A fight with Joe leaves Louis badly scarred; Roy plays a final practical joke on Ethel; Prior wrestles the Angel and then addresses a review board in Heaven; Harper heads out West; Prior, outliving ...
God has abandoned Heaven. It's 1985: the Reagans are in the White House and Death swings the scythe of AIDS. In Manhattan, Prior Walter tells Lou, his lover of four years, he's ill; Lou bolts. As disease and loneliness ravage Prior, guilt invades Lou. Joe Pitt, an attorney who is Mormon and Republican, is pushed by right-wing fixer Roy Cohn toward a job at the Justice Department. Both Pitt and Cohn are in the closet: Pitt out of shame and religious turmoil, Cohn to preserve his power and access. Pitt's wife Harper is strung out on Valium, aching to escape a sexless marriage. An angel invites Prior to be a prophet in death. Pitt's mother and Belize, a close friend, help Prior choose. Written by
The Off-Broadway Signature Theatre Company announced that it would stage the first New York revival of the play in September 2010. The cast includes Billy Porter as Belize, Christian Borle as Prior, Robin Bartlett as Hannah Pitt, Robin Weigert (who had the much-smaller role of the Mormon mother in this film) as the Angel of America, and Zachary Quinto as Louis. See more »
When Belize pulls Roy away from Joe in the hospital hallway, Roy's hand jumps from Joe's shirt to down at his side between shots. See more »
[to a dying Roy Cohn]
I came here to forgive, but all I can do is take pleasure in your misery. Knowing that I would get to see you die, more terribly than I did. And you are. Cause you're dying in shit, Roy. Defeated.
And you could kill me... but you couldn't ever defeat me... you never won. And when you die, all anyone will say is, "Better that he had never lived at all."
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Sometimes, as in the case of this mini-series, all the right elements come together to produce one of the best achievements in American television.
We can be thankful to Tony Kushner for the magnificent play in which this is based. We can give thanks to Mike Nichols for his vision on the possibilities of the material and for assembling and directing the best talent of this generation.
This is such a compelling drama that it would be very hard to get it from one's mind any time soon. The tragedy of AIDS is seen through the playwright eyes. Mr. Kushner presents us different stories that have the same thing in common, basically. He never passes judgment about what caused these people to be afflicted by the disease.
Kudos to an enormous talented cast as they get lost in their roles and in the story. Everything seems real, even though it is fiction.
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