Primary Colors (1998)

R   |    |  Comedy, Drama

Primary Colors (1998) Poster

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

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  • Billy Bob Thornton in Primary Colors (1998)
  • John Travolta and Mike Nichols in Primary Colors (1998)
  • Candice Bergen and Diane English at an event for Primary Colors (1998)
  • John Travolta and Emma Thompson in Primary Colors (1998)
  • Ellen Barkin at an event for Primary Colors (1998)
  • Mira Sorvino at an event for Primary Colors (1998)

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Cast & Crew

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Mike Nichols


Joe Klein (novel), Elaine May (screenplay)

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20 September 1998 | wali
Primary Flaws: A Modern Tragedy
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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