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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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Popularity
1,894 ( 400)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 18 wins & 22 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Hanks ... Andrew Beckett
Denzel Washington ... Joe Miller
Roberta Maxwell ... Judge Tate
Buzz Kilman Buzz Kilman ... Crutches
Karen Finley Karen Finley ... Dr. Gillman
Daniel Chapman ... Clinic Storyteller
Mark Sorensen Jr. Mark Sorensen Jr. ... Clinic Patient
Jeffrey Williamson Jeffrey Williamson ... Tyrone
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
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, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$77,324,422

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Several scenes depicting a more intimate relationship between Andrew and Miguel were chopped out by the studio. They also attempted to block the casting of the HIV-positive Ron Vawter, until Jonathan Demme pointed out how hypocritical this would be in the face of the film's message. See more »

Goofs

Andrew Beckett is called as a trial witness late in the plaintiff's case. This is totally incorrect as he would have been called to testify first as the plaintiff. That establishes his case early and also tries to force the defendants to give in and settle. See more »

Quotes

Andrew Beckett: [to Joe in his office ] "I misplaced an important compliant" that's their story my side of the story is: the night before it was due I worked on the compliant in my office and I left a copy of it on my desk, the next day the compliant vanished no hard copy, all traces of it mysteriously gone from my computer, miraculously a copy was located at the last minute and we got it to court on time but the next day I was summoned to a meeting with the managing partners who were waiting for me in the ...
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 »

Connections

Referenced in Fresh Off the Boat: Blind Spot (2015) 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
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Not a better film in sight
11 March 2001 | by cossallpsychoSee all my reviews

With Hanks, who is always watchable, and Washington, who has also got a very good track record, this film was destined to be fantastic but not even I, who always has an optimistic view when it comes to movies, was ready for the impact that this film made. Tom Hanks excelled even himself with his performance as an AIDS striken homosexual who is fired from his job simply because of his condition. It is Hanks, by himself, who makes the whole scenario in the film believable. Although this is Hanks's best performance of his career, he is very closely followed by Denzel Washington who gives a perfect performance as the only lawyer who will take on the case although he is a homophobe himself. The emotional strain of the film on the audience is immense and in the later stages of the film it is almost impossible to watch because of that. The make-up which gives the impression that Hanks really does have the terrible disease is perfect and the simple yet striking direction from Jonathan Demme(The Silence Of The Lambs) make this utterly compelling viewing although at times it is very uncomfortable. All praise to everyone in the making of this beautiful film.

Anyone who hasn't seen this film must do as soon as possible.


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