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And the Band Played On (1993)

PG-13 | | Drama | TV Movie 11 September 1993
The story of the discovery of the AIDS epidemic and the political infighting of the scientific community hampering the early fight with it.



(book), (teleplay)
3,248 ( 79)

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Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 11 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:


This is the story of the first years of the AIDS epidemic in the United States and focuses on three key elements. Dr. Don Francis, an immunologist with experience in eradicating smallpox and containing the Ebola virus, joins the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to try and understand just what this disease is. They also have deal with bureaucracy and a government that doesn't seem to care. The gay community in San Francisco is divided on the nature of the disease but also what should be done about it. Finally, the film deals with the rivalry between Dr. Robert Gallo, the American virologist who previously discovered the first retrovirus and his French counterpart at the Pasteur Institute, Dr. Luc Montagnier, that led to disputed claims about who was first to identify the AIDS virus. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

aids | gay | disease | cdc | death | See All (69) »


A threat no one dared face. A word no one wanted to speak. A fight for many, fought by few.




PG-13 | See all certifications »




| |

Release Date:

11 September 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

...und das Leben geht weiter  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


NBC spent two years adapting the book for television, but ultimately withdrew from the project in 1989, allowing HBO to pick up the rights. Contrary to popular belief, NBC dropped the project not because of its controversial subject matter, but because the book's structure didn't work as a 4-hour, 2-night miniseries. In March 1994, six months after its debut on HBO, NBC reran it, edited to fit a two-hour time slot. See more »


This movie is set early 1980s, but there is a box of Wheatables from the early 1990s on the coffee table. See more »


Dr. Don Francis: How many dead hemophiliacs do you need? How many people have to die to make it cost efficient for you people to do something about it? A hundred? A thousand? Give us a number so we won't annoy you again until the amount of money you begin spending on LAWSUITS makes it more PROFITABLE for you to save people, than to kill them!
See more »


Referenced in Chicago Hope: ...And the Hand Played On (1997) See more »


The Last Song
Written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin
Performed by Elton John
See more »

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User Reviews

Awesome book and movie.
5 March 2006 | by (Phx, AZ) – See all my reviews

I read this book in high school in the late 80's just as it was released. The book was excellent and gave a great educational lesson on HIV and AIDS. The movie was just as good. I was really touched at the end when "The last song" by Elton John was playing. The movie gave a great time-line of the virus.

It is so terrifying to think AIDS has actually been around since probably 1959 when a blood sample from a man from the Congo had died of a mysterious illness, and tests run on the blood sample today showed he did indeed have AIDS. The movie was very touching, this whole topic leaves a lump in my throat. I was 13 when AIDS had started making the news and in 1985 or 1986 my dad had a blood transfusion. We spend months worrying if he had contracted HIV. Thank god he got clean blood and he dodged a bullet, unlike the 25,000 people in the 70 and 80's who received tainted blood.

I got teary eyed when an HIV+ guy in the movie says "This is not a political issue. This is a health issue. This is not a gay issue. This is a human issue. And I do not intend to be defeated by it. I came here today in the hope that my epitaph would not read that I died of red tape."

The predictions were accurate. The scientists predicted there would be 40 million people worldwide infected with HIV by the turn of the century and that number has proved to be pretty much dead on, literally.

39 of 42 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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