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Philadelphia (1993)

PG-13  |   |  Drama  |  14 January 1994 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 169,748 users   Metascore: 66/100
Reviews: 256 user | 67 critic | 21 from Metacritic.com

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 {gamidd01@morehead-st.edu}

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?


Director Jonathan Demme wanted people not familiar with AIDS issues to see his film. He felt Bruce Springsteen would bring an audience that would not ordinarily see a movie about a gay man dying of AIDS. The movie and the song, "The Streets of Philadelphia", did a great deal to increase AIDS awareness and take some of the stigma off the disease. See more »


When Andy steps out of Joe's office (after Joe's rejection to become Andy's lawyer), you see him standing and reflecting on his situation. He turns his head to the left, and you can see the lining of a rubber mask on his neck(used to make Hanks' head look shaved). See more »


Joe Miller: What do you love about the law, Andrew?
Andrew Beckett: I... many things... uh... uh... What I love the most about the law?
Joe Miller: Yeah.
Andrew Beckett: It's that every now and again - not often, but occasionally - you get to be a part of justice being done. That really is quite a thrill when that happens.
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 »


Referenced in Chelsea Lately: Episode #6.145 (2012) See more »


It's In Your Eyes
Written by LeRonald Walker and Samuel Waymon
Produced by Anotn Sanko
Performed by 'Pauletta Washington (I)'
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

10 August 1998 | by (Portland, Oregon, United States) – See all my reviews

A touching movie, which has taken the place of "The Fugitive" (1993) as my favorite movie. Tom Hanks' performance was obviously worthy of his first Oscar for his portrayal of Andrew Beckett, a gay, AIDS-stricken man who was fired from his job for what he believes to be discrimination against his sexual orientation and disease. Denzel Washington, in his portrayal of Joe Miller, the ex-homophobic who decides to help Andrew win his case, is excellent, deserving of a Best Supporting Actor award. This story of AIDS, homophobia and homosexualism is first-rate. I highly recommend this to anybody looking for a great movie.

50 of 67 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

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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
Scene With Andrew and Joe and Opera compbuttons
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