Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Longtime Companion (1990)


Written by Tim Dirks

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Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Longtime Companion (1990)

In Norman Rene's sensitively-told, independent ensemble AIDS film about the devastating effects of the epidemic (regarded first as a mysterious "cancer") told in vignettes involving seven gay New Yorkers - it was the first major feature film to deal explicitly with AIDS - two earlier limited release films that also dealt with AIDS were Buddies (1985) and Parting Glances (1986):

  • the story of white Manhattanites in the 80s decade, including David (Bruce Davison in an Oscar-nominated performance) as the lover of a deteriorating AIDS patient, soap opera scriptwriter Sean (Mark Lamos); the scene of David's loving, calm advice to his dying partner and 'longtime companion' Sean: ("It's OK, you can go. Let go now, baby. It's all right. Don't be afraid. I'm here...You let go of everything. Don't hold on...Let go. Just relax, let everything go. Let go. Let go...I know you're tired. Just let go. I've got ya. Now nothin' bad's gonna happen. Let go of everything. Don't worry. Let go. All your pain. Just let it all go. Just let go. There you go")
  • the famous closing "Fire Island Fantasy" in which the three surviving friends Willy (Campbell Scott), Alan/Fuzzy (Stephen Caffrey) and Lisa (Mary-Louise Parker) strolled on an empty Fire Island beach when Willy wistfully mused: ("It seems inconceivable, doesn't it... there was ever a time before all this, when we didn't wake up every day wondering who's sick now, who else is gone?...I just want to be there if they ever do find a cure") - as bluegrass singer Zane Campbell's haunting Post-Mortem Bar was heard in the background
  • the heart-breaking fantasy of the joyous reunion/party of the three survivors and their dead loved ones, when all of the dead reverted back to their healthy selves for a few moments and were greeted by the threesome before cutting back to them on the beach alone, as Willy repeated: "I just want to be there" - the film's last line

David to Sean: "Let go"

"Fire Island Fantasy"


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