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Philadelphia (1993)

PG-13 | | Drama | 14 January 1994 (USA)
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When a man with HIV 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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2,729 ( 28)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 18 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Andrew Beckett
... Joe Miller
... Judge Tate
Buzz Kilman ... Crutches
Karen Finley ... Dr. Gillman
Daniel Chapman ... Clinic Storyteller
Mark Sorensen Jr. ... Clinic Patient
Jeffrey Williamson ... Tyrone
Charles Glenn ... Kenneth Killcoyne
... Bob Seidman
... Anthea Burton
... Rachel Smilow (as Stephanie Roth)
Lisa Talerico ... Shelby
... Sarah Beckett
... Charles Wheeler
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Storyline

Andrew Beckett, a gay, HIV positive lawyer, is fired from his law firm in fear that they might contract HIV 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

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

14 January 1994 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

At Risk  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$26,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$143,433, 26 December 1993, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$77,324,422

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$206,678,440, 31 December 1994
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Mel Gibson was considered to play Joe Miller. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Joe Miller: What do you love about the law, Andrew?
Andrew Beckett: [from the witness stand] 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.
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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 »


Soundtracks

La mamma morta
(from the opera "Andrea Chénier")
Composed by Umberto Giordano
Performed by Maria Callas
With Tullio Serafin Conducting The Philharmonic Orchestra
Courtesy of EMI Classics
under license from CEMA Special Markets
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Philadelphia is about life, and making it matter.
14 February 2004 | by See all my reviews

Philadelphia is a guttingly emotional and tragic story of how a lawyer fired for having AIDS attempts to vindicate himself in court. Tom Hanks gives perhaps the most powerful performance of his career as Andrew Beckett, the afflicted lawyer. He received the Academy Award in a waltz, and you could almost pick any of his major scenes as worthy of the award.

This movie is probably the best drama regarding gay issues ever made. Remember, it was made in 1993, when AIDS was still a terminal disease, and it recalls the early days of an epidemic that may not square with the vision afforded today, but at the time, this was the reality of AIDS.

The entire crew is A-List. Tak Fujimoto, who would also film Silence of the Lambs and Sixth Sense, directed cinematography. Jonathan Demme, also of Silence of the Lambs fame, directs with typical honesty and grit. Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young contributed hauntingly touching original songs. Even Antonio Banderas, whom I never miss an opportunity to vilify, is moving as Hanks' devoted and supportive partner. Denzel Washington was well cast as the homophobic lawyer who ultimately takes Hanks' case, and Mary Steenburgen is surprising in an uncharacteristic villain role.

Ron Vawter, who played one of the lawyers in the firm from which Hanks was fired, and also appeared in Silence of the Lambs, was himself suffering from AIDS at the time of filming, and he eventually succumbed to it a few years later. His appearance in the film encapsulates the reality of the AIDS epidemic, in that it often touched our lives in unexpected places.

Although I have literally thousands of movies in my collection, I don't own this one. Not because I don't love it. I do. It's because I can't watch it without being overcome by emotion. Anyone who can watch Hanks' in the Opera scene, or hear Springsteen's or Young's eerie and melancholy ballads and not weep is dead inside. But in the end, Philadelphia is about life, and making it matter.


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