8.2/10
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17 user 5 critic

An Early Frost (1985)

A young lawyer hasn't told his parents about his homosexuality. Now he must tell them--at a time when the diagnosis was still a death sentence--that he has AIDS.

Director:

John Erman

Writers:

Ron Cowen (teleplay), Daniel Lipman (teleplay) | 1 more credit »
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Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 8 wins & 14 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Gena Rowlands ... Katherine Pierson
Ben Gazzara ... Nick Pierson
Sylvia Sidney ... Beatrice McKenna
Aidan Quinn ... Michael Pierson
D.W. Moffett ... Peter Hilton
John Glover ... Victor DiMato
Sydney Walsh ... Susan Maracek
Terry O'Quinn ... Dr. Redding
Bill Paxton ... Bob Maracek
Cheryl Anderson ... Christine
Christopher Bradley ... Todd
Sue Ann Gilfillan Sue Ann Gilfillan ... Nurse Lincoln
Don Hood ... Dr. Gilbert
Barbara Hey Barbara Hey ... Meredith
Scott Jaeck ... Phil
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Storyline

Set in the mid-eighties Michael Pierson, a young gay man, is struck with AIDS in the prime of his life. He's forced to be open about the disease and his homosexuality for the first time with his co-workers (he's a successful lawyer) and family. He, and the people around him, must face up to the inevitablity of his death and the disease that's killing him. "An Early Frost" was many people's first look at an AIDS victim as a human being instead of a statistic. Written by Susan Southall <stobchatay@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

11 November 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Un printemps de glace See more »

Filming Locations:

USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

NBC Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the DVD commentary, Aidan Quinn ("Michael") remembers that NBC's Standards and Practices department (the network censors) were a constant (in Quinn's words, "hovering") presence on the set. They regulated matters such as Quinn appearing in bed with D.W. Moffett ("Peter")--they would not allow the two to be seen together in the characters' bed, only for Quinn to be in bed while Moffett sat, fully clothed, on its edge. Quinn says in the commentary that the censors were not only adamant that the two men were never allowed to kiss, but also that any physical contact between them had to be "balanced" by Michael's contact with his parents. See more »

Quotes

Peter Hilton: [revealing about his affairs] I'm sorry, Michael.
Michael Pierson: You're sorry and I have AIDS!
See more »

Connections

References Gypsy (1962) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Groundbreaking
8 February 2005 | by preppy-3See all my reviews

A young gay man (Adian Quinn) becomes stricken with AIDS. He now has to come out to his parents (Gena Rowlands, Ben Gazzara) AND tell them he has an incurable disease.

For its time this was extraordinary. Back in 1985 AIDS was still considered a gay mans disease and most TV shows wouldn't touch the subject. NBC should be congratulated on having the courage to greenlight this and present it (also it got HUGE ratings when it first played). The acting is exceptional--Quinn is just perfect and Rowlands is incredible as his mother. Gazzara is also good but not as good as the other two--he seems to be holding back. And it was a surprise to see John Glover playing a man dying on AIDS--he usually played villains. Also the ending didn't offer any false hope--there was no miracle cure to save this man. For a TV movie that was incredible.

The film isn't perfect. Some of the dialogue is bad (especially between Quinn and Gazzara) and Quinn's boyfriend leaves him at the beginning--only to show up again at the end. Sorry but that wouldn't have happened back then. Also today AIDS is not a death sentence. People are living and there are some treatment that are working. Still this is an exceptional movie and a definite milestone in TV history. Recommended.


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