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1999 movie about high school elections, "overachievers" and ethical and moral choices

Election is a 1999 American black comedy-drama film directed and written by Alexander Payne and adapted by him and Jim Taylor from Tom Perrotta's 1998 novel of the same title. The plot revolves around a high school election and satirizes both suburban high school life and politics. The film stars Matthew Broderick as Jim McAllister, a popular high school social studies teacher in suburban Omaha, Nebraska, and Reese Witherspoon as Tracy Flick, around the time of the school's student body election. When Tracy qualifies to run for class president, McAllister believes she does not deserve the title and tries to stop her from winning.

Cast and Crew

Matthew BroderickJim McAllister
Jessica CampbellTammy Metzler

Web Pages

Election (1999) - IMDb
A high school teacher's personal life becomes complicated as he works with students during the school elections.

Video Products

Election, 19 Oct 1999

Memorable Scenes

Tammy's election speech
Tammy Metzler: Who cares about this stupid election? We all know it doesn't matter who gets elected president of Carver. Do you really think it's going to change anything around here? Make one single person smarter or happier or nicer? The only person it does matter to is the one who gets elected. The same pathetic charade happens every year, and everyone makes the same pathetic promises just so they can put it on their transcripts to get into college. So vote for me, because I don't even want to go to college, and I don't care, and as president I won't do anything. The only promise I will make is that if elected I will immediately dismantle the student government, so that none of us will ever have to sit through one of these stupid assemblies again!
Student body [applauding and cheering]: Tammy! Tammy!
Tammy Metzler: Or don't vote for me! Who cares? Don't vote at all!
Student body [rises and gives a standing ovation]


Election (1999), by Stephen W. Carson
This bleak, black (and very funny) comedy has many targets but, as the title suggests, democratic politics is a chief one. Our great electoral exercises are here lampooned by focussing on elections for that most meaningless of positions: high school student president. The earnest seriousness of the usual contestants and the nearly religious significance of the civic duty are eviscerated when Tammy (Jessica Campbell) runs on a lark. Her rousing speech to the student assembly would make the film worth it even if it wasn't brilliant otherwise ...

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Election (1999 film)" as of 6 Oct 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.