7.5/10
4,775
48 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.

Director:

Norman René

Writer:

Craig Lucas
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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:
Campbell Scott ... Willy
Patrick Cassidy ... Howard
John Dossett ... Paul
Mary-Louise Parker ... Lisa
Stephen Caffrey ... Fuzzy
Tanya Berezin Tanya Berezin ... Office Manager
Welker White ... Rochelle
Michael Piontek Michael Piontek ... Office Worker
Joyce Reehling Joyce Reehling ... Office Worker
Bruce Davison ... David
Mark Lamos Mark Lamos ... Sean
Dermot Mulroney ... John
Michael Schoeffling ... Michael
Brian Cousins ... Bob
Marceline Hugot ... 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 »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 May 1990 (Portugal) See more »

Also Known As:

Dugogodišnji prijatelj See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$4,609,953
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title refers to the only way that newspapers at the time would allow a gay man's lover to be listed in an obituary. See more »

Goofs

Willy comes out with a bottle of wine and holds it at the neck, pouring. When the camera changes for a closeup of the pouring he then holds it by the base of the bottle. See more »

Quotes

Fuzzy: What do you think happens when we die?
Willy: We get to have sex again.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Siskel & Ebert: Oscar Nomination Surprises for 1990 (1991) See more »

Soundtracks

The Tide Is High
Written by John Holt
Performed by Blondie
Published by Sparta Florida Music Group
Courtesy of Chrysalis Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
thankfully avoids the pitfalls of melodrama
2 December 2010 | by mjneu59See 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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