Smile (1975) - Rotten Tomatoes


Smile (1975)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Smile Photos

Movie Info

The backstage maneuverings at a California beauty pageant are the subject of this often cynical satire, which has developed a strong cult following. While much humor is found in the brutal competitiveness of the young contestants, the film's sharpest barbs are saved for the pageant's shallow yet driven organizers.

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Bruce Dern
as "Big Bob" Freelander
Barbara Feldon
as Brenda DiCarlo
Michael Kidd
as Tommy French
Geoffrey Lewis
as Wilson Shears
Nicholas Pryor
as Andy DiCarlo
Colleen Camp
as Connie Thompson/'Miss Imperial County'
Joan Prather
as Robin Gibson/'Miss Antelope Valley'
Denise Nickerson
as Shirley Tolstoy/'Miss San Diego'
Annette O'Toole
as Doria Houston/'Miss Anaheim'
Maria O'Brien
as Maria Gonzales/'Miss Salinas'
Melanie Griffith
as Karen Love/'Miss Simi Valley'
Kate Sarchet
as Judy Wagner/'Miss Modesto'
Titos Vandis
as Emil Eidleman
William Traylor
as Ray Brandy
Eric Shea
as "Little Bob" Freelander
Adam Reed
as Freddy
Paul Benedict
as Orren Brooks
Dick McGarvin
as Ted Farley
Helene Nelson
as Jo Ann Marshall
George Skaff
as Dr. Malvert
Shawn Christianson
as "Miss Fountain Valley"
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Critic Reviews for Smile

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (1)

A sometimes funny, more often harrowing look at a teen-age beauty competition in that mecca of plastic civic events, Southern California.

October 23, 2004 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

An undervalued classic with a phenomenal and very funny screenplay--always witty--and the satire is savage. Fantastic half-hour Fun City Editions blu-ray bonus feature with Bruce Dern.

July 18, 2021 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…

While not Ritchie's finest endeavor, "Smile" showcases his skill with actors and controlled chaos.

May 28, 2021 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Smile entertains while showing the "pros" in the "con" of pageantry.

November 26, 2019 | Full Review…

Goes easy on everyone it skewers.

January 6, 2016 | Rating: B | Full Review…

A poignant satire dissecting American beauty pageants

July 23, 2011 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Smile

A beauty pageant in California is the setting for a cynical look in the mirror at all things American, such as teaching our children to lie and then blaming them for doing it, even as we do it ourselves, Vaseline smiles, and ignoring the emptiness gnawing in our hearts. Oh, it's cheery enough and bright, and sparkly, but do we really believe our own lies? As relevant today as when it first was made in those olden days before cell phones.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Released the same year as Robert Altman's "Nashville," "Smile" takes a similar satirical look at lowbrow American culture. What's most wonderful is that this Michael Ritchie film not only paints a ruthless picture of a vapid "Young American Miss" pageant, steadily refusing to grant the audience any note of reassuring sentimentality, but that its gags are often laugh-out-loud funny (particularly during the talent competition). Not all satires manage to operate on that more visceral level. The cast is full of faces who became much more familiar later -- Melanie Griffith, Annette O'Toole, Dennis Dugan, George Wyner, Colleen Camp -- but Bruce Dern stands out as the dim but well-meaning head judge (a car salesman during the rest of the year) who always tries to put an upbeat spin on life.

Eric Broome
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer


Leo L
Leo L

Super Reviewer

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