6.7/10
26,069
156 user 129 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:

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
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 ... 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:

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:

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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | DTS | DTS-Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joe Klein, who works for Time Magazine, was revealed to be the "Anonymous" writer of the book, on which this movie is based. See more »

Goofs

During Thanksgiving at Jack's home, his mother asks everyone to sing "You Are My Sunshine" "in honor of all the southern governors" but her mouth says something completely different. See more »

Quotes

Susan Stanton: Your grandfather was a great man. Jack Stanton could also be a great man, if he wasn't such a faithless, thoughtless, disorganized, undisciplined shit.
See more »

Connections

References A Current Affair (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Battle Hymn of The Republic
Music by William Steffe
Lyrics by Julia Ward Howe
Arranged by Eric Rogers
Performed by The Band of the Grenadier Guards (as Band Of The Grenadier Guards)
Courtesy of The Decca Record Company Limited/London Records
by arrangement with PolyGram Film & TV Music
See more »

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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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