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Buddies (1985)

Not Rated | | Drama | 31 October 1985 (West Germany)
The film follows a New York City gay man, in a monogamous relationship, becoming a "buddy" or a volunteer friend to another gay man dying of AIDS and the friendship that develops.


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Credited cast:
Geoff Edholm Geoff Edholm ... Robert Willow
David Schachter David Schachter ... David Bennett
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Damon Hairston Damon Hairston ... Gym instructor
Joyce Korn Joyce Korn ... Lynn
Billy Lux Billy Lux ... Edward
David Rose David Rose ... Steve
Libby Saines Libby Saines ... Mrs. Bennett
Susan Schneider Susan Schneider ... Sylvia Douglas
Tracy Vivat Tracy Vivat ... Nurse


The film follows a New York City gay man, in a monogamous relationship, becoming a "buddy" or a volunteer friend to another gay man dying of AIDS and the friendship that develops.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




Not Rated






Release Date:

31 October 1985 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Venner See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA See more »


Box Office


$27,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Last film made by writer/director Arthur J. Bressan Jr., who died of AIDS at age 44 in 1987. See more »

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User Reviews

1985 was a very hard year for gays, but some people wanted to help
13 October 2018 | by Red-125See all my reviews

Buddies (1985) was written and directed by Arthur J. Bressan Jr.

The movie stars Geoff Edholm as Robert Willow, a young gay man dying from HIV/AIDS. David Schachter portrays David Bennett, a young man who volunteers to be a "buddy" to Robert.

The buddy concept was new to me. Humanitarian groups would assign people to visit people dying from HIV/AIDS if they had no other support system. This must have been common, because many gay men had partners who were dying or had died, and people were afraid to go near people with HIV/AIDS because no one knew how it was transmitted.

This film could have been just a sentimental movie about people dying from a dread disease. It was much more than that. It showed us the human face of people dying from HIV/AIDS, and a human face to those brave enough to help them maintain their dignity.

This movie must have been made on a tiny budget, because the two main characters are about the only actors we see. Many people who would normally have appeared on screen were just speaking parts. The sets were essentially just a hospital room and a gymnasium. (David isn't naturally athletic, but he works out so he won't be a "wimp.") Still, it was effective as a two-person film, so the low budget didn't really interfere.

It's hard to say that you "enjoy" a movie like this, but I can say that I learned from it and am glad that I saw it. It was shown at Rochester's great Dryden Theatre at The George Eastman Museum. The movie was presented as "ImageOut of the Archives" by ImageOut, the excellent Rochester LGBT Film Festival. It will work on the small screen.

Buddies has a very strong IMDb rating of 8.2. Yes--it's that good. Find it and watch it.

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