directed by Roger Spottiswoode
USA 1993 (TV)

 

"Intelligent examination of the proliferation and diagnosis of what will prove to be the most catastrophic event in the history of our species." - from Gary Tooze's report on AIDS located HERE

 

  Although it has taken me 5 years of continuous re-watchings, I doubt I can write any review that could possibly give this film the justice it deserves. Roger Spottiswoode's HBO televised movie "And the Band Played On" is possibly the best, and certainly the most important, thing I have ever seen come out of television. This is the story of the discovery of  the AIDS virus, the ensuing epidemic, the political infighting of the scientific community, and their hampering of the initial fight against it. Let me preface my comments with some facts:


1) In less than 10 years 1 billion people on this planet will be HIV positive (approx. 1 in 6).
2) For those who contract AIDS - the survival rate is 0.00%.
3) Everyday more than 5000 people die of AIDs with that number relentlessly rising.


Back in 1992 - "And the Band Played On" was produced despite heavy fears in the film industry until Richard Gere accepted a small role, which effectively broke the taboo also risking impeding his skyrocketing career... subsequently Steve Martin , Alan Alda, Phil Collins and Anjelica Houston were also willing to appear. I read somewhere that Aaron Spelling (best known for producing popular sit-com and soapy prime-time dramatic series) said in his autobiography that the production that he was most proud of in his career was this made-for-television film "And the Band Played On".

Folks, although the term is easily throw around, THIS is something that everyone inhabiting our planet should witness. It documents, not only the existence and discovery of the 'modern day plague', it makes us socially aware of how relevant egocentric behavior can become in our own downfall as a species. This is one of the best films I have ever seen.
out of

Gary W. Tooze

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Television Premiere: September 11th, 1993 - USA

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DVD Review: HBO Studios - Region 1- NTSC

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Distribution HBO Studios - Region 1- NTSC
Runtime 2:21:30
Video 1.78:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.81 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s 

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1 Dolby), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Dolby) ,DUB: Spanish (Dolby Digital Mono) 
Subtitles English, Spanish, French None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: HBO Studios

Aspect Ratio:
Original aspect Ratio 1.78:1

Edition Details:

• Cast Crew Bios 

DVD Release Date: June 1st, 1999

Snapper Case
Chapters: 42

 

Comments:

One of the early dual layered DVDs, but still an excellent image with tight lines, consistent skin tones and great contrast. It is worthy of a slew of extra features, but typical for the time it was released, has none except some text screen bios. The audio is never tested, but sports a theatre-like 5.1 track making you believe this TV film was once at the cinema. Subtitles are great and I have no evidence about the 1.78 aspect ratio unless it was made that way, which is possible. Regardless it does not appear to be out of place in the composition of the framing. This DVD is damn cheap too... there is NO REASON that you should not own this. A commentary or substantial featurette would have pushed this to a 5.  out of  

Gary W. Tooze

 





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Distribution HBO Studios - Region 1- NTSC

 

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