Longtime Companion


(out of 5)

A group of gay men gradually lessen in number as the AIDS epidemic ravages through their community of friends throughout the eighties, taking their lives one by one while the government stands silent and the public cries out with hatred and ignorance. Even obituaries of those killed by the disease refuse to name surviving partners as anything but “longtime companions” in the most anonymous possible sense. This excellent, heartfelt drama examines the lives of this ensemble and spares no heartbreak in bringing the realities of the terrible crisis to the big screen. Credited with being the first fictional film to bring cinematic humanity to the AIDS crisis, it is a lot more powerful than Philadelphia and doesn’t pussyfoot its way around gay men’s relationships; unfortunately its not having the star power behind it that Jonathan Demme’s film benefited from means it reached a far smaller circle of viewers. The fantastic ensemble cast includes an early performance by  and an excellent supporting turn by .  Director Norman Rene himself succumbed to the disease in 1996.

American Playhouse, Companion Productions, The Samuel Goldwyn Company

USA, 1989

Directed by

Screenplay by

Cinematography by

Produced by

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Academy Awards 1990

Golden Globe Awards 1990

Independent Spirit Awards 1990.

New York Film Critics Awards 1990.  

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