Longtime Companion (1989)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  1 May 1990 (Portugal)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 4,107 users  
Reviews: 42 user | 12 critic

The emergence and devastation of the AIDS epidemic is chronicled in the lives of several gay men living during the 1980s.



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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 6 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Stephen Caffrey ...
Tanya Berezin ...
Office Manager
Michael Piontek ...
Office Worker
Joyce Reehling ...
Office Worker
Mark Lamos ...
Soap Opera Reader


Perhaps the first film to put a human face on the AIDS epidemic, Longtime Companion follows the lives of a small circle of friends from the first mention of the disease in the New York Times in 1981. First referred to as "Gay-Related-Immune-Disorder," we watch the effect of the disease as it devastates the lives of our protagonists. Jumping between Manhattan and Fire Island, vignettes carry us from the it-couldn't-happen-to-me mentality of the early days of the disease to the invasive effect it has had on all of our lives, today. The title of the film comes from the New York Times' refusal to acknowledge homosexual relationships in their obituary section during this period. Instead, survivors were referred to as "Longtime Companions" of the deceased. Written by Mark Fleetwood <mfleetwo@mail.coin.missouri.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1 May 1990 (Portugal)  »

Also Known As:

Juntos para siempre  »

Box Office


$3,000,000 (estimated)


$4,609,953 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film takes place on July 3, 1981, April 30, 1982, June 17, 1983, September 7, 1984, March 22, 1985, January 4, 1986, May 16, 1987, September 10, 1988 and July 19, 1989. See more »


In the opening scene set in July 1981, a character plays a tape of The Human League's song "The Things That Dreams Are Made Of". However, this song was not released until October 1981 when it appeared on the band's album "Dare". See more »


Fuzzy: What do you think happens when we die?
Willy: We get to have sex again.
See more »


References Dynasty (1981) See more »


Walking on Sunshine
Written by Kimberley Rew
Performed by Katrina & The Waves (as Katrina and the Waves)
Published by EMI Music
Courtesy of Capitol Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A well written and acted movie about Aids and it's impact on a group of friends in the beginning of public awareness of this disease...
23 October 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

When I watched this for the first time, I like many that went through this time period, identified with most of the characters in this movie at one time or another. I had my sister watch this movie (a devoted Pentecostal) she said it was the sadist thing she had ever seen. I felt that she got the message, Gay or Straight, this was a tragedy that had happened to everyday people, and still is happening, and not just to "those people". She, like many, never wanted to see past the homosexual thing. With this film she saw a clip of life, albeit a condensed version, of how something so out of control entered, affected and was handled by people like herself both gay and straight. I told her that was the way it I felt it was for many of us dealing with this disease that had taken so many of my friends and colleagues. I also liked how this movie didn't victimize, or make a villain out of any of the characters nor did it make anyone a saint either. I felt the topic was handled with good taste, considering how it was something most people didn't want to think about. With the majority of the audience being straight and secure in the fact that this only happened to other people who were deserving of what they got. I also felt that this movie showed the truth although a bit Hollywood and too polished (not a docudrama, definitely a movie) it did a good job of making a difficult subject much more palatable and sympathetic to folks that had never had it happen to them or to those they love. The progression of the movie conveyed the feeling most had in regards to how fast things happened. One day someone was here the next they were gone. I also felt that the actors, many non gay, did brilliant performances not playing stereotype's but keeping it real as it should be. Since most gay men and women I know don't act all that different from everyone else. I for one am tired of gays being portrayed as only hair stylist and drag queens, much as I am sure African-Americans were tired of their stereotypes of only being the hired help or as ignorant simpletons. This was not the best movie I have ever seen, but I feel it is one of the best dealing with this subject matter. The end of this movie still gets to me, every time I see it, if only that could happen like that, I too "just want to be there"

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