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Primary Colors (1998)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  20 March 1998 (USA)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 22,708 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 154 user | 115 critic | 30 from Metacritic.com

A man joins the political campaign of a smooth-operator candidate for president of the USA.

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(novel) (as Anonymous) , (screenplay)
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Title: Primary Colors (1998)

Primary Colors (1998) on IMDb 6.7/10

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 22 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
...
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 »
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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:

£238,918 (UK) (30 October 1998)

Gross:

£497,545 (UK) (6 November 1998)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| | |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Last cinema film of Larry Hagman. See more »

Goofs

When Libby and Henry are driving back from the Florida meeting, the reflections on their windows are in slow motion. See more »

Quotes

Gov. Jack Stanton: I'm going to tell you something really outrageous. I'm going to tell you the truth.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #18.102 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

D-I-V-O-R-C-E
Written by Claude Putman, Jr., Bobby Braddock
Performed Tammy Wynette
Courtesy of Epic Records by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

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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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Travolta softened his Clinton act for Scientology tax-exemption? Blaargh_42
Who are the character's real-life counterparts? MovieDood
Iowa Caucus Ignored! gregher
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