7.0/10
1,983
38 user 29 critic

Smile (1975)

PG | | Comedy | 28 March 1977 (Poland)
It's time again for California's "Young American Miss" beauty pageant, the biggest event of the year for Big Bob Freelander and Brenda DiCarlo, who give their all to put on a successful ... See full summary »

Director:

Michael Ritchie

Writer:

Jerry Belson
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruce Dern ... Big Bob
Barbara Feldon ... Brenda
Michael Kidd ... Tommy
Geoffrey Lewis ... Wilson
Eric Shea ... Little Bob
Nicholas Pryor ... Andy
Titos Vandis ... Mr. Nachos
Paul Benedict ... Orren Brooks
William Traylor William Traylor ... Ray Brandy
Dennis Dugan ... Logan
Dick McGarvin Dick McGarvin ... Ted Farley
Adam Reed Adam Reed ... Freddy
Brad Thompson Brad Thompson ... Chuck
George Wyner ... Man at Party
George Skaff George Skaff ... Dr. Malvert
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Storyline

It's time again for California's "Young American Miss" beauty pageant, the biggest event of the year for Big Bob Freelander and Brenda DiCarlo, who give their all to put on a successful pageant. But Brenda is having marital difficulties and Bob's son is up to some mischief. Could this year's pageant be in jeopardy? Written by George S. Davis <mgeorges@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

This beauty pageant's about to get ugly. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 March 1977 (Poland) See more »

Also Known As:

Smile See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bruce Dern improvised part of his dialogue in the scene where he talks with the Marines. In the original script he was just suppose to simply end the conversation and leave. See more »

Goofs

One of the audience members seen prominently during opening scene in Imperial Valley pageant later shows up again in closeup as Santa Rosa businessmen attending Bears Club luncheon. See more »

Quotes

Andy DiCarlo: I'm getting a reputation for being a drunk, aren't I?
Big Bob Freelander: No, you certainly are not.
Andy DiCarlo: It's true.
Big Bob Freelander: No, it's not true.
Andy DiCarlo: lt's true. First I was drinking a little, then I was drinking a lot. Damn, it sure sneaks up on you. I just sort of slid into it. That's one thing I'm awful good at: sliding.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Because Mara Finerty's most noticeable scene in the movie shows her saying, "Rotting maggots of death, crawling out of the skull of war," she is listed in the closing credits as "Maggots Girl." See more »

Connections

References All in the Family (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

California Girls
(1965)
Written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love
Sung by The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys are heard through the Courtesy of Capitol Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Deserves to be Rediscovered
26 December 2014 | by dougdoepkeSee all my reviews

A wickedly humorous send-up of small town boosterism, in which the junior chamber of commerce talks into mechanical dogs for food, turns on artificial birds for the sounds of nature, and substitutes a relentless smile for genuine feeling. Where also: just thinking you're having fun is more important than the real thing, and upbeat cliché becomes a way of life. Suddenly, into this hothouse arrives a tacky version of that crown jewel of artificiality, the beauty pageant, an event sure to drive everything into warp speed, which it does, but with surprisingly low-key results. The film avoids outright cynicism by humanizing the teen-age contestants, who are, after all, also products of small town America. Nevertheless, the script makes the disconnect clear: ritualized behavior has benumbed genuine emotion. The boosters have lost their inner selves, as will the girls if they continue on the contestant path. Amidst a uniformly fine cast stands Nicholas Pryor, whose portrayal of a desperate drunk looks so authentic, it shakes up the entire movie. A holdout from the deadening groupthink, he simply can't cope with the surroundings. Yet it is his emotional depth, from hangdog expression to slumping carriage, by which the rest of the community is measured. There's an undercurrent of the rebellious 60's running through this film, and I suspect it sank quickly because popular tastes were turning away from ironical characters named "Freelander". Nonetheless, a revival of this neglected gem is long overdue, not only for its often surprisingly subtle humor, but for the continuing relevancy of the message. However, don't look for it at your nearest chamber of commerce meeting.


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