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Philadelphia (1993)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  14 January 1994 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 168,128 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 255 user | 67 critic | 21 from

When a man with AIDS is fired by his law firm because of his condition, he hires a homophobic small time lawyer as the only willing advocate for a wrongful dismissal suit.



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Won 2 Oscars. Another 10 wins & 15 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Judge Tate
Buzz Kilman ...
Karen Finley ...
Dr. Gillman
Daniel Chapman ...
Clinic Storyteller
Mark Sorensen Jr. ...
Clinic Patient
Jeffrey Williamson ...
Charles Glenn ...
Kenneth Killcoyne
Ron Vawter ...
Bob Seidman
Rachel Smilow (as Stephanie Roth)
Lisa Talerico ...


Andrew Beckett, a gay lawyer infected with AIDS, is fired from his law firm in fear that they might contract AIDS from him. After Andrew is fired, in a last attempt for peace, he sues his former law firm with the help of a homophobic lawyer, Joe Miller. During the court battle, Miller sees that Beckett is no different than anyone else on the gritty streets of the city of brotherly love, sheds his homophobia and helps Beckett with his case before AIDS overcomes him. Written by Geoffrey A. Middleton {}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


No one would take on his case... until one man was willing to take on the system.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some graphic language and thematic material | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

14 January 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

At Risk  »

Box Office


$26,000,000 (estimated)


£9,439,124 (UK) (20 May 1994)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Tom Hanks had to lose almost thirty pounds to appear appropriately gaunt for his courtroom scenes. Denzel Washington, on the other hand, was asked to gain a few pounds for his role. Washington, to the chagrin of Hanks, who practically starved himself for the role, would often eat chocolate bars in front of him. See more »


The bowls that Joe Miller puts on the table. See more »


Joe Miller: I don't buy it counselor.
Andrew Beckett: That's very disappointing.
Joe Miller: I don't see a case.
Andrew Beckett: I have a case!
See more »

Crazy Credits

"This motion picture was inspired in part by Geoffrey Bowers' AIDS discrimination lawsuit, the courage and love of the Angius family and the struggles of the many others who, along with their loved ones, have experienced discrimination because of AIDS." See more »


Featured in 100 Years at the Movies (1994) See more »


Ecco: respiro appena
(from the opera "Adriana Lecouvreur")
Composed by Francesco Cilea
Performed by Maria Callas
With Tullio Serafin Conducting The Philharmonic Orchestra
Courtesy of EMI Classics
under license from CEMA Special Markets
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Not a better film in sight
11 March 2001 | by (Nottingham,England) – See all my reviews

With Hanks, who is always watchable, and Washington, who has also got a very good track record, this film was destined to be fantastic but not even I, who always has an optimistic view when it comes to movies, was ready for the impact that this film made. Tom Hanks excelled even himself with his performance as an AIDS striken homosexual who is fired from his job simply because of his condition. It is Hanks, by himself, who makes the whole scenario in the film believable. Although this is Hanks's best performance of his career, he is very closely followed by Denzel Washington who gives a perfect performance as the only lawyer who will take on the case although he is a homophobe himself. The emotional strain of the film on the audience is immense and in the later stages of the film it is almost impossible to watch because of that. The make-up which gives the impression that Hanks really does have the terrible disease is perfect and the simple yet striking direction from Jonathan Demme(The Silence Of The Lambs) make this utterly compelling viewing although at times it is very uncomfortable. All praise to everyone in the making of this beautiful film.

Anyone who hasn't seen this film must do as soon as possible.

93 of 126 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Just a bunch of question about some scenes I didn't understand badida_1995
Why didn't Andrew represent himself? braveulysses
Such an unnecessary ending. kaunte
Charles Wheeler and partners tom26x9
Sympathy for the antagonists agspiess
Why didn´t Miguel get Aids too? Angie0686
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