About the film
Release Date: January 27, 2002
|Production Companies||:||Clio TV, Doug Orchard Films, Visualizing History, WGBH Boston|
|Producers||:||Lisa Ades, Lesli Klainberg, Mark Samels, Margaret Drain, Susan Mottau, Lola Van Wagenen, Jeanne Houck, Sarah Kramer, Cara Martes, Cheryl Teetzel|
Tracking the country’s oldest beauty contest—from its inception in 1921 as a local seaside pageant to its heyday as one of the country’s most popular events—Miss America paints a vivid picture of an institution that has come to reveal much about a changing nation. The pageant is about commercialism and sexual politics, about big business and small towns. But beyond the symbolism lies a human story—at once moving, inspiring, infuriating, funny, and poignant. Combining rare archival footage, with a host of intimate interviews with distinguished commentators including Gloria Steinem, Margaret Cho, Isaac Mizrahi, former contestants and behind–the–scenes footage and photographs, the film reveals why some women took part in the fledgling event and why others briefly rejected it - how the pageant became a battle ground and a barometer for the changing position of women in society.