6.7/10
24,266
157 user 121 critic

Primary Colors (1998)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 20 March 1998 (USA)
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1:20 | Trailer

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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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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
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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:

He was born to run 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:

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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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Second of two modern contemporary movies about American politics with the word 'colors' in the title with the first picture being True Colors (1991) which was made and released around seven years earlier with both films being products of the 1990s decade. See more »

Goofs

Near the beginning of the film, Stanton's tie is back to front, but in the next shot it's round the right way. See more »

Quotes

Richard Jemmons: I got a python in here...
[Richard unzips his pants and exposes himself to Jennifer at campaign office in front of everyone]
Jennifer Rogers: [awkwardly] I've never seen one that... old... before
[Richard is stunned]
Jennifer Rogers: .
Howard Ferguson: [softly] Come on, Richard... let's just park that Mustang back in the garage
[leading him away]
Howard Ferguson: .
See more »


Soundtracks

PLEASE, MR. PLEASE
Written by Bruce Welch, John Rostill
Performed by Olivia Newton-John
Courtesy of EMI Records LTD
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User Reviews

 
A sparkling cracker of a political thriller
21 January 2001 | by (Gold Coast, Australia) – See all my reviews

It's said that only the very best actors can compete with children and animals, and to this should be listed bright-eyed, cute-as-a-button young newcomers like Adrian Lester, who steals every scene he's in as an idealistic young aide until a larger-than-life Kathy Bates steamrolls her way onto the crowded scene. This film, based on Clinton's 1990 campaign for the Democratic Presidential nomination, is a fictionalized, not factual, view of the man and his character and ideals, and quite simply one of the best films ever made about the confusing maze that is American politics.

Just as the American media, spurred on by the Republican witch-hunters, rubbed our noses in the dirt surrounding Clinton's indiscretions, the movie doesn't spare Jack Stanton for his moral weaknesses and poor personal judgements, but makes the point that the dirt grubbing and trivializing media are equally immoral in seeking to denigrate a man's political ideals because of his sexual peccadillos. The media is one Enemy of Truth, but the real Enemy of the People, lurking, malevolent and unseen, in the murky shadows at the edges of this film, is the Republican Party, and it's interesting that it takes a British director to take such a decisive stand, as Hollywood has always been reticent to take sides in the Democrat/Republican debate. The point made here, from the testimony of the battle-scarred "true Believers", from the idealistic young party aides, from the would-be President's wife (an uncanny portrayal of Hillary by a dynamic Emma Thompson) and Stanton himself (although physically unlike Bill Clinton, John Travolta gives a very believable performance), is that the President needs to be a man of the people, to be able to understand the people, and to be able to communicate with the people, despite the lies of his opponents and the mud slinging of the media. If America doesn't always get the President it deserves, it's because these very qualities are often blocked by his political enemies and a sensation-seeking media, particularly the television networks. An uninformed Democracy is no Democracy at all, and it's a mark of the inherent strength of the American people and their political system that it has withstood these obstacles, despite the many mediocre Presidencies we have seen in our times.


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So, how close is Stanton to clinton? Godlesslouisianalady
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Kathy Bates ROCKS Arietro
Who are the character's real-life counterparts? MovieDood
When you're feeling sad after watching W. ryan-1370
Who was the real person? Jane_Scarlotti
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