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The World's Best Prom
The World's Best Prom
Actors: Dori Sorensen, Ben Adrian, Tonya Witherspoon
Directors: Chris Talbott, Ari Vena
Genres: Television, Documentary
NR     2006     1hr 20min

Once a year for over five decades, prom mania grips the entire population of Racine, Wisconsin. Prom-goers from seven city high schools converge on one citywide prom to make red carpet entrances bombarded by the flash of c...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Dori Sorensen, Ben Adrian, Tonya Witherspoon
Directors: Chris Talbott, Ari Vena
Genres: Television, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Television, Documentary
Studio: Rumur Releasing
Format: DVD - Color
DVD Release Date: 04/04/2006
Original Release Date: 01/01/2005
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2005
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 20min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Heartwarming Film on the Heartland and Prom!
Rod | Earth | 01/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I visited my friend in Austin (Hook'em Horns!) and saw this screen at the Alama Drafthouse. The film is a documentary about the town of Racine, Wisconsin, which is essentially a blue-collar town that has a rich history - all about prom. The film follows two women: Dori, a "bad" Catholic high school student who smokes and does drugs and Tonya, a black, shy, and college-bound student who is ready to go to college and become a forensic scientist. The film does an admirable job of showing various sides to every aspect of prom, and effectively, life in Racine as a high school senior: dates, money, college, careers, sex, drugs.

There are funny moments in the film but overall you realize what prom means to many of these students and residents of this town. Prom isn't just a dance; prom is a coming-of-age that represents their expectations and transition into adulthood.

The very end gives us a glimpse of what happened to many of the interviewees, and their path after high school. There are a few moments of "wow!" and it comes full circle here.

The production value is typical documentary, mostly handheld digital cameras, and the sound and music are touch-and-go.

Can't wait for the DVD ... now if I can only dig up my old Prom pictures!"
LD | 01/27/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I saw this at the Wisconsin Film Festival several years ago (2000? 2001?) by accident and thoroughly enjoyed it. At that time, it was a "short film" and full of some pretty hilarious stuff. Much crazier then my prom and it seems like a blast.

The two main characters were pretty fixed stereotypes: the black girl trying to escape her inner city roots and become something bigger, surrounded by a loving family and the white girl going to a Catholic school who rebels against her rich parents.

All in all it's a fun story about the Midwest and I'm looking forward to this version of the film which should give all these people and the prom much more depth and meaning."
I loved it. I found it sweet and moving.
Richard Calo | 03/21/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I loved it. I found it sweet and moving.

I was drawn straight into Tonya and the other prom-goers' lives. The film made them immediate and important to me and I found myself following the stories of typical American teens with which I could identify and care about--very different from the Hollywood-style kids in movies like _She's All That_ and _American Pie,_ whose characters (and actors) have little or no connection with the hopes and concerns of actual American teens, and whose versions of prom are equally removed from reality.

More important, I found The World's Best Prom an accurate depiction of prom, in its cultural meaning and its intensity, not just to Racine, but to the whole of mainstream America. It gets right to the heart of why prom matters for most Americans, and, through Racine's wonderful example, outlines and explains it for us all. The images and interviews are vivid and memorable, and the flashbacks to earlier Racine proms are a perfect touch because they not only show us what prom was like for our parents (and theirs), but how the whole event is grounded in tradition as well as in the hearts of the _adult_ community.

Basically, the movie says senior prom is not some silly teen thing, but an event of the deepest cultural significance, to teens, who are the actual attendees, to their parents and the community, who are participating in their kids' coming of age, and ultimately, to America in general. At a time when so much of our past is coming into question and traditions are slipping quietly out of view, this movie is here to tell us about a wonderful tradition that gets better and acquires more significance each year. In this, it is a caring movie, the first of its kind on prom. I believe it will remain one of the best.

I absolutely loved it.

Richard Calo, Ph.D.
Author of _American Prom: First Love & Coming of Age,_ Cumberland House, September 2006.
& Creator of www.ThePromSite.Com "
Best prom--movie!
Anne Decker | New Haven, CT | 05/15/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I got to see this film at the NY screening and fell in love with the characters. The film is never condescending but full of humor, small-town charm, and pure unrestrained glee as the high schoolers prepare for the biggest night of their lives so far. Watching the entire town turn out was awe-inspiring if not a little scary. Not to be missed by anyone who went to prom and wants to remember it--while perhaps feeling relieved that those hectic days are in the past."