Alexander Payne

Election

Election

Perky, overachieving Tracy Flick (Reese Witherspoon) gets on the nerves of history teacher Jim McAllister (Matthew Broderick) to begin with, but after she launches her campaign for high-school president and his personal life starts to fall apart, things spiral out of control. In Alexander Payne’s satire Election, the teacher becomes unhealthily obsessed with cutting his student down to size, covertly backing a spoiler candidate to stop her from steamrolling to victory, and putting in motion a series of dirty tricks and reckless promises with uncanny real-world political parallels. Adapting a then-unpublished novel by Tom Perrotta, Payne grounds the absurdity of his central dynamic in the recognizable—the setting is his hometown of Omaha, and the accomplished cast is rounded out with nonprofessionals—and distills his closely observed take on deeply flawed humanity to its bitter but stealthily sympathetic essence.

Film Info

  • Alexander Payne
  • United States
  • 1999
  • 103 minutes
  • Color
  • 2.40:1
  • English
  • Spine #904

Special Features

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION:

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised and approved by cowriter-director Alexander Payne, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary from 2008 featuring Payne
  • New interview with Payne
  • New interview with actor Reese Witherspoon
  • The Passion of Martin, Payne’s 1990 UCLA thesis film, with a new introduction by the director
  • TruInside: “Election,” a 2016 documentary featuring on-set footage and interviews with cast and crew
  • Omaha local-news reports on the film’s production
  • More!
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Dana Stevens

Purchase Options

Special Features

DIRECTOR-APPROVED SPECIAL EDITION:

  • New, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised and approved by cowriter-director Alexander Payne, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary from 2008 featuring Payne
  • New interview with Payne
  • New interview with actor Reese Witherspoon
  • The Passion of Martin, Payne’s 1990 UCLA thesis film, with a new introduction by the director
  • TruInside: “Election,” a 2016 documentary featuring on-set footage and interviews with cast and crew
  • Omaha local-news reports on the film’s production
  • More!
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Dana Stevens
Election
Cast
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
Credits
Director
Alexander Payne
Produced by
Albert Berger
Produced by
Jim Burke
Produced by
David Gale
Produced by
Jacobus Rose
Produced by
Keith Samples
Produced by
Ron Yerxa
Executive producer
Van Toffler
Screenplay by
Alexander Payne
Screenplay by
Jim Taylor
Based on the novel by
Tom Perrotta
Director of photography
James Glennon
Editor
Kevin Tent
Costume designer
Wendy Chuck
Production designer
Jane Ann Stewart
Music by
Rolfe Kent

From The Current

Jessica Morgan’s Top 10

Jessica Morgan is one of the co-creators of the popular celebrity fashion blog Go Fug Yourself.


Feb 1, 2018
Bringing Tracy Flick to Life
Bringing Tracy Flick to Life

Reese Witherspoon looks back on how she perfected the details of her performance as a high-school overachiever in Alexander Payne’s Election.

Inside Criterion / Sneak Peeks — Dec 19, 2017
Election: That’s Why It’s Destiny
Election: That’s Why It’s Destiny

Alexander Payne skewers the absurdities of American politics in this tale of a high-school presidential campaign gone ugly.


By Dana Stevens

On Film / Essays — Dec 12, 2017
Alexander Payne’s Closet Picks
Alexander Payne’s Closet Picks

Oscar-winning writer-director Alexander Payne sings the praises of Sophia Loren and Marcello Mastroianni in Ettore Scola’s A Special Day and cops to never having seen Robert Altman’s 3 Women.

Inside Criterion / Closet Picks — Dec 6, 2017