Michael Ritchie's (THE BAD NEWS BEARS, THE CANDIDATE, DOWNHILL RACER) arch satire of American beauty pageants, depicted as the product of a toxic blend of cynicism and boosterism behind the scenes, was well received in 1975, but too little remembered today. Local car dealer Big Bob Freelander (Bruce Dern) sponsors the Young American Miss Pageant in Santa Rosa, California, run by Brenda DiCarlo (Barbara Feldon) and produced by the clashing duo of Wilson Shears (Geoffrey Lewis) and choreographer Tommy French (Michael Kidd). The organizers spend as much time stamping out various scandals, mostly of their own making, as they do mounting the pageant and selecting a winner. Among the young hopefuls, look for actresses of note Annette O'Toole, Colleen Camp and Melanie Griffith. DIR/PROD Michael Ritchie; SCR Jerry Belson. U.S., 1975, color, 113 min. RATED PG
SMILE (1975) Showtimes
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