6.7/10
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155 user 126 critic

Primary Colors (1998)

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

Director:

Mike Nichols

Writers:

Joe Klein (novel) (as Anonymous), Elaine May (screenplay)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 29 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
John Travolta ... Governor Jack Stanton
Emma Thompson ... Susan Stanton
Billy Bob Thornton ... Richard Jemmons
Kathy Bates ... Libby Holden
Adrian Lester ... Henry Burton
Maura Tierney ... Daisy Green
Larry Hagman ... Gov. Fred Picker
Diane Ladd ... Mamma Stanton
Paul Guilfoyle ... Howard Ferguson
Rebecca Walker Rebecca Walker ... March
Caroline Aaron ... Lucille Kaufman
Tommy Hollis Tommy Hollis ... William McCullison (Fat Willie)
Rob Reiner ... Izzy Rosenblatt
Ben Jones ... 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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK | France | Germany | Japan | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 March 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mit aller Macht See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$65,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,045,395, 22 March 1998, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$38,966,057, 21 June 1998

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$52,055,057
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | DTS | DTS-Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mel Gibson was considered to play the lead but was turned down in favor of John Travolta. See more »

Goofs

When Norman Asher suggests going on talk shows, his lips say, "Oprah," but the soundtrack says, "Montel." See more »

Quotes

Richard Jemmons: Hey fuck you!
Henry Burton: Fuck me? Fuck you, you redneck son of a bitch!
See more »

Connections

Spoofs Dirty Harry (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN
Written by Milton Ager, Jack Yellen
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User Reviews

Insightful, entertaining political drama
7 April 1999 | by cinemelSee all my reviews

Now that the Monica Lewinsky/Bill Clinton circus has played itself out, I finally saw Elaine May's excellent, under-appreciated rendering of the tale of a thinly disguised American politician and his campaign to become President of the United States. The performances in "Primary Colors" are remarkable. John Travolta does an astonishing impersonation of Clinton without being a Saturday Night Live caricature. Emma Thompson is perfect as his long-suffering wife, always waiting for the other shoe to drop revealing his indiscretions. Kathy Bates deserved her Academy Award nomination as his public relations trouble-shooter. Her not quite over-the-top performance is the heart of this opus. Last, but not least, Adrian Lester is the idealist young African American in charge of his campaign. This impassioned portrayal bodes well to a successful future in films. Mike Nichols has directed Miss May's script with intelligence and humor. See it now, after all the gossiping has died down, for an insightful, entertaining glimpse into the world of politics.


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