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
One scene opens in New York City, in January 1985. The shot is a fly-by of the Statue of Liberty. But in 1985, the Statue was surrounded by scaffolding. See more »
Let me tell you people something, no matter what happens here today, if you try to close my joint, I 'll sue the ass off you.
Dr. Don Francis:
Doesn't it bother you knowing that the people who have sex in your bath-house are playing Russian roulette?
Please just cut out this bullshit. We're all in this for one thing: money. I make'em when the guys come in. You doctors, you make'em when they go out.
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AND THE BAND PLAYED ON (MADE FOR CABLE TV/HBO-1993) ***1/2 Matthew Modine,
Alan Alda, Lily Tomlin, Charles Martin Smith, Richard Masur, Saul Rubinek,
Richard Gere, Ian McKellen, Anjelica Huston, Swoosie Kurtz, Steve Martin,
Phil Collins. Engrossing adaptation of Randy Shilts' landmark prize-winning
document on the onset of AIDS and the fevered manhunt to find the cause and
cure of the HIV virus. Compelling storytelling and a remarkable performance
by Modine as the head for the Centers for Disease Control facing impossible
odds and heartbreaking frustrations. Hallmark for cameo appearances and
political correctness it may be but stirring and revelatory nonetheless.
Dare not to be moved during Elton John's "The Last Song" as images and names
of the disease's victims roll during the closing credits. Directed by Roger
Spottiswoode for HBO.
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