
Christa Young Adult Video Actress
David Wenzel Tracy's Friend Eric
Joel Parks Jerry Slavin
Larry Kaiser Chemistry Teacher
Marilyn Tipp Carver Office Lady
Jeannie Brayman Faculty Ballot-Giver
Nick D'Agosto Larry Fouch
James Devney Motel Clerk
L. Carmen Novoa Spanish Teacher
Jason Paige Kid in Georgetown Hall
Matt Golden Kid in Georgetown Hall
Heather Koenig Kid in Georgetown Hall
Jillian Crane Jillian

Technical Credits
Alexander Payne Director,Screenwriter
Jon Ailetcher Sound/Sound Designer
Dondi Bastone Musical Direction/Supervision
Lisa Beach Casting
Albert Berger Producer
Jim Burke Co-producer
Wendy Chuck Costumes/Costume Designer
Renee Davenport Set Decoration/Design
David Gale Producer
James Glennon Cinematographer
Rolfe Kent Score Composer
T.K. Kirkpatrick Art Director
George Parra Asst. Director
Jacobus Rose Co-producer
Keith Samples Producer
Jane Ann Stewart Production Designer
Jim Taylor Screenwriter
Kevin Tent Editor
Van Toffler Executive Producer
Ron Yerxa Producer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Election
1. Chapter 1 [:51]
2. Chapter 2 [4:09]
3. Chapter 3 [2:07]
4. Chapter 4 [5:17]
5. Chapter 5 [2:10]
6. Chapter 6 [4:38]
7. Chapter 7 [6:35]
8. Chapter 8 [:15]
9. Chapter 9 [5:59]
10. Chapter 10 [:37]
11. Chapter 11 [3:32]
12. Chapter 12 [3:41]
13. Chapter 13 [5:20]
14. Chapter 14 [2:33]
15. Chapter 15 [1:31]
16. Chapter 16 [3:44]
17. Chapter 17 [1:38]
18. Chapter 18 [4:54]
19. Chapter 19 [2:50]
20. Chapter 20 [:55]
21. Chapter 21 [5:05]
22. Chapter 22 [1:37]
23. Chapter 23 [6:21]
24. Chapter 24 [6:59]
25. Chapter 25 [2:34]
26. Chapter 26 [4:34]
27. Chapter 27 [:24]
28. Chapter 28 [3:13]
29. Chapter 29 [4:51]
30. Chapter 30 [3:44]


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Election 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Broderick and Witherspoon deliver as two disturbed, obsessed individuals. When their paths cross, it leads to the moral and professional disintegration of Broderick's character.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this movie was so funny! chris klienwas awesome. i thought the whole plot about this movie was that tracey was competing to beat paul in the election. she went physcho in the movie and ripped up all of paul's posters. i laughed histarically at that scene!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie is among the funniest and most informative political films ever made! You will not be disappointed by it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
childish and stupid in a funny way.
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