Philadelphia

 
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Product Description

No one would take his case until one man was willing to take on the system. Two competing lawyers join forces to sue a prestigious law firm for aids discrimination. As their unlikely friendship develops their courage overcomes the prejudice and corruption of their powerful adversaries. Studio: Sony Pictures Home Ent Release Date: 02/20/2007 Starring: Tom Hanks Denzel Washington Run time: 125 minutes Rating: Pg13 Director: Jonathan Demme

Philadelphia wasn't the first movie about AIDS (it followed such worthy independent films as Parting Glances and Longtime Companion), but it was the first Hollywood studio picture to take AIDS as its primary subject. In that sense, Philadelphia is a historically important film. As such, it's worth remembering that director Jonathan Demme (Melvin and Howard, Something Wild, The Silence of the Lambs) wasn't interested in preaching to the converted; he set out to make a film that would connect with a mainstream audience. And he succeeded. Philadelphia was not only a hit, it also won Oscars for Bruce Springsteen's haunting "The Streets of Philadelphia," and for Tom Hanks as the gay lawyer Andrew Beckett who is unjustly fired by his firm because he has AIDS. Denzel Washington is another lawyer (functioning as the mainstream-audience surrogate) who reluctantly takes Beckett's case and learns to overcome his misconceptions about the disease, about those who contract it, and about gay people in general. The combined warmth and humanism of Hanks and Demme were absolutely essential to making this picture a success. The cast also features Jason Robards, Antonio Banderas (as Beckett's lover), Joanne Woodward, and Robert Ridgely, and, of course, those Demme regulars Charles Napier, Tracey Walter, and Roger Corman. --Jim Emerson

Customer Reviews:

  • A startling and gripping performance by both
    One of the great films of the last quarter century, it is about time that this movie comes to DVD as a special edition. This is definitely one of Denzel Washington's best performances, but I have to believe that has a lot to do with the fact that the best actor of our time, Tom Hanks, played the starring role. The interaction between both actors, and the beautiful characters they create, bring more goosebump worthy scenes to the screen than any movie has the right to have. In what I consider to be Tom Hanks' single greatest scene of his career, I watched a moment that truly made me forget where I was. Washington plays an ambulance-chaser who takes Hanks' lawsuit over AIDS discrimination, against his better judgement. The opera scene, where Tom Hanks, walking around his apartment with an IV bag, explains to Washington about the pain and emotional struggle of a fictional character in an opera. This scene is absolute perfection. From the camera angles, to the lighting, to the performance by both actors, true emotion pouring through their skin to the very screen itself. This scene has no peer. The film is a great creation, from beginning to end, but, it is a must-own for anyone, purely because of this one moment. Anyone associated with filmmaking, from writers to directors to actors, should order this DVD as soon as possible and study the passion and humanity involved in the making of this film....more info
  • 4 1/2 Stars, A Moving Tom Hanks Role
    Tom Hanks came out of left field in this one and blew everybody away. He simply takes your breath away in this movie, he is an actor in total command of everything he does, every slight nuance matters and Hanks is nearly singular in his craft, he can pin point and hit every note just right. The story was a very timely and important one, and still is. This film like Schindler's List is one that is necessary to see, films like this put us in others shoes and give us a glimpse of the suffering those around have and are going through. In our selfish age films like this stand lit up like a beacon of hope....more info
  • Fighting for what's right.
    Philadelphia starring Tom Hanks is a powerful movie from beginning to end. I have seen this film many times and I am still moved by the plot and incredible acting especially by Hanks. His performance was a turning point in his career, this film brought him back from his short hiatus. Denzel Washington also stars as Hank's lawyer and even though Washington's character can be superficial at times, he is able to show the many different aspects of a person not familiar with AIDS or homosexuality. If you want a deep and profound film about love, forgiveness, and the strength to stand up for injustice then Philadelphia is the film for you. Enjoy!...more info
  • One of the first films to take aids seriously
    I love Tom Hanks in anything of course, but this was a very good movie about how America was back in the 80's when the Hiv virus first appeared....more info
  • Hanks and Washington are Magnificant!
    Being the brother of an AIDS casualty, it is always painful to watch this movie, especially the final 30 minutes. Tom Hanks really came into his own with this movie and Forrest Gump. Denzil Washington proved himself early on in A Soldier's Story. The casting in this touching movie couldn't have been better. Antonio Banderas does a top-notch job as Hank's strong and long-suffering partner. The late Jason Robbards does his usual fantastic job as Hanks boss. This movie holds a special place in my heart, along with Gods and Monsters, in trying to show the world that difference doesn't mean defferance......more info
  • SO TOUCHING......BRINGS YOU TO TEARS
    A TREMENDOUS PERFORMANCE FROM TOM HANKS,MAKES THIS FILM A TREASURE.IT WILL OPEN YOUR EYES AND TEST YOUR HEART.
    A HEARTWRENCHING STORY ABOUT A GAY MAN WITH AIDS,WHO GETS FIRED BY HIS COMPANY.GOING THROUGH THE TRIAL,HE GETS ILLER,BUT CARRIES ON FOR HIS FIGHT FOR JUSTICE.
    MANY TEARFUL MOMENTS IN THIS FILM,I BELIEVE EVERYONE SHOULD SEE IT,NOT JUST FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES,BUT FOR A LESSON OF LIFE...more info
  • Stellar performances, somewhat inept script
    In my opinion, Philadelphia will live throughout film history as a movie more honored for its intentions than its artistic merit. Stellar performances by Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington stand along side a rather inept script penned by Ron Nyswaner.

