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.

EXT. MILLARD HIGH -- DAWN

The school stretches out before us, slumbering in the overcast morning

air.

Along the front sidewalk, a lone JANITOR trundles a garbage bin filled

with overstuffed hefty bags.

A weathered FORD ESCORT pulls into the empty PARKING LOT and comes to

a stop near the athletic field.

A TEENAGE GIRL'S VOICE -

TRACY (VO)

None of this would have happened if Mr.

McAllister hadn't meddled the way he

did. He should have just accepted

things as they are instead of trying to

interfere with destiny. You see, you

can't interfere with destiny. That's

why it's destiny. And if you try to

interfere, the same thing's going to

happen anyway, and you'll just suffer.

JIM MCALLISTER, a teacher in his mid to late-thirties, emerges from

the car in running clothes and carrying a briefcase, gym bag, and

coffee mug. On his way to the field, he crosses paths with the

janitor.

JIM:

Morning, Lowell

Lowell nods, hoists a bag and tosses it into a dumpster.

EXT. ATHLETIC FIELD -- DAWN

JIM CIRCLES THE TRACK, sweating and panting.

ON THE GROUND JIM does sit ups

JIM:

Twenty-one... twenty-two.

He collapses onto his back. His head rolls to one side, and he

glances past the fence at --

THE PARKING LOT:

Where a second CAR is just arriving. JIM watches as TRACY FLICK, a

junior, and her MOTHER get out.

The mother helps remove a CARD TABLE and a big plastic sack from the

trunk before Tracy heads toward the school.

MOTHER:

(distant)

Good luck!

JIM turns his gaze toward the sky, closes his eyes, sighs.

INT. BOYS' LOCKER ROOM -- DAY

Naked in the showers, JIM pumps liquid soap from the wall- mounted

metal dispenser.

INT. HILLARD HALL DAY

THE LEGS OF A CARD TABLE - as Tracy spreads them open and locks them

into place.

STICKS OF GUM from a Plen-T-Pack are emptied into a FISHBOWL-

SCOTCH TAPE is wrapped around the end of a pen to attach a piece of

string

INT. BOYS' LOCKER ROOMDAY

AT THE MIRROR:

JIM adjusts the knot of his tie, notices a little shaving cream in his

ear.

INT. MILLARD HALLDAY

FOUR CLIPBOARDS with pens and lined sheets of paper are being placed

in a row like little soldiers. The top of every sheet reads "Tracy

Flick for President: Official Nomination Signatures."

INT. FACULTY LOUNGE -- MORNING

AT THE REFRIGERATOR

JIM tries to place his lunch inside, but the shelves are too crammed

with old take-out containers. He opens one and smells it. Disgusted,

he drags a garbage can over and begins throwing things away.

Lowell appears in the doorway wheeling his squeaky maintenance cart

and watches JIM conduct his purge as A CHINESE FOOD BOX misses the can

and rolls on the floor.

INT. MILLARD HALLWAY -- DAY

Tracy is seated behind her card table strategically placed near the

school's main entrance. A sign taped to the wall behind her reads,

TRACY FOR PREZ. SIGN UP FOR TOMORROW, TODAY! She checks her watch,

readies herself.

JIM walks around the corner whistling vaguely.

TRACY:

Good morning, Mr. McAllister.

JIM:

Not wasting any time, are you, Tracy?

TRACY:

(chirping)

You know what they say about the early

bird.

JIM:

Yes, I do.

An awkward moment passes between them.

JIM:

Well, good luck there, Tracy

TRACY:

Thanks, Mr. M.

AS JIM turns and walks away, Tracy watches him. He stops and picks up

some litter, tosses it in a nearby garbage can.

TRACY (VO)

No matter what he says, Mr. McAllister

had it out for me from the start. Oh

sure, he was all smiles and good wishes

and everything, but underneath he was

just as unfair and petty as anybody

else.

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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…

All Jim Taylor scripts | Jim Taylor Books

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"Election" Scripts.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2017. Web. 24 Nov. 2017. <http://www.scripts.com/script/election_852>.

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