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City of Angels (1998)

PG-13 | | Drama, Fantasy, Romance | 10 April 1998 (USA)
0:31 | Trailer

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Inspired by the modern classic, Wings of Desire, City involves an angel (Cage) who is spotted by a doctor in an operating room. Franz plays Cage's buddy who somehow knows a lot about angels.



(screenplay), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
4,512 ( 162)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 10 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Teresa Messinger
Rhonda Dotson ...
Susan's Mother
Man in Car
Woman in Car
Christian Aubert ...
Foreign Visitor in Car
Air Traffic Controller
Jimmy, Anesthesiologist


Seth is an angel who accompanies the spirits of the recently dead to the ever after. Seth has never been human and so has has never experienced touch or taste. When in the hospital however he comes across Dr. Maggie Rice, a brilliant young heart surgeon who is devoted to her profession and her patients. Seth has the power to let himself be seen but Maggie finds him far too mysterious. Seth also meets a patient, Nathaniel Messinger, who has news for him - he too was once an angel like Seth but chose to fall to Earth and become human. Seth makes a decision on his future, which does not turn out as he had expected. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


She didn't believe in angels until she fell in love with one. See more »


Drama | Fantasy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexuality including language, and some nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

10 April 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Un ángel enamorado  »

Box Office


$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$15,369,048 (USA) (10 April 1998)


$78,745,923 (USA) (28 August 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


When Meg Ryan is looking in the mirror and Nicolas Cage is not reflected, this was shot twice with motion control: once with Ryan and Cage, once without the actors, and mixed together. also, if you look closely enough, you can see a few strands of Ryan's hair morphing in and out where Cage's face was erased. See more »


At Messinger's welcome home picnic, Seth's reflection is visible in the sliding glass door. But Seth can be seen if he wants to be. See more »


Maggie Rice: We fight for people's lives in here, right?
Jordan Ferris: Uh-huh.
Maggie Rice: Don't you ever wonder who it is we're fighting with?
See more »


Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »


Written by Wojciech Kilar
Performed by Narodowa Orkiestra Symfoniczna Polskiego Radia w Katowicach (as The Polish Radio National Symphony Orchestra, Katowice)
Polish Radio and Televison Choir, Cracow
Anton Wit, Conductor: Delfina Ambroziak, Soprano
See more »

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User Reviews

Are You in Despair?
17 January 2000 | by See all my reviews

A very different look at the world of angels and their interaction with human beings. If this were a story about the devil, IMDB would have plenty of comments so I am not surprised to read so many negative ones.

I don't believe that angels wear black, but I do believe in the premise of this movie: "sometimes things are true whether you believe in them or not."

Meg Ryan, a very unlikely choice, was thoroughly believable as an obsessive-compulsive doctor who never sleeps. When she loses a patient for the first time, she cries bitterly and cannot understand how it could have happened--all witnessed by Nicolas Cage as Seth, an angel who was sent to escort her patient to heaven. Cage allows himself to be seen by Ryan in a hospital corridor and sweetly asks, "Are you in despair?" This entire conversation sweeps the women in the audience into their evolving relationship. Yes, I guess this is definitely a woman's movie.

Others in lesser roles were quite good. Dennis Franz nails the part of a former angel who has "fallen to earth." (I do not watch his television show so this was the first time I have seen him act--I was impressed.) Andre Braugher, formerly of Homicide (a show I did watch), was terrific as Seth's closest angel friend, although he had very few lines, as usual Braugher was effective. His smile at the end of the movie stays with you.

24 of 43 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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