Cinema: True Colors

Mike Nichols gives a controversial novel a vibrant new life on the big screen

There's a poignant little scene halfway into Primary Colors. It's primary night in New Hampshire, and candidate Jack Stanton (John Travolta) stands alone on a rainy street, knocking on car windows and importuning drivers for last-minute votes like a squeegee guy cadging a dollar. To hell with the odds; this man won't give up. He will keep asking, charming, wheedling, until people finally collapse under his will to be loved. As a character says in the Joe Klein novel on which the film is based, "The heart is a lonely hustler." But hustling--hey, that's politics. That's entertainment.

Travolta and Bill Clinton...

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