- Actors: Matthew Modine, Alan Alda, Patrick Bauchau, Nathalie Baye, Christian Clemenson
- Directors: Roger Spottiswoode
- Format: Closed-captioned, Color, HiFi Sound, NTSC
- Language: English
- Rated: Parental Guidance SuggestedPG-13
- Number of tapes: 1
- Studio: Hbo Home Video
- VHS Release Date: May 18, 1994
- Run Time: 140 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (523 customer reviews)
- ASIN: 6303073573
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #291,868 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
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And the Band Played On [VHS]
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A superior, made-for-cable film, this Home Box Office adaptation of Randy Shilts's chronicle detailing the emergence of AIDS in America and the fight against bureaucracy and society for a cure is a taut, outrageous, and affecting true-life drama. Matthew Modine (Birdy, Married to the Mob) is featured as a doctor with the Centers for Disease Control at the time when the first reports of a disease plaguing the gay community were heard. Modine and his colleagues embark on an investigation that resembles a compelling detective story as they try to track the source of the disease and discover a cure. Their efforts are thwarted by an ambivalent government and a turf war between French physicians and a celebrated American researcher (Alan Alda) who seems to place his own glory above the dead and the dying. Featuring heartfelt performances from a stellar cast including Richard Gere, Glenne Headly, Anjelica Huston, Steve Martin, Ian McKellen, Saul Rubinek, and Lily Tomlin, this impassioned film stands as an impressive and important document of one of the darkest eras in modern human history, and a tribute to the spirit of those who sought to save lives. --Robert Lane
Top customer reviews
I remember when this premiered on HBO and how the talk of so many big named stars might hurt their career portraying gay men, but they did it anyway because of what the movie was about. And they did so masterfully.
Those that weren't around when this happened won't understand what it was like. No one knew squat about how it was transmitted or plenty else. This shows why and plenty should be ashamed of their role in it. I gave birth in the mid '80's and you don't want to know the all out panic from my family when they heard I was given blood. At the time that was frightening because of what it could mean.
It's a powerful movie, one which can not only anger you, but end up with you sobbing. The very end, set to Elton John's Last Song always leaves me in tears as it shows the human cost of politics and prejudice.
People have mentioned it's dated, but it's not that dated as this was done not long after so many of the events and is a true portrayal of what we now know is true. And it's horrifying.
This is the kind of movie those who it's age appropriate for should see it. This hasn't gone away. People are still getting AIDS and it's still a major issues. This gives you the closest history of how the epidemic started.
The film is very revealing about political process effects science and is not for those easily discouraged.
The French subtitles are a bit of challenge so be ready for them and not too far from the screen as I was the first time I watch the film.
Extremely well done. Recommended for all audiences.
I watched with my son as part of his biology homework so I had to place closer attention than I may have otherwise and found it really informative and an excellent case study on how egos and politics can get in the way of the greater good.
This is also a story of how our govenment and other high scale institutions decided to avoid what they believed to be "a sensitive issue" that did not deserve the importance it actually needed. The bureaucracy, by not acting in an intelligent and timely matter, delayed precious time and funds needed to research this disease and help those with AIDS that were literally crying out for support.
Enter Matthew Modine as the CDC researcher Don Francis who dared to stand up to the system only to have that system censor him, hamper his research and continually quell the urgency of his mission. On the other hand, we have Alan Alda playing another doctor who, seemingly on a mission to also help fight AIDS, is only out for glory and does more to hurt the fight than help it. This is really sad when you consider such an esteemed doctor could have given so much but did not see the bigger picture....the plight of the many outweighs the need for this one doctor to glorify himself.
The cast in this movie is absolutely stellar and provides for such a diverse aura of talent that shines throughout. How can you go wrong with Matthew Modine, Alan Alda, Richard Gere, Steve Martin, Angelica Huston and Lilly Tomlin to name just a few?
To finish off, the movie closes with a very heart wrenching picture montage of famous celebrities who have died of AIDS over the years. This montage is simultaneously done with an incredible Elton John song in the background, "The Last Song", that will completely floor you. I almost broke down during this part of the movie. Those who have seen the movie will know exactly what I mean. A very impressive and excellent movie worth watching time and again.
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