'Rock Hudson: All That Heaven Allowed' premieres on HBO and Max on June 28
HBO is exploring Rock Hudson's life, death and legacy in a new documentary.
On Thursday, HBO shared the trailer for Rock Hudson: All That Heaven Allowed exclusively with PEOPLE, showcasing Hollywood's affection for the late actor through his career in the mid-20th century — and his life as a gay man, kept secret by the Hollywood studio system and social stigmas of the time period he lived in.
The trailer describes Hudson, an Academy Award-nominated actor who rose to fame in the 1950s, as "the last of those manufactured stars" whose personal lives were built by publicists and handlers, while promising an interview with a man who he was in a relationship with.
The documentary will also cover the actor's July 1985 announcement that he had been diagnosed with AIDS more than a year before and his subsequent decline, leading to his death at age 59 on Oct. 2, 1985.
The actor's death "pretty much did change the course of history around AIDS," one commentator states in the trailer, noting how the public announcement of Hudson's diagnosis prompted significant increases in both private donations toward AIDS research and the U.S. government's own efforts to find a cure for the disease.
Related: The Last Days Of Rock Hudson
The new documentary from HBO "explores the story of a man living a double life, one whose public persona was carefully manufactured by his handlers and orchestrated by the studio system, while fearing a potentially career-ending discovery that he was privately living as a gay man," according to an official synopsis for the film.
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"Nearly four years into the AIDS pandemic, Hudson’s death was a wakeup call for the public and helped elevate serious discussions of the treatment of HIV and AIDS into the mainstream, forcing a reckoning both socially and politically," the synopsis adds.
More than a month after Hudson's death in 1985, PEOPLE reported that more than $1.8 million had been raised in private contributions toward AIDS research and to care for victims of the disease. That figure was double the amount of all money raised toward the cause in 1984. PEOPLE also reported at the time that the U.S. Congress appropriated $221 million to develop a cure for AIDS just days after Hudson's death.
The new movie is directed by Stephen Kijak, who previously directed documentaries like Sid & Judy (2019) and the Lynyrd Skynyrd documentary If I Leave Here Tomorrow (2018), among others. The new film takes its title from the 1955 movie All That Heaven Allows, which made for one of Hudson's breakout roles.
Before it airs on HBO, the documentary will make its world premiere at the 2023 Tribeca Film Festival on June 11. An official festival description of the movie adds that the documentary "confronts the systems that kept [Hudson] closeted for so many years, asking if progress in Hollywood for queer representation has truly been made."
Rock Hudson: All That Heaven Allowed premieres on HBO and Max on June 28.
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Read the original article on People.