Posted on Friday, May 13th, 2011 by Peter Sciretta
One of my favorite films of the 1990′s is Alexander Payne‘s brilliant dark comedy Election starring Matthew Broderick and Reese Witherspoon.
For those of you who haven’t seen the film, Broderick stars as a high school civics teacher named Jim McAllister who will not let the school’s annoying overachieving honor student Tracy Flick (Witherspoon) run unopposed for student body president. He convinces popular varsity football player Paul Metzler (a breakout performance from Chris Klein) to run for president as well, and anything and everything that could go wrong, does go wrong. While the film did well critically (Witherspoon’s performance was voted the 45th Greatest Movie Performances of All Time by Premiere Magazine, and the film was ranked at #9 on Entertainment Weekly’s 50 Best High School Movies) and was even nominated for the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar, I run into a lot of film fanatics who have never seen this film (if you’re a member of this group, I strongly encourage you to rent or buy it).
I’ve watched the film countless times, and have even seen the movie three times on the big screen. I was surprised to learn that the film’s ending was not what was originally intended/written/filmed. The DVD release of the movie contains no deleted ending, and in doing research for this post, I couldn’t even find a reference to an alternate ending for this movie anywhere on the web. But it exists — /Film reader John G sent me a link to the six-minute original ending sequence, which had been recently uploaded to YouTube. This footage was reportedly discovered on an unlabeled VHS tape containing an early work print of the film, sold at a local flea market. Watch the sequence embedded after the jump.
Note: If it isn’t already obvious, its probably not worth watching unless you’ve seen the movie (and yes, spoilers).
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