6.7/10
25,783
155 user 125 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:

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:

They're Not Exactly A Well Organized Well Oliled Machine But That's Their Secret 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

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

When Gov. Stanton is on "Geraldo" Richard Jemmons compares Henry to Libby "who actually goes crazy when her candidate turns out not to be the rock her church was built on", but his mouth does not sync with "the rock". See more »

Quotes

Jack Stanton: [about the cellphone] You wouldn't have found it if I hadn't thrown it out the car!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Smart Guy: Primary Brothers (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE
Written by Jimmie Davis, Charles Mitchell
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User Reviews

Primary Flaws: A Modern Tragedy
20 September 1998 | by waliSee all my reviews

As (I think it was) Yogi Berra said, "It's deja vu all over again!" On this, the weekend after the release of the Starr report, the movie rings so true. Travolta was great in por- traying the manic pathology of Stanton/Clinton.

And of course, Kathy Bates was superb as Libby, who in the end was unable to reconcile her loyalty to Stanton with her loyalty to the truth. If Stanton was flawed by his weakness of the flesh, Libby was flawed by her strength - by her inability to give up the best part of herself to the moral malaise that so pervaded the Stanton candidacy.

How ironic that the film ends with the inauguration ball, with Stanton and wife whirling in triumph across the ballroom floor, without a hint of what was to come... I have seen this film labeled a comedy. I cannot see it as anything other than a tragedy, in the Greek sense - a man who with the best of in- tentions, but whose flaws finally undo him.


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