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Playwright Tony Kushner adapts his political epic about the AIDS crisis during the mid-eighties, around a group of separate but connected individuals.
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Won 5 Golden Globes. Another 56 wins & 42 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete series cast summary:
 Roy Cohn (5 episodes, 2003)
 Harper Pitt (5 episodes, 2003)
 Belize / ... (5 episodes, 2003)
 Prior Walter / ... (5 episodes, 2003)
 Louis Ironson (5 episodes, 2003)
 Joe Pitt (5 episodes, 2003)
 Roy's Doctor (5 episodes, 2003)
 Ethel Rosenberg / ... (5 episodes, 2003)
 Nurse Emily / ... (5 episodes, 2003)
 Martin Heller (4 episodes, 2003)
 Mormon Mother (4 episodes, 2003)
Melissa Wilder ...
 Louis's Sister (4 episodes, 2003)
 Super (4 episodes, 2003)
Fatima Da Silva ...
 Cousin Doris (4 episodes, 2003)
Kevin 'Flotilla DeBarge' Joseph ...
 Singer in Church (4 episodes, 2003)
Sterling Brown ...
 Orderly (4 episodes, 2003)
Florence Kastriner ...
 Louis' Mother (4 episodes, 2003)
Lisa LeGuillou ...
 Nurse (4 episodes, 2003)
 Louis' Father (4 episodes, 2003)
Shawn Bartels ...
 Mennonite Choir Members (4 episodes, 2003)
Brian Dougherty ...
 Mennonite Choir Members (4 episodes, 2003)
Mary Esbjornson ...
 Mennonite Choir Members (4 episodes, 2003)
Barbara Fusco ...
 Mennonite Choir Members (4 episodes, 2003)
Serafina Martino ...
 Mennonite Choir Members (4 episodes, 2003)
Steven Edward Moore ...
 Mennonite Choir Members (4 episodes, 2003)
Christopher Schuman ...
 Mennonite Choir Members (4 episodes, 2003)
Reldalee Wagner ...
 Mennonite Choir Members (4 episodes, 2003)
Matthew Yohn ...
 Mennonite Choir Members (4 episodes, 2003)


God has abandoned Heaven. It's 1985: the Reagans are in the White House and Death swings the scythe of AIDS. In Manhattan, Prior Walter tells Lou, his lover of four years, he's ill; Lou bolts. As disease and loneliness ravage Prior, guilt invades Lou. Joe Pitt, an attorney who is Mormon and Republican, is pushed by right-wing fixer Roy Cohn toward a job at the Justice Department. Both Pitt and Cohn are in the closet: Pitt out of shame and religious turmoil, Cohn to preserve his power and access. Pitt's wife Harper is strung out on Valium, aching to escape a sexless marriage. An angel invites Prior to be a prophet in death. Pitt's mother and Belize, a close friend, help Prior choose. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The messenger has arrived.


Drama | Fantasy | Romance


TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




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Release Date:

7 December 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ameerika inglid  »

Box Office


$60,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


(6 parts)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Some of the actors play multiple parts, just as was done in the play. See more »


The NYC subways and its signs were modern rather than from the 1980s. See more »


Prior: I usually say, "Fuck the truth," but mostly, the truth fucks you.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Person Generally in Charge of Everything Aaron Geller See more »


Referenced in 15th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards (2009) See more »


Shall We Gather At The River?
(hymn written in 1864)
Music and Lyrics by Robert Lowry (1826-1899)
Performed by Meryl Streep and choir
See more »

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User Reviews

Amazing film of amazing play
11 October 2004 | by (Illinois) – See all my reviews

It saddens me to read some of the negative reviews of this film adaptation of Kushner's brilliant Pulitzer and Tony-winning play. I guess some people simply can't see past their bigotry. (I find it revealing that most of the negative reviews appear to be written by people who clearly have no idea that Roy Cohn was a real person, and I bet they never heard of the Rosenberg's either.)

I was lucky enough to see the Broadway production of Angels with the original cast, and it was without question the highlight of my 25 years of theatre-going. While I prefer the stage version over the film (I usually do), Nichol's film does an outstanding job of capturing the brilliance of Kushner's script.

Personally, I believe that Pacino gives the performance of his career, and Streep is amazing in her three roles. The other performances are quite solid as well.

This film not only won a record 11 Emmys, taking the award for Outstanding Miniseries and all four acting trophies, it also won those same awards at the Golden Globe presentations plus four SAG acting awards. In short, it won practically every award it possibly could.

I often have my Theatre 101 students read this play. I now look forward to being able to show scenes from the film version as well.

Obviously, I recommend this film highly.

144 of 191 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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