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And the Band Played On [DVD] [1993]

Release Date:06/05/2001
And the Band Played On takes place mostly within interior settings of doctors' offices, meeting rooms, and labs, so opportunities for innovative visuals remain fairly limited. The 1.66:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer presents the images decently without containing anything exceptional. A few minor specks of dirt do appear intermittently, but they aren't too distracting to cause any serious hindrance. The black levels are fairly solid, and the bleak colors look fine. The events onscreen come across clearly and in good form, and the amount of grain is minimal. With the exception of the mournful score, there are few significant sound elements in this film. Nearly all of the story consists of dialogue spoken in meetings between scientists, the press, and AIDS patients. The 5.1-channel Dolby Digital transfer features an impressive level of clarity and depth. Although it is hardly tested, all of the pivotal moments are easy to decipher. This disc also contains a 2.0-channel Dolby Surround track that varies only slightly from its companion. Both transfers are worthwhile and work effectively to present the film and its message. The lone extra feature on this disc is a nice collection of cast and crew biographies. Each entry contains several pages covering the careers of the major actors, writer Arnold Schulman, and director Roger Spottiswoode. Although there are no filmographies, the 11 sections do provide a decent overview of each individual and their past works. Also noteworthy are the impressive menus, which improve over HBO's usually drab, static presentations.

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    Ratings & Reviews

    Overall Customer Rating:
    100% of customers would recommend this product to a friend (3 out of 3)

    Special Features

    • Animated menus
    • Chapter selections
    • Languages
    • Subtitles
    • Cast & crew bios


    And the Band Played On
    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. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

    Cast & Crew

    • Matthew Modine
      Matthew Modine - Dr. Don Francis
    • Alan Alda
      Alan Alda - Dr. Robert Gallo
    • Patrick Bauchau
      Patrick Bauchau - Dr. Luc Montagnier
    • Nathalie Baye
      Nathalie Baye - Dr. Francoise Barre
    • Christian Clemenson
      Christian Clemenson - Dr. Dale Lawrence

    Product images, including color, may differ from actual product appearance.