6.7/10
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157 user 117 critic

Primary Colors (1998)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 20 March 1998 (USA)
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A man joins the political campaign of a smooth-operator candidate for president of the USA.

Director:

Writers:

(novel) (as Anonymous), (screenplay)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 28 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
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Mamma Stanton
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Rebecca Walker ...
March
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Lucille Kaufman
Tommy Hollis ...
William McCullison (Fat Willie)
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Izzy Rosenblatt
...
Arlen Sporken
J.C. Quinn ...
Uncle Charlie
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Storyline

Jack Stanton is running for president. The election is seen through the eyes of young Henry Burton. Along the way Stanton must deal with a sex scandal. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

How Much Spin Does It Take To Win? See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language and sexual references | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

| | | |

Language:

Release Date:

20 March 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Mit aller Macht  »

Box Office

Budget:

$65,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$12,045,395 (USA) (20 March 1998)

Gross:

$38,966,057 (USA) (19 June 1998)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| | |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Larry Hagman's appearance at the political rally was kept a secret from the extras in the crowd. The reaction when he walks on stage is genuine. However, Hagman was recovering from a broken rib at the time and was in great discomfort so was unable to really enjoy the moment. See more »

Goofs

Stanton's hand positions during speech to senior citizens. See more »

Quotes

Howard Ferguson: He's lost them.
Henry Burton: Fuck 'em. He's got me.
See more »


Soundtracks

SHANE
Written by Victor Young
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User Reviews

 
Good movie struggles to get out of facile shell
4 February 1999 | by (Brooklyn, NY) – See all my reviews

I was never a big fan of the novel by Joe Klein that this movie is based on. Like Clinton, it seemed more slick and facile than satirical and insightful. There was a good story trying to get out, but it didn't. The movie manages to bring more of that story to the forefront, like the idea that even a nominee with good ideas and good heart needs to do dirty deeds to get elected because of how screwed up the American system is. I think Kathy Bates also deserves all the praise she's been getting, and Emma Thompson, Billy Bob Thornton, and Maura Tierney are also good.

Travolta was a problem. Considering how much the filmmakers tried to distance themselves between their story and Clinton's real-life troubles, this seemed little more than a slick impression, and I found it distracting. I also found missed some of the stuff they cut from the novel, like Thompson's indiscretion with Adrian Lester's character, and the relationship between him and Tierney didn't have the context here that it did in the novel. And again, I was left wondering, "If you hate him that much, why stay?" Overall, an admirable effort, and maybe I'll be more receptive once this whole impeachment garbage fades from memory, but I still found it wanting.


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