6.8/10
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52 user 13 critic

Love! Valour! Compassion! (1997)

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2:08 | Trailer

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Gregory invites seven friends to spend the summer at his large, secluded 19th-century home in upstate New York. The seven are: Bobby, Gregory's "significant other," who is blind but who ... See full summary »

Director:

Joe Mantello

Writers:

Terrence McNally (play), Terrence McNally (screenplay)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Jason Alexander ... Buzz Hauser
Stephen Spinella ... Perry Sellars
Stephen Bogardus ... Gregory Mitchell
Randy Becker Randy Becker ... Ramon Fornos
John Benjamin Hickey ... Arthur Pape
Justin Kirk ... Bobby Brahms
John Glover ... John Jeckyll, James Jeckyll
Edit

Storyline

Gregory invites seven friends to spend the summer at his large, secluded 19th-century home in upstate New York. The seven are: Bobby, Gregory's "significant other," who is blind but who loves to explore the home's garden using his sense of touch; Art and Perry, two "yuppies" who drive a Volvo and who celebrate their 14th anniversary together that summer; John, a dour expatriate Briton who loathes his twin brother James; Ramon, John's "companion," who is physically attracted to Bobby and immediately tries to seduce the blind man; James, a cheerful soul who is in the advanced stages of AIDS; and Buzz, a fan of traditional Broadway musicals who is dealing with his own HIV-positive status. Written by Dennis Lewis <dsl@sprynet.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Eight men. One summer. Figure it out.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for graphic nudity, some sexuality and strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Fine Line promotional site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 May 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ahava Ometz V'Hemla See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$167,345, 18 May 1997, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$2,874,242, 10 August 1997
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Krost/Chapin Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

The actors all originated the same roles in the stage play except for Jason Alexander who replaced Nathan Lane for the film. See more »

Goofs

The amount of milk in a bottle does not match the amount of milk on the floor after the bottle is dropped and broken. See more »

Quotes

Buzz: Just once I'd like to see a "West Side Story" where everybody gets it; the Jets and the Sharks, and Officer Krupke; or a "Sound of Music" where the entire Von Trapp family dies in a horrible alpine avalanche; or "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum" where nothing happens, and it's not funny.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sugar & Spice (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

In The Summertime
Written by Ray Dorset (as Raymond Dorset)
Performed by Mungo Jerry
Courtesy of Castle Communications
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Sweet and Sad and Excellent
11 February 2008 | by drednmSee all my reviews

Adapted from a hit play by Terence McNally and utilizing most of the original stage cast, this film cannot hide its theatrical roots... nor should it.

This is a sweet and sad story set against a perfect summer at a perfect country estate in upstate New York (?) that shows the lives of 8 gay men as they come to terms with AIDS, death, love, compassion, and the thin bonds of friendship that hold them together.

Their summer idyll is a microcosm that, apart from the real world we never see, touches us all because it is their humanity that dominates this story. That one is a dancer, a lawyer, a choreographer, etc. is unimportant. They are 8 gay men whose lives are intertwined in love, valour, and compassion.

Jason Alexander is very good in the Nathan Lane role, the portly man dying of AIDS who, late in life finds love. John Glover is brilliant (repeating his Tony-winning role) as twins: one a nasty hateful man; the other a sweet man whose death from AIDS is imminent. Stephen Spinella and John Benjamin Hickey are solid as the yuppie long-term couple. Stephen Bogardus is warm as the stuttering host, Justin Kirk is surprisingly good as the blind man, and Randy Becker is good as the Latino hunk whose causes so much trouble.

The film is full of stereotypes and warm humor and terrific moments of truth. This is not a revolutionary film that tries to change the world, but it is a wise and bittersweet look at the lives of gay men in the time of AIDS, men whose lives are shattered (and ended) by a cruel and heartless disease.

There's nothing earth-shattering here, no insights that make the lives of gay men clear and understandable to non-gays. But it is a work of great honesty and simplicity in showing 8 gay men as.... human beings.

The scene, when the men go skinnydipping under a summer moon is beautiful in its complete innocence. No viewer can fail to understand their childlike glee in such a simple pleasure.

This film is a must see just because it is not a strident, political rant against the horrors of AIDS. The characters, especially those played by Glover and Alexander, accept their fates with great dignity, humor, and valour. This film is a great tribute to all our victims of AIDS, and a silent condemnation to the society and politics that let it happen.


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