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Angels in America

Angels in America

4.4 26
Director: Mike Nichols

Cast: Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Emma Thompson

Mike Nichols' award-winning adaptation of Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Angels in America arrives on DVD with an anamorphic transfer that preserves the original broadcast aspect ratio. English soundtracks are rendered in Dolby Digital 5.1, while English, French, and Spanish soundtracks have been recorded in Dolby Digital Stereo. English and Spanish


Mike Nichols' award-winning adaptation of Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Angels in America arrives on DVD with an anamorphic transfer that preserves the original broadcast aspect ratio. English soundtracks are rendered in Dolby Digital 5.1, while English, French, and Spanish soundtracks have been recorded in Dolby Digital Stereo. English and Spanish subtitles are accessible. There are no supplemental materials of any consequence, but considering that the film is regarded as one of television's finest made-for-cable movies, this disc is a must-own for anyone who enjoys great writing and great acting.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Extravagantly mounted on a budget that reportedly topped $60 million, this small-screen adaptation of Tony Kushner's Pulitzer Prize-winning play is an extraordinarily complex and rewarding work of art. Set during the mid-'80s, when America was being battered by the first wave of AIDS deaths, it depicts the variegated reactions of numerous people whose contact with the dread disease, however ephemeral, irrevocably changes their lives. One of them is the infamous McCarthyite lawyer Roy Cohn (ferociously played by Al Pacino), himself an AIDS sufferer who personifies the hypocrisy and callousness of the "official" response to the plague. His lack of empathy is stunning; even on his own deathbed, he castigates his gay nurse (Jeffrey Wright, reprising his Tony-winning stage role) and taunts the spirit of the woman he helped put to death, accused Communist spy Ethel Rosenberg (Meryl Streep, who essays three major roles). Another patient, Prior Walter (Justin Kirk), is visited by an angel (Emma Thompson) after being deserted by his self-pitying lover, Louis (Ben Shenkman). Louis becomes involved with closeted gay man Joe Pitt (Patrick Wilson), a Mormon lawyer whose distraught wife (Mary-Louise Parker) eventually becomes delusional. These characters periodically collide as the plot develops, and their interactions are memorable, thanks largely to the cast's uniformly superb delivery of Kushner's witty, direct, and occasionally poetic dialogue. Angels in America reflects the anger so deeply felt by AIDS activists, and its implicit and explicit indictments of Reagan-era inaction fix blame for the epidemic's spread on the federal government. There's no denying the power of its brilliantly realized presentation, and one critic called this HBO presentation "a transcendent work of art" with ample justification. It's a thought-provoking, unforgettable film that will leave a lasting impression on all who see it.
All Movie Guide - Andrea LeVasseur
Billing itself as a major television event, Tony Kushner's award-winning play Angels in America is an ambitious project, to say the least. Fortunately, it's directed by theatrically trained veteran filmmaker Mike Nichols (who's enjoyed much success with stage-to-screen adaptations ever since his first film, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, in 1966). As a six-hour epic aired in two long segments, Angels marked a scheduling precedent on HBO. Such a huge project is destined to become overwhelming, and this is no exception. The high language, splashy special effects, and supernatural dream logic are surely too much for the casual cable TV viewer. However, those who appreciated the Broadway smash in 1993 will most likely be delighted by the careful construction and presentation of the source material in this version. Although it's quite a task to top the original Tony-winning Broadway actors, this cast is full of well-known names who are up to the challenge. Two of the biggest stars on the roster, Meryl Streep and Emma Thompson, seem to be having the most fun in their showy multiple roles. Thompson gets to shout flowery lines while in midair, and Streep is just a doll as the ghost of Ethel Rosenberg. As Roy Cohn, Al Pacino gets to play yet another despicable creature, while Mary-Louise Parker is as good as ever playing a long-suffering wife. Relative newcomers Justin Kirk, Patrick Wilson, and Ben Shenkman are all appropriately handsome leads involved in a love triangle, while Jeffrey Wright trumps them all by reprising his stage role of down-to-earth yet flamboyant nursemaid Belize. All of the performers are top-notch at delivering Kushner's poetic prose. Admittedly, it's difficult to view the subject matter in light of the political era in which it was written -- especially given that the state of the world has since worsened (considering the role that AIDS, conservative politics, and religious intolerance have played since the '80s). When seen as a period piece, however, Angels in America is a beautifully excessive drama that seems to have arrived at just the right time.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Hbo Home Video
Region Code:
Sales rank:

Special Features

Closed Caption; [None specified]

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Al Pacino Roy Cohn
Meryl Streep Hannah Pitt,Ethel Rosenberg,Rabbi Isador Chemelwitz
Emma Thompson The Angel,Emily,Homeless Woman
Mary-Louise Parker Harper Pitt
Jeffrey Wright Belize,Mr. Lies
Justin Kirk Prior Walter,Leatherman in Park
Patrick Wilson Joe Pitt
Ben Shenkman Louis Ironson
James Cromwell Roy's Doctor
Simon Callow Prior 2
Michael Gambon Prior 1
Brian Markinson Martin Heller
Robin Weigert Mormon Mother

Technical Credits
Mike Nichols Director,Executive Producer
John Bloom Editor
Cary Brokaw Executive Producer
Celia Costas Producer
Stephen Goldblatt Cinematographer
Evyen Klean Musical Direction/Supervision
Tony Kushner Screenwriter
Ellen Lewis Casting
Thomas Newman Score Composer
Ann Roth Costumes/Costume Designer
Juliet Taylor Casting
Stuart Wurtzel Production Designer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. Chapter 1
2. Chapter 2
3. Chapter 3
Side #2 --
1. Chapter 4
2. Chapter 5
3. Chapter 6


