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>

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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
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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

The cast members reunited in 1995 in Los Angeles to be presented with the Video Industry AIDS Action Committee's 'Longtime Companion' Award, honoring AIDS awareness, education and care. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Michael: I love my ears. I love my nose. I love myself.
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Connections

References Dynasty (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

Things That Dreams Are Made Of
Written by Phil Oakey (as Philip Oakley) and Philip Adrian Wright (as Adrian Wright)
Performed by The Human League
Published by Virgin Music
Courtesy of A&M/Virgin Records
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User Reviews

 
thankfully avoids the pitfalls of melodrama
2 December 2010 | by See all my reviews

The title is the newspaper obituary euphemism for a gay lover, and yet another discreet but frustrating reminder of how mainstream heterosexual society avoids confronting the AIDS epidemic. In an effort perhaps to offset public ignorance, Norman René's film of the same name almost resembles an AIDS awareness primer, dramatizing the deadly progress of the disease through the gay community since the summer of 1981, when 'safe sex' merely meant anything goes, but don't get caught. Like other American Playhouse productions the film is simple, unpretentious, and no less rewarding for being so straightforward. René and writer Craig Lucas have wisely resisted the temptation to make a 'Love Story'-style terminal illness melodrama, concentrating instead on the bittersweet pain and bravery of awkward hospital visitations and quiet deathbed encounters. Only the forced optimism of the final daydream rings false, unavoidably since the epidemic itself (still) has yet to be resolved by anything resembling a cure. The balance of the film is simply too honest to support such sentimental wish-fulfillment fantasies.


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