    The central conflict of the story pivots around an utterly transparent act of sabotage. The filmmakers have attempted to make a tense courtroom drama, yet the defense doesn't really have a leg to stand on. Also, Washington's homophobic/AIDSphobic lawyer has a complete change of heart concerning taking the case but the turnaround is devoid of believable motivation.

    Still, it was major step forward for mainstream gay films and the consistently fine acting by the leads and the supporting cast, (Jason Robards is riveting,) makes this film well worth seeing.

    ABOUT THE 10TH ANNIVERSARY DVD: Justice has finally been served --- sort of. Demme originally shot a scene in which Banderas and Hanks were seen talking in bed. The scene was cut for fear of "alienating the audience" but the decision sparked controversy. The 10th Anniversary DVD edition includes this scene in its extras section. Although the scene should have remained in the theatrical version, at least DVD viewers can now see the longtime "married" couple actually acting like a longtime married couple.
    ...more info
  • IN THE CITY OF BROTHERLY LOVE
    When watching a movie like PHILADELPHIA, one can't help but awed by the talent involved in this devastatingly excellent film. Director Jonathan Demme has assembled a cast to die for and with an intelligent, provocative, and thoughtful script, he has given us one of the best "message" films ever committed to celluloid. Whether or not you are heterosexual, homosexual, a gay rights activist or an out and out homophobe, you can't help but be impacted by the power of this movie.
    Of course, Tom Hanks shines in a brave role, a risky role that Hanks elevates to heights of greatness. Hanks has given us so many outstanding performances through his career: Big; Saving Private Ryan; Cast Away; Forest Gump; Apollo 13; Road to Perdition; Green Mile; etc., etc. Tom has the ability to not only portray a character, but to inhabit him as well. Tom's soliloquy while listening to the beautiful piece by Maria Callas is devastating; his faltering moments in the courtroom are heartwrenchingly real. It is truly an Oscar worthy performance. Equally impressive is Oscar winner Denzel Washington, crimefully neglected at Oscar time for this one; I think it's Denzel's most powerful and controlled performance. Initially a diehard homophobe, he is able to arrest these reservations and work hard to help Hanks win his case. His reactions during the aforementioned Hanks soliloquy prove how good actors don't need to say a word to show what they're feeling. And what a marvelous supporting cast: Joanne Woodward is superb in her small but wonderful performance as Hanks' mother; Antonio Banderas, eschewing his pretty boy persona with a direct and honest portrayal of Hanks' lover; Jason Robards hiding behind his own homophobia and judgmental religious fervor; Kathryn Witt in her small role as the aids-infected lady who wasn't fired because it wasn't her fault she had AIDs. The entire cast down to the smallest of roles is mesmerizing. The actors playing Tom's family are marvelous. The musical score by Howard Shore, and the Oscar winning title song by Bruce Springsteen complement the movie tremendously.
    PHILADELPHIA is one powerful movie; one that will make you examine your own prejudices; Hanks was really being tried for his lifestyle; his final scenes with his family and especially Banderas are beautifully done, and the movie proves what a remarkable actor we have in both Hanks and Washington. Truly a classic for our times....more info
  • A good start.
    "This is the essence of discrimination: Formulating opinions about others not based on their individual merits, but rather on their membership in a group with assumed characteristics." (School Board of Nassau County v. Arline, 480 U.S. 273 (1987) (Brennan, J.), on remand, 692 F. Supp. 1286 (M.D. Fla. 1988)). This rule, reaffirmed by the landmark Supreme Court decision which, over the dissent of Chief Justice Rehnquist and Justice Scalia, first recognized the infection with a contagious disease (tuberculosis) as an actionable handicap under federal law, forms the initial bond between star litigator Andrew Beckett (Tom Hanks) and ambulance chaser Joe Miller (Denzel Washington), the unlikely team at the center of this movie. Because through these words, black attorney Miller begins to realize that his colleague Beckett faces a handicap which, in essence, is not so different from that confronted by many of his fellow African Americans. And because this is an incredibly effectively scripted Hollywood movie, we, the audience, easily get the point as well; even if we're white, and even if we're not gay and/or suffering from AIDS like Beckett.

    Of course, the insidiousness of the AIDS virus places those afflicted with it in a class of their own, and while the movie spares its viewers the pictures of some of the virus's most graphic effects, it does go to considerable length to show the physical decline associated with it - not only in the person of Beckett himself, for whose role Hanks literally almost starved himself. Some of the patients surrounding him in the movie's earlier emergency room scenes really were AIDS patients, whom Hanks had approached when preparing for the movie, and who had subsequently agreed to participate; and as Hanks emphasized during an appearance in Bravo TV's "Inside the Actors' Studio," not all of them are still alive. - Denzel Washington's appropriately named Joe Miller, middle class everyman in everything but the color of his skin (one of the movie's obvious bows to political correctness), displays an attitude uncomfortably familiar to many of us; shunning gays in general and the HIV-infected Beckett in particular, out of a mixture of ignorance about AIDS, prejudice against those suffering from it, and prejudice against gays. Both Hanks and Washington give strikingly emotional, profound performances that rank among the best in their respective careers - Hanks deservedly won both the Oscar and the Golden Globe for his portrayal of Beckett, but Washington unfairly wasn't even nominated for either. Yet, neither of them would have been able to shine as much as they do without their exceptional supporting cast; to name just two, Jason Robards, commanding as ever as Beckett's homophobic former boss (and role model!), and Antonio Banderas as his devoted lover.

    By the time of "Philadelphia"'s release, some of the early myths about AIDS had begun to disappear, and the yearly growing numbers of newly infected patients had brought it out of its erstwhile obscurity as "the gay plague." But indepth knowledge was still far from widespread, and therefore the movie not only brought awareness to the disease in general, but also made a couple of important points, from educating the public about the disease's method of transmission to emphasizing that it is by no means limited to gays and can even be contracted in something as life-affirming as a blood transfusion. (Indeed, several European countries were rocked by transfusion-related AIDS scandals right around the time of the movie's release). One of "Philadelphia"'s most quietly powerful scenes is the testimony of a female witness who was infected by just such a transfusion, and who emphasizes that having AIDS is not a matter of sin or morality: "I don't consider myself any different from anyone else with this disease. I'm not guilty, I'm not innocent, I'm just trying to survive," she responds when asked to confirm that in her case "there was no behavior on [her] part" involved and contracting AIDS was something she was "unable to avoid." - Moreover, four years before Ellen DeGeneres rocked the showboat with a kiss during an episode of her sitcom, and Kevin Kline and Magnum macho Tom Selleck locked lips in "In and Out" (the screenplay of which was inspired by Hanks's Oscar acceptance speech for "Philadelphia"), it was by no means a given that a movie would get away with letting Hanks and Banderas exchange acts of tenderness from caresses and kisses on the hand to a slow dance at a gay party.

    Given "Philadelphia"'s fundamental message and the memorable performances of its protagonists, it is a pity that the movie doesn't entirely avoid Hollywood pitfalls, such as its soggy ending with grease literally dripping off the screen and the undeniable taste of a sugar-coated afterthought, transmitting the message that even dying of AIDS is really not so terrible, at least for the surviving family who can still unite around the television set and wallow in their memories of their lost loved one. And while I do buy Joe Miller's transformation from a (somewhat stereotypical) homophobic male to a reluctant supporter of gay rights, I don't really see why Beckett suddenly assumes a cliche gay look the second he has been fired; not to mention that I suspect not everybody in his situation would have enjoyed such overwhelming support from his family.