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Angels in America 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 26 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the most faithful film/television adaptations out there of a literary work of any kind. The cast is simply superb. Mary-Louise Parker in particular surpised the hell out of me with her tender, vulnerable performance. Broadway veteran Patrick Wilson also shows he has some great acting chops. Streep and Pacino are outstanding as ususal. Basically, the whole cast is excellent and it would take too much room to mention them individually. Tony Kushner's words and message are brought brilliantly to life by Mike Nichols and it just goes to show that a lot of money for production can go a really long way and achieve something great in the proper hands. As to those who are "tired of the subject matter" I say to you: WAKE UP!!! These are real issues that real people who live outside of your thoroughly homogenized, double-shot of esspresso, WASP-ish, bible-thumping, blinders on, W-is-great lives are dealing with everyday. Tired of the subject matter? Are you kidding me? This play, lik RENT, was written to make everyone aware of the very real threat of AIDS and HIV and is intended as a message to the public to get off their collective behinds and do something about it. Look, if you are uncomfortable with what the play and the mini-series has to say, then don't read or watch it. Go home and listen to Rush Limbaugh and read Left Behind and pretend that nothing exists outside of your own little world and dream of the day that you and your ridiculous ilk will go to heaven and live happily ever after and all sinners like me and Tony Kushner will....blah, blah, blah.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellent acting and an awsome script until about halfway thru, Takes a turn for the worse and has alot of uneeded self pity type of chatter from the lead actor's lover. Also. I had a huge problem with the angels having sex with humans everytime they meet one. Seemed kind of sleezy and left me with a negative feeling about Angels. They also claimed that God is missing and rarely mentioned his name except to curse him. Theres a section in the movie that has the lead actors standing up and making speeches that will give you the sensation of fingernails scratching down and across a chalkboard. They leave God out of the equation but offer no hope or answer for the situation other than to say that "The work now begins". The lame attempt at preaching to the audience left me wanting to destroy the DVD and warn others.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this film deeply moving and scorchingly honest. Bible thumpers and conservatives be warned that this is not for you, however--as one patron appeared to be misled by the title. (read the descriptions, people!)
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a very well written and crafted piece of art. Deals with the important issues of our time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An incredibly emotional movie. Those who think it's 'pornographic' and 'anti-religious' need to look past that. The nudity in the film is there for a reason, and it's not for pornography. The religious theme(s) are there for a reason as well. Emma Thompson plays the three different characters for a reason. This movie is here for a reason. It's a brilliant film and extremely emotional. It will touch your heart like no other movie you've seen. HIGHLY recommended for anyone and everyone.
Ethell More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed everything about it, I cannot believe Al Pacino was this good at what he does. Meryl Streep; pure excellence! The whole plot of it is really emotional but true and I think people really need to watch this to know what I'm talking about. Well worth my time and you should definitely watch this.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Angels' is one of the most important theatrical works to come at the end of the last century; Mike Nichols has done the impossible, and made this WORK as a telefilm. I have seen many stage-to-screen adaptations crash and burn; here is the exception, and the rule that future adaptations should follow.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie's writing and acting will BLOW YOUR MIND. Ben Shenkman is especially great.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best dramas I have ever seen on television. It is very complex, well written and acted, and thought provoking. This is a 'Do Not Miss' event because it is more than just a movie. I would highly recommend it as an 'experience' as well as an important drama. The actors are fantastic as is the direction and scoring. It is definitely a 'must see'.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I laugh as I read the reviews stating this movie is "UnGodly!" First, anyone buying this movie because it has "Angels" in the title will be greatly suprised and should be embarrassed that they have never heard what is arguably one of our centuries greatest litterary works. Kushner's script proves to be highly dramatic, rich in symbol and meaning, and an exceptional telling of how the Regan administration foolishly ignored one of the countries greatest plagues. I myself am a Christian, and I still find this to be a wonderful tribute to a group of people hit with grief and dispair. "More Life" to everyone. "The world only moves forward."
Guest More than 1 year ago
and you'll never forget it. still thinking about what i've seen after so many days. full of life and death, yet so uplifting. long live art!
Guest More than 1 year ago
...to this simply miraculous achievement. I saw in repertory a touring company of Tony Kushner magnum opus back in the early 90's and was simply blown away by the sheer intelligence and passion of this work! I recall saying to myself that as staggering as this work was and due to the innate theatricality woven into the script it would never be able to be adapted to any other artistic medium. Was I ever wrong! Mike Nichols , who has never done anything better in his entire career, has done a simply brilliant job in reconceptualizing this stunning work of art, which will one day join the list of the inmortal theatrical works, to be considered in the same breadth of Hamlet and Death of a Salesman.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I cannot believe that so many awards went to this film. Al Pacino, Emma Thompson, and Meryl Streep's acting was superb, as always, but the show itself was a total disappontment. I for one, and tired of the subject matter
Guest More than 1 year ago
if you like this, check out any book by c.s. lewis. he's amazing
Guest More than 1 year ago
There are NO more words to discribe this story. Just see it, read it, injest it, embrace it and look at the world in a new way. Ciao.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A mini series that goes by so fast, you want to start it over the second it is finished. One of the best films of a stage play ever! Please do yourself a favor and watch this film then share it with friends and family. You will feel every emotion you have. A MUST see for everyone.
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