• Primary Colors (1998)

Primary Colors

Release Date: March 13th, 1998

DVD Release Date: September 9th, 1998

R |2 hr 23 min

Plot Summary

In this adaptation of the best-selling roman a clef about Bill Clinton's 1992 run for the White House, the young and gifted Henry Burton (Adrian Lester) is tapped to oversee the presidential campaign of Gov. Jack Stanton (John Travolta). Burton is pulled into the politician's colorful world and looks on as Stanton -- who has a wandering eye that could be his downfall -- contends with his ambitious wife, Susan, (Emma Thompson) and an outspoken adviser, Richard Jemmons (Billy Bob Thornton).

Cast: John Travolta, Emma Thompson, Billy Bob Thornton, Kathy Bates, Adrian Lester, Maura Tierney, Larry Hagman, Diane Ladd

Director: Mike Nichols

Genres: Comedy drama

Production Co: Mutual Film Company, Icarus Films, Award Entertainment, Universal Pictures

Distributors: Universal Pictures

Keywords: Wife, Temptation, Pursuit, Rise, Amusing, Gripping, 1990s, Office

Ratings & Reviews

  • 100
    USA Today

    Perhaps Nichols and May's greatest accomplishment is capturing perfectly on film the mysterious, complex, compromised relationship the public has with today's political leaders. show more

  • 88
    Rick GroenThe Globe and Mail (Toronto)

    Sophisticated and unsentimental political film. show more

  • 100
    Roger EbertChicago Sun-Times

    It's a superb film -- funny, insightful and very wise about the realities of political life. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com


Winner Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Screen Actors Guild Awards (1999)
Winner Adapted Screenplay
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1999)
Nominated Actress in a Supporting Role
British Academy of Film & Television Arts (1999)
Nominated Best Performance By an Actor in a Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy
Nominated Actress in a Supporting Role
Nominated Writing (Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published)
Nominated Best Performance By an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture