Philadelphia

Philadelphia

4.7 16
Director: Jonathan Demme

Cast: Jonathan Demme, Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Jason Robards Jr.

     
 

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At the time of its release, Jonathan Demme's Philadelphia was the first big-budget Hollywood film to tackle the medical, political, and social issues of AIDS. Tom Hanks, in his first Academy Award-winning performance, plays Andrew Beckett, a talented lawyer at a stodgy Philadelphia law firm. The homosexual Andrew has contracted AIDS but fears informing his firm…  See more details below

Overview

At the time of its release, Jonathan Demme's Philadelphia was the first big-budget Hollywood film to tackle the medical, political, and social issues of AIDS. Tom Hanks, in his first Academy Award-winning performance, plays Andrew Beckett, a talented lawyer at a stodgy Philadelphia law firm. The homosexual Andrew has contracted AIDS but fears informing his firm about the disease. The firm's senior partner, Charles Wheeler (Jason Robards), assigns Andrew a case involving their most important client. Andrew begins diligently working on the case, but soon the lesions associated with AIDS are visible on his face. Wheeler abruptly removes Andrew from the case and fires him from the firm. Andrew believes he has been fired because of his illness and plans to fight the firm in court. But because of the firm's reputation, no lawyer in Philadelphia will risk handling his case. In desperation, Andrew hires Joe Miller (Denzel Washington), a black lawyer who advertises on television, mainly handling personal injury cases. Miller dislikes homosexuals but agrees to take the case for the money and exposure. As Miller prepares for the courtroom battle against one of the law firm's key litigators, Belinda Conine (Mary Steenburgen), Miller begins to realize the discrimination practiced against Andrew is no different from the discrimination Miller himself has to battle against. The cast also includes Antonio Banderas as Andrew's partner, Joanne Woodward as Andrew's mother, and Stephanie Roth as Joe's wife.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Clark
Widely noted as the first mainstream studio film to deal with AIDS, and featuring two of the world's biggest actors (Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington), Jonathan Demme's moving, well-intentioned drama, despite its naysayers, is a challenging and sometimes surprising work. Both leads (especially Hanks, in his first Oscar-winning role) deliver wonderfully nuanced portrayals, and Demme's signature touches (particularly the potent use of close-ups and music) are perfectly suited to this material. Denounced by many gay audiences as timid and tentative about its central romantic pairing (Hanks and Antonio Banderas) -- not to mention its eagerness to please mass American viewers -- the film nonetheless benefits from its decency and warm approach in dealing with its characters. For whatever missteps the film makes (framing a deeply tragic character study within the auspices of a courtroom drama, for one), its emotions are indelible and its risk-taking is appreciated. Bruce Springsteen won an Oscar for his haunting, elegant opening-titles theme, "Streets of Philadelphia," and in an odd case of art imitating life, Hanks' tearful, memorable Oscar acceptance speech (where he thanked his gay acting teacher from years back) became the source material for the 1997 comedy In & Out, starring Kevin Kline.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/14/1995
UPC:
0043396526136
Original Release:
1993
Rating:
PG13
Source:
Sony Pictures

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Tom Hanks Andrew Beckett
Denzel Washington Joe Miller
Jason Robards Charles Wheeler
Mary Steenburgen Belinda Conine
Antonio Banderas Miguel Alvarez
Ron Vawter Bob Seidman
Joanne Woodward Sarah Beckett
Charles Napier Judge Garnett
Andre B. Blake Young Man in Pharmacy
Robert W. Castle Bud Beckett
Daniel Chapman Clinic Storyteller
Roger Corman Mr. Laird
Ann Dowd Jill Beckett
David Drake Bruno
Charles Glenn Kenneth Killcoyne
Paul Lazar Dr. Klenstein
John Bedford Lloyd Matt Beckett
Roberta Maxwell Judge Tate
Warren Miller Mr. Finley
Joey Perillo Filko
Lauren Roselli Iris
Anna Deavere Smith Anthea Burton
Daniel Von Bargen Jury Foreman
Tracey Walter Librarian
Bradley Whitford Jamey Collins
Kathryn Witt Melissa Benedict
Julius "Dr. J" Erving Himself
Howard Feuer Actor
Robert Ridgely Walter Kenton
Buzz Kilman "Crutches"
Stephanie Roth Rachel Smilow
Paul Moore Hospital Patient
Jane Moore Lydia Glines
Adam Le Fevre Jill's Husband
Gary Goetzman Guido Paonessa
Jordan Cael The Jury
Dodie Demme The Jury
Harry Northrup The Jury
Kenneth Utt The Jury
Steve Vignari The Jury
Lawrence T. Wrentz The Jury
Obba Babatunde Jerome Green
James B. Howard Dexter Smith
Jim Roche "Not Adam and Steve"
Donna Hamilton Angela Medina
Tony Fitzpatrick Bartender
Ira Flitter Andrew's Friend
Gene Borkan Bailiff
Lucas Platt Robert
Lewis Walker "Punchline"
Randy Aaron Fink E.R. Doctor
Lisa Summerour Lisa Miller

Technical Credits
Jonathan Demme Director,Producer
Colleen Atwood Costumes/Costume Designer
Ron Bozman Executive Producer
Howard Feuer Casting
Tak Fujimoto Cinematographer
Tim Galvin Art Director
Gary Goetzman Executive Producer
Tony Jannelli Camera Operator
Craig McKay Editor
Chris Newman Sound/Sound Designer
Ron Nyswaner Screenwriter
Karen O'Hara Set Decoration/Design
Steve Rose Production Designer
Steve Rose Production Designer
Edward Saxon Producer
Howard Shore Score Composer
Bruce Springsteen Score Composer
Kenneth Utt Executive Producer
Neil Young Score Composer
Kristi Zea Associate Producer,Production Designer

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