Synopsis by Hal Erickson
The late journalist Randy Shilts' best-selling book on the burgeoning AIDS crisis was adapted for cable TV by Arnold Schulman. In 1981, researchers begin discerning a mysterious new disease that apparently affects only homosexual males (or so they thought at that time). Working independently, and with marked hostility toward one another, an American and a French research team manage to identify and name the dreaded HIV virus. The long-range effects of AIDS is experienced through the first- and secondhand experiences of several unfortunates, including a choreographer (Richard Gere) whose character is said to be based on Michael Bennett. The all-star cast (most of whom eschewed their usual high salaries) includes Lily Tomlin as San Francisco health official Selma Dritz, Matthew Modine as Centers for Disease Control researcher Don Francis, Alan Alda as NIH official Robert Gallo (who emerges as the villain of the piece), Ian McKellan as gay activist Bill Kraus, and Glenne Headley, Steve Martin and Anjelica Huston in cameo roles. And the Band Played On debuted September 11, 1993, on HBO.
AIDS, terminal-illness, choreographer, disease, doctor, research, homosexual, love, ego