Election script
Election (1999)
Synopsis: 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 his best to stop her from winning.

JIM (VO CONT'D)

In the twelve years I taught U.S.

History, Civics and current Events at

Millard, I was voted Teacher of the Year

three times - a school record.

INT. JIM'S CLASSROOM -- DAY

Mr. McAllister reads aloud from the newspaper as he paces in front of

his class of high school juniors, Tracy Flick among them. The seats

are arranged in a SEMI-CIRCLE.

JIM (VO CONT'D)

Standing in front of a room full of

young people, trying to make them think

that's how I wanted to spend the rest

of my life,

JIM slaps the newspaper for emphasis and addresses the class

JIM:

So would this be an ethical situation

or a moral situation? What's the

difference between ethics and morals,

anyway?

Tracy shoots her hand into the air. JIM notices but keeps looking

around.

JIM (CONT'D)

Anybody

Other hands rise tentatively

JIM (CONT'D)

Derek

DEREK:

Uh, ethics is like when you, uh, do

what society tells you is right and

morals are like, uh...

JIM:

You're on the right track, who can

help him out?

DEREK:

..morals are when...

Tracy's hand goes higher.

JIM:

Michelle?

MICHELLE:

Morals are like lessons, you know, like

the moral of a story; it's what you

learn from a story or a fable or

something. . .

JIM:

Or a life experience. Good. And

ethics?

MICHELLE:

That's more like, urn... Ethics is how

you use the morals... that you learn

from a story?

JIM weighs the answer, tries to be encouraging.

JIM:

Okay. But we're still missing

something key here. What are we

missing?

TRACY:

(hand still raised)

I know.

JIM:

(finally)

Tracy.

TRACY:

Ethics are...

FREEZE FRAME on Tracy, her hand lowering, her mouth agape.

JIM (VO)

Tracy Flick. Tracy Flick. I've never

met anyone quite like Tracy Flick.

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Jim Taylor

Jim Taylor (born 1963 in Seattle, Washington) is an American producer and screenwriter who has often collaborated on projects with Alexander Payne. The two are business partners in the Santa Monica based Ad Hominem Enterprises, and are credited as co-writers of six films released between 1996 and 2007: Citizen Ruth (1996), Election (1999), Jurassic Park III (2001, with Peter Buchman), About Schmidt (2002), Sideways (2004), and I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry (2007, with Barry Fanaro and Lew Gallo). His credits as a producer include films such as Cedar Rapids and The Descendants. more…

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"Election" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 19 Nov. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/election_852>.

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