Election (1999) Movie Poster

Trivia for Election (1999)

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Jump to: Spoilers (5)
  • When Tracy (Reese Witherspoon) rips up the posters of Paul (Chris Klein) in the school hallway, the theme from Navajo Joe (1966) (which was also used at the end of Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)) plays in the background.
  • Since the movie was shot in a real high school (Papillion-La Vista Senior High School, Omaha, Nebraska), adjacent classrooms had real class going on while some scenes for the movie were being done. In the soundtrack, some background noises come from real teachers and students. Director Alexander Payne decided to leave that in as to give the movie a more realistic sound.
  • The apples on the tree in Mrs. Novotony's (Delaney Driscoll's) backyard were tied onto the branches.
  • In the gym scenes, since the extras were real high school students, Director Alexander Payne faced the problem of not having enough of them because of the SAT season, and many of them having already found out the sometimes tedious process of working as an extra. As a solution for the shots requiring a full gym to be seen, Payne asked the extras to move two or three times from their seats to look as if there were more people with the help of editing. The wide shot showing both sides of the gym was done in less than twenty minutes when the teachers of Papillion-La Vista Senior High School asked more students to join the film shooting.
  • Thora Birch, who was originally cast as Tammy Metzler, left the filming in Omaha on her third day, because of creative differences with Alexander Payne.
  • While shooting the basement scene involving Jim McAllister, the film crew left everything the real tenants of the house had in their basement. They only made room for the film equipment.
  • Reese Witherspoon's portrayal of Tracy Flick was voted as the 45th Greatest Movie Performances of All Time by Premiere Magazine.
  • Actor Chris Klein and Director Alexander Payne are from Omaha, and the film was shot almost entirely in and around Omaha using actual high school students from the area.
  • Apples are featured prominently in the movie, usually before trouble arrives for a character. They are used as an analogy to entice Paul Metzler (Chris Klein) to enter the election, an apple tree is shown before Mr. McAllister (Matthew Broderick) is stung by a bee, apples hang above the doorway to Mr. McAllister's living room right before he discovers his wife knows he cheated on her, and Mr. McAllister wins the Apple Teacher of The Year Award at the beginning of the movie.
  • Director Trademark: [Omaha] Most of his films take place in and are filmed in Omaha.
  • The film was produced in the fall and a freak snowstorm interrupted filming.
  • Matthew Broderick actually urinated against the tree in the scene outside Linda's (Delaney Driscoll's) house.
  • The source novel by Tom Perrotta is a re-working of Budd Schulberg's 1941 novel "What Makes Sammy Run?" In Schulberg's novel, an older writer (Al Manheim) watches young Sammy Glick rise through the ranks of New York City journalism and the Old Hollywood studio system. In this movie, Al Manheim is replaced by Jim McAllister and Sammy Glick by Tracy Flick.
  • The yearbook office seen in a scene involving Tracy Flick is the real yearbook office for Papillion-La Vista Senior High School, as opposed to the director's office, which is actually the detention room, refurbished for the movie.
  • Ranked at #9 on Entertainment Weekly's 50 Best High School Movies (2006).
  • G.W. Carver High School is actually Papillion-La Vista Senior High School, located in Papillion, Nebraska. Director Alexander Payne wanted to use Omaha North High School, an older, more traditional-looking school building, but the Omaha Public School's superintendent refused after reading the script and deeming it inappropriate.
  • Casting Director John Jackson played the football player that appeared in the adult movie that McAllister (Matthew Broderick) watches.
  • In the text of a newspaper article in the film: "If you've paused the film in order to read this entire article, your time would be better spent renting Citizen Ruth (1996) from your local video store. Do you know how hard it is to write these fake few stories for newspaper movie props? I've got better things to do."
  • One of the porno videos in Jim McAllister's collection is called "The Big Election".
  • Loren Nelson, who played the custodian in the movie, was actually a custodian at Duchesne Academy in Omaha. He has since retired.
  • Chris Klein's debut film. He was a student at Millard West High School in Omaha when he was discovered by Director Alexander Payne while looking for a school to use for filming (another one was eventually used). Although other actors auditioned for Paul, Klein stuck in Payne's mind.
  • Melissa Joan Hart auditioned for the role of Tracy Flick.
  • If you look closely at some of the 'PICK FLICK' cupcakes Tracy places on the table before offering one to Mr. McAllister, you'll notice some of them spell out a very obscene word because the bottom of the 'L' in the word 'FLICK' is elongated.
  • The ending was re-shot, presumably after poor test screenings. The original ending was closer to the novel, featuring Mr. McAllister working at a car dealership and Tracy going to visit him before she leaves for college.
  • The Spanish teacher was actually a Spanish and French teacher where and when Director Alexander Payne attended high school.
  • Each of the three candidates have a fake Tiffany lamp on their bedside tables.
  • When MTV Pictures sent Alexander Payne the novel in 1997 to gauge his interest, he told them he didn't want to produce a teen comedy. After talking with them, they convinced them that the story in essence was a dark, adult comedy disguised as a teen comedy. Buying that argument, he agreed to do the movie.
  • Matt Malloy's last name is incorrectly spelled as "Molloy" in the opening credits.
  • When Tracy (Reese Witherspoon) wonders what Dave (Mark Harelik) is up to since being fired. He is seen working at the same store that Kurtwood Smith worked at in Citizen Ruth (1996). He is also putting price stickers on the same cans of patio sealant that Ruth huffed right before getting arrested in Citizen Ruth (1996).
  • President Barack Obama has said that this is his favorite political movie.
  • The Navajo Joe (1966) theme always plays in accompaniment with Tracy reacting to poster drama.
  • Reese Witherspoon originally wanted to play Tammy Metzler.
  • Tim Robbins was an early contender for the role of Jim McAllister.
  • Reese Witherspoon disapproved of director Alexander Payne's decision to include a freeze frame of Tracy with a contorted face.

Spoilers

  • During Paul's acceptance speech, in a close-up of Matthew Broderick, over his right shoulder (camera left) is a portion of a poster that reads "ill man".
  • When Paul is called in to the office to be told the truth about the election, his Spanish class is conjugating the verb "perder", meaning "to lose".
  • The number of "disregarded" votes outnumbered those for Tracy (Reese Witherspoon) and Paul (Chris Klein). Tammy (Jessica Campbell) would have won the election had she not been expelled.
  • Paul would have won the election if he had voted for himself. But because he felt "bad" about picking himself, he picked Tracy, and this caused her to win by a single vote.
  • When he makes his life worse, Jim McCallister's diet gets less healthful. At the beginning, he's seen running regularly and he eats salad for dinner. But, when he first gets the idea to mess with the election, it's when he's drinking a Pepsi. Right after his affair fails, he stuffs his face with a cupcake and is no longer shown running in the morning. At the end, when Paul Metzler and his family meet him in the restaurant, Jim is eating his pie, and we can see a salad off to the side that he's barely touched. In the epilogue, when he sees Tracy one last time and throws his drink at her limo, the consistency and color appears to be that of a milkshake.
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