Playwright Tony Kushner adapted his political epic about the A.I.D.S. crisis during the mid 1980s and centers the story around a group of separate but connected individuals.
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1  
2003  
Won 5 Golden Globes. Another 60 wins & 43 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
Al Pacino ...  Roy Cohn 6 episodes, 2003
Mary-Louise Parker ...  Harper Pitt 6 episodes, 2003
Justin Kirk ...  Prior Walter / ... 6 episodes, 2003
Jeffrey Wright ...  Mr. Lies / ... 6 episodes, 2003
Ben Shenkman ...  Louis Ironson 6 episodes, 2003
Patrick Wilson ...  Joe Pitt 6 episodes, 2003
Meryl Streep ...  Hannah Pitt / ... 6 episodes, 2003
Brian Markinson ...  Martin Heller 5 episodes, 2003
Emma Thompson ...  Nurse Emily / ... 5 episodes, 2003
James Cromwell ...  Roy's Doctor 4 episodes, 2003
Melissa Wilder Melissa Wilder ...  Louis's Sister 4 episodes, 2003
Fatima Da Silva Fatima Da Silva ...  Cousin Doris 4 episodes, 2003
Florence Kastriner Florence Kastriner ...  Louis' Mother 4 episodes, 2003
Howard Pinhasik ...  Louis' Father 4 episodes, 2003
Robin Weigert ...  Mormon Mother 3 episodes, 2003
David Zayas ...  Super 3 episodes, 2003
Flotilla Debarge Flotilla Debarge ...  Singer in Church 3 episodes, 2003
Sterling Brown Sterling Brown ...  Orderly 3 episodes, 2003
Lisa LeGuillou Lisa LeGuillou ...  Nurse 3 episodes, 2003
Shawn Bartels Shawn Bartels ...  Mennonite Choir Members 3 episodes, 2003
Brian Dougherty Brian Dougherty ...  Mennonite Choir Members 3 episodes, 2003
Mary Esbjornson Mary Esbjornson ...  Mennonite Choir Members 3 episodes, 2003
Barbara Fusco Barbara Fusco ...  Mennonite Choir Members 3 episodes, 2003
Serafina Martino Serafina Martino ...  Mennonite Choir Members 3 episodes, 2003
Steven Edward Moore Steven Edward Moore ...  Mennonite Choir Members 3 episodes, 2003
Christopher Schuman Christopher Schuman ...  Mennonite Choir Members 3 episodes, 2003
Reldalee Wagner Reldalee Wagner ...  Mennonite Choir Members 3 episodes, 2003
Matthew Yohn Matthew Yohn ...  Mennonite Choir Members 3 episodes, 2003
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Storyline

God has abandoned Heaven. It's 1985: the Reagans are in the White House and Death swings the scythe of A.I.D.S. In Manhattan, Prior Walter ( Justin Kirk ) tells Louis ( Ben Shenkman ), his lover of four years, he's ill; Louis bolts. As disease and loneliness ravage Prior, guilt invades Louis. Joe Pitt ( Patrick Wilson ), an attorney who is Mormon and Republican, is pushed by right-wing fixer Roy Cohn ( Al Pacino ) toward a job at the Justice Department. 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 (Mary-Louise Parker) 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 (Jeffrey Wright), a close friend, help Prior choose. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Plot Keywords:

hiv | death | loneliness | valium | heaven | See All (173) »

Taglines:

The messenger has arrived.

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Romance

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

In February 2016, London's National Theatre announced that they were planning to stage a revival of Tony Kushner's source play. The announcement was made over a year before the planned opening of the show (slated to begin in April 2017 at the Lyttelton Theatre). The only cast member announced at that time was Andrew Garfield, who was scheduled to play Prior Walter. See more »

Goofs

When Prior waits for Louis to approach in the park the music playing is '90s hip-hop, not mid-'80s rap. See more »

Quotes

Prior Walter Ancestor #2: The twentieth century. Oh dear, the world has gotten so terribly, terribly old.
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Crazy Credits

Person Generally in Charge of Everything Aaron Geller See more »

Connections

Referenced in Biography: Al Pacino: Inside Out (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Maddening and fascinating
21 November 2004 | by GMJamesSee all my reviews

There was a statement that was going through my head while watching "Angels in America": I know what art is when I see it. Just like art, this ambitious miniseries dares the viewer to have an opinion on the various subjects brought up by screenwriter/playwright Tony Kuchner.

I saw the miniseries one chapter at a time, which may or may not have been a good idea to get the full impact of the point. At least it did motivate me to read both of Kuchner's "Angels" plays.

I found it to be both a frustrating and challenging miniseries. There were the great performances by Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Justin Kirk, and Jeffrey Wright and the good performances by Emma Thompson, Mary-Louise Parker, Patrick Wright and, in a small role, James Cromwell.

I find it rather humorous that some people thought Al Pacino was miscast as Roy Cohn. Though this is Kuchner's fictional view of Cohn and having seen the real Roy Cohn in television interviews, I though Pacino was not too far from the essence of who Cohn was: an ambitious but very bitter gay man in denial who helped his notable clients but was always out for himself. Cohn was rabid dog without a leash. This was Pacino's first television role and I though he did a great job. (Correction: Pacino's only television acting role prior to "Angels in America" and not including the edited version of "The Godfather Saga" was the short-lived but critically-acclaimed ABC drama "N.Y.P.D." (1967-69).

I did have a few problems with the mini-series. The role played by Ben Shenkman (Louis) was incredibly annoying. I heard that role is Tony Kuchner's alter ego. Louis redeems himself at the end but I found him to be a whiny, cowardly man who had difficulty counting his blessings. I loved it when after Louis' typically long diatribes, Belize (Jeffrey Wright) verbally put him down with a just a few words.

In both plays, many of the actors played multiple roles. It seems more of a gimmick on the small screen, though I think Streep and Wright fared best.

The always dependable Thomas Newman has fashioned a haunting musical score. It was minimalistic and very memorable. The theme has been on my mind ever since I first heard the theme when the miniseries won various awards at the Golden Globes. (Update: The miniseries received 21 Emmy nominations and won a record (for miniseries) 11 Emmys. For some mysterious reason, Newman's brilliant score was overlooked.)

I don't see this play adapted for the big screen without chopping a lot of things out. Congratulations to Mike Nichols and the cast and crew for taking a chance adapting "Angels in America" to television.


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Details

Official Sites:

HBO

Country:

USA | Italy

Language:

English | Hebrew | Aramaic | Yiddish | French

Release Date:

7 December 2003 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Angels in America See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$60,000,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(6 parts)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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