6.6/10
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156 user 131 critic

Primary Colors (1998)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 20 March 1998 (USA)
Trailer
1:18 | Trailer
A man joins the political campaign of a smooth-operator candidate for President of the U.S.

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 ... 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:

Comes The Story Of A Man Who Says Yes To Destiny But Couldnt Say No To Anything Else 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:

Primary Colors See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$65,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$12,045,395, 22 March 1998

Gross USA:

$39,001,187

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$52,090,187
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:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Travolta gained thirty pounds to play Governor Jack Stanton. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Jack Stanton: We can do incredible things. We can change this country. I'm gonna win this thing. Look me in the eye, Henry, and tell me that you don't want to be a part of it.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Maltin on Movies: The Kennedys Special (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

ON THE ROAD AGAIN
Written by Willie Nelson
Performed by Willie Nelson
Courtesy of Columbia Records
by arrangement with Sony Music Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Southern Fried Comedic Tragedy
1 October 2007 | by arichmondfwcSee all my reviews

A thinly disguised couple, one of the most famous couple of the last decade. They carry the "come as you are" kind of attitude, apparently, so, yes, at least apparently. Looking at it from where I'm standing in 2007 she may become the first USA woman president and he was, for 8 years, one of, if not the most popular American president since JFK and with the benefit of hindsight, he was probably a much more talented politician than JFK. I'm not necessarily a Democrat but I became, eventually, pro Clinton. Junk food and "momathons" infidelity and at times right down vulgarity doesn't blur the intentions of the couple and a couple is what they are. It may not have been John Travolta's most popular performance but for my money it's his best. Emma Thompson deals with Elaine May's superb and telling dialog with all the depth and poignancy, let alone fun, that the character deserved. She is magnificent. Kathy Bate's time bomb character is an unnerving fun to watch. Her Libby is a close relative of her "Misery" Mike Nichols keeps it really domestic. The most important things take place in Motels or kitchens. She wears yellow plastic gloves to do the dishes when big decisions are taken and cleanses her skin with a tissue in front of the preppy Adrian Lester the first time she meets him. They are ordinary southern folks with an extraordinary destiny. She's the one with a sense of history. Imagine that. See it now, again or for the first time before the next elections. It's a very good movie too.


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