7.8/10
8,808
59 user 20 critic

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)
Reviews
Popularity
3,925 ( 4)

Watch Now

With Prime Video

ON DISC
ALL
Nominated for 2 Golden Globes. Another 11 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

An Early Frost (TV Movie 1985)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A young lawyer hasn't told his parents about his homosexuality. Now he must tell them--at a time when the diagnosis was still a death sentence--that he has AIDS.

Director: John Erman
Stars: Gena Rowlands, Ben Gazzara, Sylvia Sidney
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

The emergence and devastation of the AIDS epidemic is chronicled in the lives of several gay men living during the 1980s.

Director: Norman René
Stars: Stephen Caffrey, Patrick Cassidy, Brian Cousins
Our Sons (TV Movie 1991)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Donald is a young man dying of AIDS. His lover, James, asks his mother to go to Fayetteville, Arkansas and tell Donald's mother, who has been estranged from her son for years.

Director: John Erman
Stars: Ann-Margret, Julie Andrews, Hugh Grant
The Normal Heart (TV Movie 2014)
Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A gay activist attempts to raise H.I.V. and A.I.D.S. awareness during the early 1980s.

Director: Ryan Murphy
Stars: Mark Ruffalo, Jonathan Groff, Frank De Julio
It's My Party (1996)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

"You won't leave me, will you?" Nick asks Brandon shortly after revealing to him the results of his last blood test for HIV. "I don't want to die alone." In spite of Brandon's protestations... See full summary »

Director: Randal Kleiser
Stars: Eric Roberts, Gregory Harrison, Margaret Cho
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

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
Stars: Jason Alexander, Stephen Spinella, Stephen Bogardus
Loggerheads (2005)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Three overlapping stories of estranged families in three regions of North Carolina.

Director: Tim Kirkman
Stars: Kip Pardue, Michael Kelly, Tess Harper
Comedy | Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A quirky, romantic comedy about the complexity and frustration of finding a true love in the gay community. Marc is a struggling actor who finds an apartment in NYC by searching the ... See full summary »

Director: Victor Mignatti
Stars: Mara Hobel, Michael Lucas, Hugh Panaro
Drama | Fantasy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Playwright Tony Kushner adapts his political epic about the AIDS crisis during the mid-1980s and centers the story around a group of separate but connected individuals.

Stars: Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Based on a real-life court case, the film finds members of the McMartin family on trial for alleged sexual molestation and abuse of children at their well-regarded preschool. ... See full summary »

Director: Mick Jackson
Stars: James Woods, Mercedes Ruehl, Lolita Davidovich
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Tempers fray and true selves are revealed when a heterosexual is accidentally invited to a homosexual party.

Director: William Friedkin
Stars: Kenneth Nelson, Peter White, Leonard Frey
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An insight into the turbulent lives and loves of a gay clique based in Los Angeles.

Director: Greg Berlanti
Stars: Timothy Olyphant, Dean Cain, Zach Braff
Edit

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
Edit

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 »
Edit

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

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

When Richard Gere accepted a small role, he broke taboos about the subject, and major movie stars taking small parts in television productions. Subsequently, Steve Martin, Alan Alda, Phil Collins, and Anjelica Huston were willing to appear. See more »

Goofs

When the Choreographer is looking out the window at Hallowe'en 1981, one of the partygoers downstairs is dressed as Beetlejuice, but the movie of Beetlejuice only came out in 1988. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Jim Curran: I personally don't care if these people were painted by Norman Rockwell, we still have to prove that the blood is contaminated. We gotta prove it. What do we know? What do we think? What can we prove?
See more »

Alternate Versions

In 1999, the end credit scrolls were rewritten to show updated AIDS statistics. See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

The Last Song
Written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin
Performed by Elton John
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

This is not a political issue. This is a health issue. This is not a gay issue. This is a human issue.
22 September 2004 | by film-criticSee all my reviews

A real-life story about the discovery and destructive nature of AIDS, And the Band Played On is a gripping drama that not only takes you to the front line and behind the scenes of the HIV virus. To the bath houses in San Francisco to the research labs at the Center for Disease Control, there is no area that is not shown in this film. An all-star cast also creates the ambiance to this film. Powerful actors giving the performances of a lifetime. Richard Gere, Angelica Houston, Ian McKellan, Steve Martin, Alan Alda, Phil Collins, and even Matthew Modine are just a few of the actors who deserved Academy Awards for their work. While most of their parts were small, they were not unforgettable segments. Each cameo actor had a crucial role in leading us to the next segment and life of the HIV virus.

We are first introduced to Modine when he is trying to help a tribe with the destructible Ebola virus. Then, just as quickly, we are in mainstream San Francisco. The booming gay community and the political figureheads that were pushing for rights. It is the beginning of 1980, the Democrats are pushing for a more liberal stance, while Regan is being sworn into the White House for his first term. The world is happy, yet timid. The gay community is growing, and discovering that a dark fear is lurking behind them. While the United States is beating a dead horse about closing bath houses and stopping the gay community, the French are looking at it outside of a sexual disease. Possibly a blood disease. While they research their ideas, America begins to see the full effect of AIDS. These scientists are predicting that in the next several years the fatality rate will be 100% if you contract AIDS. Ronald Regan has just had his second term and has still not mentioned AIDS in public. While the French work day and night to stop their public from dying, we begin shunning the gay community. Creating a phobia due to lack of education. We even see a well respected doctor steal the discovery from the French just so that he can credit the monetary value of this disease. While the ending to this film is very sappy, it still was powerful enough to not only be enjoyable, but also educational. A film that if you have not seen yet, you should...and if you have seen it, see it again.

This powerful two and a half hour epic was the most entertaining informative film I have seen in ages. I rented it not knowing anything about it. I first picked it up for the actors to see what they could do in such small roles. Little did I know I was about to see everyone in the performances of their lifetime. Richard Gere proved once and again why he is an actor. It befuddles me why Modine has stopped working, because after seeing him in this film I would have liked to see him move further in the Hollywood community.

It is not everyday that you find a gem as this film. If I was a superintendent of schools and I just saw this film, I would push with every ounce of strength to get this film into my schools. I learned more about AIDS than I ever had in my education career. It not only brought out a text book style of education, but it also brought a very humanistic approach to the disease. It also brought out a very dark political side that perhaps the general public is not as familiar with. Not only that, but it also brought out the dark side of human nature. In times of plagues, we rely to heavily on science to be our savior. While it will be the backbone to our cause, we do need to have a feeling for those that already have the disease. We, as a nation, need to look past social standings, sexual preference, and color of our skin to realize that we are all humans. If this is a "human" disease, then we need to research every venue, not just the most obvious ones. If this film doesn't scare you, I don't think any horror film will.

Like all great films, it did have some horrible sides to it. McKellan's story was too cliché. The story of the homosexual politician who looses his lover because he is more involved with politics than his social life, who eventually reunite when it is discovered that McKellan has AIDS. Modine's flashbacks were unnecessary. I felt that we did not need to be reminded why he believed in human nature, and I don't think that we needed to be reminded by seeing a scene where he throws bodies into a fire. Something more substantial would have been nice. Finally, the ending was too much for me. I don't think it needed to have an Elton John (prominent homosexual figure in entertainment) singing one of his songs with flashing pictures of famous people, straight and gay, that we have lost to AIDS. Perhaps a more poignant picture would have been less famous people (every day Joes) who have died from the disease.

Overall, the good well out weigh the bad points that I just mentioned. I guarantee that you will be surprised, educated, and emotionally enthralled by this film.

Grade: **** out of *****


14 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 59 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed