6.7/10
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346 user 90 critic

City of Angels (1998)

PG-13 | | Drama, Fantasy, Romance | 10 April 1998 (USA)
An angel on Earth, a doctor unable to believe, a patient with a secret, a love story made in Heaven.

Director:

Brad Silberling

Writers:

Wim Wenders (screenplay "Der Himmel über Berlin"), Peter Handke (screenplay "Der Himmel über Berlin") | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
3,945 ( 705)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 10 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nicolas Cage ... Seth
Meg Ryan ... Dr. Maggie Rice
Andre Braugher ... Cassiel
Dennis Franz ... Nathaniel Messinger
Colm Feore ... Jordan Ferris
Robin Bartlett ... Anne
Joanna Merlin ... Teresa Messinger
Sarah Dampf ... Susan
Rhonda Dotson Rhonda Dotson ... Susan's Mother
Nigel Gibbs ... Doctor
John Putch ... Man in Car
Lauri Johnson ... Woman in Car
Christian Aubert Christian Aubert ... Foreign Visitor in Car
Jay Patterson ... Air Traffic Controller
Shishir Kurup ... Jimmy, Anesthesiologist
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Storyline

Seth is an angel who accompanies the spirits of the recently dead to the ever after. Seth has never been human and so 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

Taglines:

What if angels walked among us, and one of them fell in love with us? See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The sequence in the library with an old man reading a Hemingway's book is a nod to the Wings of Desire (1987). In it Curt Bois plays Homer, an aged poet that his poethical thoughts are read by Damiel (Bruno Ganz) some times. See more »

Goofs

When Maggie and Seth are looking at Maggie's blood through a microscope, the image shown is too zoomed in for a light microscope (with a maximum resolving power of around X1500). See more »

Quotes

Maggie Rice: Got a message for me?
Seth: I already gave it to you.
Maggie Rice: Well, did you use my pager? 'Cause I usually don't get my messages unless you beep me.
Seth: You've definitely been beeped.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The DVD contains some additional/extended scenes:
  • Seth studies Maggie in her home while she is preparing a bath.
  • Maggie's dog Earl leaves her bed at night and she turns the light on. He sits beside Seth who is watching her. As she can't see Seth she just goes back to sleep.
  • The first surgery scene is extended.
  • Maggie prepares dinner while Seth watches her.
  • Seth and Maggie visit Nathaniel Messinger at his bed.
  • After Nathaniel told Maggie that Seth can fall, she goes and searches for angels in the hospital.
  • A montage of small tidbits that had to be cut like Seth talking to a Vietnamese woman or him trying to feel the blowing wind at the beach.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Emmerdale Farm: Episode #1.3522 (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Mama You Got a Daughter
Written and Performed by John Lee Hooker
Courtesy of Vee-Jay Ltd. Partnership
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User Reviews

Are You in Despair?
17 January 2000 | by Petunia-2See 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.


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Details

Official Sites:

Warner Bros.

Country:

USA | Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 April 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

City of Angels See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,369,048, 12 April 1998

Gross USA:

$78,685,114

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$198,685,114
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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