7.5/10
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47 user 13 critic

Longtime Companion (1989)

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

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Howard
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Paul
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Stephen Caffrey ...
Tanya Berezin ...
Office Manager
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Rochelle
Michael Piontek ...
Office Worker
Joyce Reehling ...
Office Worker
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Mark Lamos ...
...
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Bob
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Soap Opera Reader
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Storyline

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

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

1 May 1990 (Portugal)  »

Also Known As:

Dugogodišnji prijatelj  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$4,609,953
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Features Bruce Davison's only Oscar nominated performance. See more »

Goofs

In the segment marked "July 3, 1981" people dance to the song "Do You Wanna Funk?" by Sylvester, but this song was not released until 1982. See more »

Quotes

Bartender: What do you want?
John: I'll have the sweat of that hairy man's brow, thank you.
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Connections

References Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Bourée
from Water Music Suite in F Major
Written by George Frideric Handel (as Georg Frideric Handel)
Performed by Ars rediviva
Courtesy of Supraphon
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

...touchingly real...
2 November 1998 | by See all my reviews

As far as I know, Longtime Companion, released in 1990, is the first American motion picture to deal head on with AIDS (whereas Philadelphia (1993), staring Tom Hanks, receives the honor of the first STUDIO film about AIDS). Made on an obviously minuscule budget, this film nevertheless captures an honesty about AIDS and its effects through touchingly real vignettes of a the lives of a group of friends. Some of these mini-stories fall a bit flat, and the film's politics at times seems overly optimistic -- we're supposed to believe that on a TV soap opera a full and deep man-on-man kiss would have happened in 1984.

The unfettered filmmaking and straightforward acting (especially by the subsequently Oscar nominated Bruce Davison), however, keep both the story and the audience grounded -- there are several scenes that seemed so very real that my heart truly ached for these characters. In today's age of expanded understanding of the homosexual heart (that it is, in fact, in no way different from any other heart), the Longtime of Longtime Companion may not seem too terribly extraordinary; within the context of American cinema, however, I have a feeling that history will see this film for the landmark it truly is.


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