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Film / Smile (1975)

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"Raised on hamburgers and soda pop,
She's got a winning smile that's hard to top.
A credit to her family, the ideal teen,
She's all America's daughter, she's a beauty queen."

A 1975 American satirical comedy-drama film directed by Michael Ritchie, centering around a California beauty pageant and its participants.

The large Ensemble Cast includes Bruce Dern, Barbara Feldon, Michael Kidd, Geoffrey Lewis, Eric Shea, Nicholas Pryor, Titos Vandis, Paul Benedict, William Traylor, and Dennis Dugan, among others.

It was released on July 9, 1975.

Tropes for the film:

  • Ate His Gun: Subverted. Andy (Pryor), at the end of his rope, has a pistol to his mouth when his wife smirks "If you've got a problem, don't try to solve it, just take the coward's way out". He stops to consider the cause of his condition... and turns the gun on her.
  • Beauty Contest: The film is a dark comedic satire of beauty pageants.
  • Dark Horse Victory: The plot concerns a beauty pageant, and while a number of the contestants are given a spotlight in the story, the actual winner is a character who wasn't featured at all. In fact, the girl given the most screentime doesn't even place.
  • Heh Heh, You Said "X": One subplot features a trio of boys trying to get pictures of the beauty pageant contestants. One of them, Freddy, continually riffs on the contestants' names (and other things):
    Little Bob: (getting out a car) Keep the motor running.
    Freddy: I got my motor running!
    Chuck: Aw, geez.
    Freddy: Look at that one from Bakersfield! Ah, I got something she can bake in her field.
    Chuck: [Beat] I hate him.
  • One-Word Title: Smile.