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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.

Director:

Jonathan Demme

Writer:

Ron Nyswaner
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1,169 ( 941)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 18 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Hanks ... Andrew 'Andy' Beckett
Denzel Washington ... Joe Miller
Roberta Maxwell ... Judge Tate
Buzz Kilman Buzz Kilman ... 'Crutches' - Courthouse Elevator
Karen Finley Karen Finley ... Dr. Gillman
Daniel Chapman ... Clinic Storyteller
Mark Sorensen Jr. Mark Sorensen Jr. ... Clinic Patient
Jeffrey Williamson Jeffrey Williamson ... Tyrone - Clinic Worker
Charles Glenn Charles Glenn ... Kenneth Killcoyne
Ron Vawter ... Bob Seidman
Anna Deavere Smith ... Anthea Burton
Stephanie Roth Haberle ... Rachel Smilow (as Stephanie Roth)
Lisa Talerico Lisa Talerico ... Shelby O'Hara - Andy's Secretary
Joanne Woodward ... Sarah Beckett
Jason Robards ... Charles Wheeler
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Storyline

Fearing it would compromise his career, lawyer Andrew Beckett hides his homosexuality and HIV status at a powerful Philadelphia law firm. But his secret is exposed when a colleague spots the illness's telltale lesions. Fired shortly afterwards, Beckett resolves to sue for discrimination, teaming up with Joe Miller (Denzel Washington), the only lawyer willing to help. In court, they face one of his ex-employers top litigators, Belinda Conine. Written by SAMUEL AXON

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:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 January 1994 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

At Risk See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$26,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$143,433, 26 December 1993

Gross USA:

$77,446,440

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$206,678,440
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby | Dolby Atmos (Blu-ray release)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jonathan Demme decided to record the opera scene live so Hanks could get a better performance with the music playing. This proved extremely tricky in the editing suite (music is usually added in post-production). See more »

Goofs

In the hospital scene, as Tom Hanks' character lays on the bed, an oxygen mask is a placed upon his face. The mask's strap is clearly caught under the mask; it's between the face and the mask. Later in the scene, the strap appears out from underneath the mask without being moved. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Andrew Beckett: [making their cases before the judge in her office] This 'pestilent dust' that council refers to has appeared on only three occasions. Each time it was tested and the results: limestone. It's messy, but innocuous.
Joe Miller: [leans in toward Andrew] Innocuous?
Andrew Beckett: Defined by Webster's as 'harmless.'
Joe Miller: I know what it means. May I?
[takes the packet of dust]
Joe Miller: Thank you. Your honor
[takes a whiff of the dust]
Joe Miller: , imagine how the children in this neighborhood are being made to feel: the constant pounding o-of...
[...]
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 »

Alternate Versions

The cable and network television versions of Philadelphia edit out portions of the pharmacy scene where a gay University of Pennsylvania law student attempts to pick up Joe Miller. These two versions end this scene with the law student responding "Do I?" to Joe Miller's question concerning whether Miller looked gay. In the theatrical, home video and premium channel versions, Joe Miller continues to berate the law student with bigot remarks regarding homosexuals. See more »


Soundtracks

O nume tutelar
(from the opera "La Vestale")
Composed by Gasparo Spontini
Performed by Maria Callas
With Tullio Serafin Conducting Orchestra e Coro del Teatro alla Scala
Courtesy of EMI Classics
under license from CEMA Special Markets
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Gay Men Are Macho Too
13 December 1998 | by Angel-77See all my reviews

Philadelphia is a truly amazing movie and a touching story. Tom Hanks plays a lawyer who has been stricken with a horrible disease. He plays a convincing role as Andrew Beckett, a man who knows the meaning of justice and knows what exactly his rights are. What Mr. Hanks also accomplishes with this role is he breaks free from the stereotypes society has dictated on the average gay man. Andrew Beckett is not feminine in any way, he does not have a flair for shoe shopping or hold his arms limp-wristed or talk with a lisp. For these reasons, it has been said that Tom Hanks was not believable as a gay man. I strongly disagree. Andrew Beckett is a normal man who enjoys smoking cigars and takes joy in the law. Who would think he was gay? This is precisely the point the movie is trying to make. A gay man may be walking among you, every day you may see him at school, may play raquetball with him at the gym, may work late hours with him at the office... but yet you'd never suspect he is gay because he does not wear loafers decorated with tassels and he has a low-pitched voice. Men are men, whether gay or not, and should be treated as such -- gays do not deserve special treatment but they deserve equal treatment. Because in most areas, gay men are just like straight men. I commend Tom Hanks for showing the world that gay men can be just as manly as any other. His Oscar was well-deserved and the movie was amazingly ground-breaking.


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