And the Band Played On (1993)

TV Movie   |  PG-13   |    |  Drama, History

And the Band Played On (1993) Poster

The story of the discovery of the A.I.D.S. epidemic, and the political infighting of the scientific community hampering the early fight with it.

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  • Matthew Modine in And the Band Played On (1993)
  • David France at an event for And the Band Played On (1993)
  • Phil Collins in And the Band Played On (1993)
  • Matthew Modine in And the Band Played On (1993)
  • Alan Alda and Matthew Modine in And the Band Played On (1993)
  • Tom Kalin at an event for And the Band Played On (1993)

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User Reviews

23 February 2000 | mdeasy
Docu-Drama about the early research and causes of the Aids Virus in the early 80s
And the band played is really the history of how the Aids Virus managed to spread throughout the world like few illnesses have. The medical history, governmental ignorance and emotion surrounding this sickness all conspired against any rational approach to an early cure or intervention.

Matthew Modine carries off his role with fire and brimstone, he is the consummate voice of positive cooperation and healing, and Alan Alda plays his evil counterpart. Alda plays the egotistical, self-serving Dr. Robert Gallo, who made questionable progress fighting the disease. There are those who believe that his research was all stolen from the French doctors who were also working tirelessly to defeat this sickness. The movie explores that controversy, in the light of how much it may have slowed down the search for a cure.

The cast of this movie is a virtual who's-who of cause fighting Hollywood. Richard Gere plays a particularly touching role as a choreographer who knows he is at risk, and sort of sneaks around helping financially and having himself evaluated. He dies from the disease, but you get a real sense of his tragedy and it is easy to love this character.

Lilly Tomlin, B.D. Wong, Glenne Headley and Steve Martin all play smaller roles and it always seems interesting to me that certain actors and actresses seem to appear together time and again. B.D. has his best moments as the confused and weary boy friend of the tireless Bill Krauss, who was a continuous crusader against the inhuman attitude towards homosexuals. Glenne is a fierce researcher who actually seems to track down the zero case in the Americas, a French Canadian flight attendant named Dugas.

The frustrations of the medical researchers at the CDC in Atlanta become more and more extreme as the Reagan administration chokes down on their research budget. As there was a strange stigma attached to AIDS as a Gay disease, the ultra-conservative Reagan administration wouldn't widely support the necessary research. Also, there were incredible problems with the Red Cross and their blood banks being infected with tainted blood.

This movie is moving, touching, historically accurate and full of inspirational acting and dialog. Don't miss the opportunity as it comes on the various HBO channels periodically.

Critic Reviews

Did You Know?


Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin appeared in All of Me (1984).


Dr. Dennis Donohue: When the doctors start acting like businessmen, who do the people turn to for doctors?


The English subtitle translation of the French sequences contains errors. Most are minor, such as the English subtitles saying patients were afraid to come to a French hospital when the actual French said they were refusing to come, but in the first hospital scene, the doctor actually talks about "plaques" rather than "warts" as the subtitles indicated; plaques are the classic presentation of Kaposi's sarcoma.

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.


Manhattan Man
Composed, Arranged and Performed by
Michal Urbaniak


Plot Summary


Drama | History

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