7.8/10
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And the Band Played On (1993)

The story of the discovery of the AIDS epidemic, and the political infighting of the scientific community hampering the early fight with it.

Director:

Roger Spottiswoode

Writers:

Randy Shilts (book), Arnold Schulman (teleplay)
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Popularity
3,582 ( 14)
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 11 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Matthew Modine ... Dr. Don Francis
Alan Alda ... Dr. Robert Gallo
Patrick Bauchau ... Dr. Luc Montagnier
Nathalie Baye ... Dr. Françoise Barre
Christian Clemenson ... Dr. Dale Lawrence
David Clennon ... Mr. Johnstone
Phil Collins ... Eddie Papasano
Bud Cort ... Antique shop owner
Alex Courtney ... Dr. Mika Popovic
David Dukes ... Dr. Mervyn Silverman
Richard Gere ... The Choreographer
David Marshall Grant ... Dennis Seeley
Ronald Guttman ... Dr. Jean-Claude Chermann
Glenne Headly ... Dr. Mary Guinan
Anjelica Huston ... Dr. Betsy Reisz
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Storyline

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, this movie 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 garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A threat no one dared face. A word no one wanted to speak. A fight for many, fought by few.

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Danish

Release Date:

11 September 1993 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

And the Band Played On See more »

Filming Locations:

San Francisco, California, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo | Dolby SR

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Alan Alda starred as Captain Benjamin Franklin "Hawkeye" Pierce on the television series M*A*S*H (1972). Richard Masur guest starred in "The Late Captain Pierce". Whereas their characters interacted with each other there, they share no screentime here, save for the time Mauser claps for Dr. Gallo's introduction on the televised news conference. See more »

Goofs

At the fight in the diner scene where Dr. Don Francis learns he's being transferred to San Francisco he is wearing a wedding ring. Throughout the rest of the movie the ring is not there. See more »

Quotes

Bobbi Campbell: Now for years and years and years people in my hometown were telling me I was a freak because of my sexual orientation, until I came to San Francisco, and I found a community of freaks just like me. We stood together. We stood together! And it took a long time. But we finally forced this one tiny spot of the universe, the Castro, to realise that how we choose to have sex, and where, is our own damn business. Which to all other people who haven't gone through what we've gone through sounds funny...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

The HD version available to stream on HBO has been cut in a few places compared to the earlier DVD release. Timecodes are for the Webversion. @ 00:41:50 When Max Essex calls and asks Dr Gallo "Are you working on the new gay disease yet?" he just replies "No, Max." where originally he replies "No. To tell you the truth Max, that really doesn't interest me." @ 01:41:13 After Dr. Gallo asks Dr. Popovic to call the French institute to get another sample of their virus he originally also says "And while you're at it, find out how they keep the cells alive." which has been cut. @ 01:49:36 When Dr. Francis speaks to Dr. Gallo about the French scientists having the virus since a year and a half and can prove it in court the following dialog has been cut: Dr. Gallo: What do they pay you? The French. Dr. Francis: The gift of time and the smile of healthy children. Dr. Gallo: Don't laugh. I've used that line 50 times and I still believe it. Dr. Francis: Who wrote it for you? Dr. Gallo: Well, of course the French are claiming they wrote it for me. A year and a half ago no less. @ 01:51:10 Just before Dr Gallo enters the room for the meeting with the French scientists in Paris, a short sequence of the scientists waiting and a line that Dr. Luc Montagnier says; "25 minutes is quite long enough to wait." has been cut. @ 02:03:00 When Dr. Luc Montagnier has finished his press conference a question from a reporter, and the reply, has been cut: Reporter: Are you suggesting, sir, that Dr. Gallo stole the virus from the French? Dr. Montagnier: I think that question would best be answered by someone else. See more »

Connections

Features A Room with a View (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

Jumper's Way
Written and Performed by David I. Catney
See more »

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User Reviews

 
"It may seem a little hopeless." ... "That's because it is."
15 September 2007 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

American doctors from the under-funded Center for Disease Control scramble to figure out the origin of--and the causes behind--the alarming rate of homosexual male deaths in the early 1980s; as a fatal strain of pneumonia and hepatitis B cases begin appearing, as Reagan-era Washington apparently vetoes the mysterious disease as non-newsworthy, and as the gay community (shown as not one radically adept at helping their own cause) label the early cases as products of the Gay Cancer, the CDC battles with the Blood Industry in coming up with an inexpensive way of filtering out contaminated blood. Adaptation of Randy Shilts' frightening, groundbreaking book was seemingly an impossible undertaking, yet HBO Films and co-producer Aaron Spelling manage to lay all Shilts' information out adroitly and adeptly, with some of the character interaction awkwardly interjected but with most of the principal players doing very well with technical roles. Alan Alda positively revels in the opportunity to play sniveling medical scientist Dr. Robert Gallo, who felt usurped when French scientists initially gained prestige for isolating the virus; as Dr. Mary Guinan, Glenne Headly does some of the best work of her career (while interviewing a sexually promiscuous airline steward, one of the earliest men to fall prey to the disease, Headly is remarkably natural and charming); and Saul Rubinek as Dr. Curran, who initiates the investigation and helps sort out all the jargon, is in masterful form. Some of the high-profile cameos aren't shaped for much satisfaction--they stick out as artifices--such as Richard Gere's bit as a stricken choreographer (it is commendable that Gere is here, yet his movie star aura looms larger than his part). The film isn't compact--it isn't a quick-fix wallow or a time-filler--it is a serious, frustrating, angry movie with no easy answers. And that's as it should be.


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