    But ultimately, it is the movie's overarching message that counts. "Ain't no angel gonna greet me; it's just you and I my friend ... and my clothes don't fit me no more: I walked a thousand miles just to slip this skin," sings Bruce Springsteen, the movie's other Oscar winner, in "Philadelphia"'s title song. And Justice Brennan wrote in the Supreme Court's Arline decision that in amending federal law, Congress was motivated by "discrimination stemming not only from simple prejudice, but also from archaic attitudes and laws." This movie goes a long way in dispelling such attitudes. It alone isn't enough - but it is, as Andrew Beckett jokes about the 1000 lawyers chained together at the bottom of the ocean, a good start.

    Also recommended:
    Philadelphia
    And the Band Played On: Politics, People, and the AIDS Epidemic, 20th-Anniversary Edition
    In & Out
    Saving Private Ryan (Widescreen Two-Disc Special Edition)...more info
  • No extras and courtroom tempo is low
    This movie brings forth the social issues that our society deals with everyday. The highlight of this movie isn't the courtroom drama, as I initially thought. Instead, the strengths are the emotions that the characters portray. This movie doesn't merely deal with the discrimination against the AIDS virus and homosexuality. It deals with bias and segregation in a broad landscape. Andy Bennett (Tom Hanks) was fired from his job mainly because of his sexual preference. He was defended by Joe Miller (Denzel Washington). Hanks and Washington are powerhouse actors and they work well together. I particularly didn't like the female defense lawyer for Wheeler and Co. She somehow didn't "fit," or maybe her acting was just not convincing enough for me. I thought this movie would have some dramatic courtroom scenes, like those from "Rules of Engagement" and "A Few Good Men." But I was a little dissappointed. The DVD does not pack any extra whatsoever. Despite, these limitation, this movie is enjoyable to watch due to the great acting of Hanks and Washington....more info
  • Wonderful film
    Great movie, great actors. This movie stars acadamy award winner Tom Hanks and NAACP award winner Denzel Washington. Tom Hanks plays a homosexual lawyer and Denzel Washington plays a lawyer who is unsure of his masculinity. This movie is a must see....more info
  • Tears will fall from your face
    A masterpiece of a film that is very sad and depressing. AIDS is a serious issue and this movie shows the discrimination against people who have it, but also shows the pain that the love ones would go through. It shows how sad life can be and it makes me feel how lucky I am and how many peopel are. AIDS is very common in the US and this film beautifully portrays a story of an ordinary person that gets AIDS. The movie contains powerful performances by Tom Hanks and by Denzel Washington. It'as really great to see these wonderful actors in a great movie together. I recommend renting it because you really won't want to watch it a lot. Tears will probably flow from your face as it is one of the saddest movies of all time. Bruce Springsteen's song "streets of Philadelphia" also adds a lot to it as it is an absolute beautiful song.
    A masterpiece....more info
  • Why are you reading?? Buy this movie...
    I cried during this movie. I'm not usually moved by films but this did it in such a profound way. Should be apart of everyone's DVD collection....more info
  • Valuable Life Lessons Can Be Learned
    When I first had the chance to preview a downloadable Flash Video version of "Philadelphia", I, like many other viewers and listeners, realize that a few valuable life lessons can be learned, especially when watching and listening to this film for the first time.
    1. Discrimination against people because of a disability, or even just discriminating against people in general, under any circumstances, is not OK, especially name Calling. For centuries, people have been discriminated against because of their religion, age group, sexuality, customs, skin color, cultural upbringing, intelligence level, or even because they have a disability or a disease.
    For example, I remember a time when I was living at Sheldon Oaks Apartments in Eugene, Oregon, which is like an Assisted Living Facility, more like a retirement home, for people who are 55 and older. When I was living there, I was surrounded by folks who thought that I may have been one of their granddaughters. They were thinking, "What's this 'Young Lady' in their twenties doing in our facility?" Little did they know that I'm a 'young woman', not a 'Young Lady'. (I hate the term 'Young Lady' with a passion, and I would never address any females in that manner. I am a young woman who is totally blind, and has Autism Spectrum Disorder, which by the way is the full name of the disability. Those older folks consider people like me with Autism Spectrum Disorder to be nonverbal, unintelligent, good-for-nothing citizens. I happen to be one of those with Autism Spectrum Disorder who is extremely high-functioning, with an advanced level of intelligence, and I know full well that it's not OK to call females "Lady" or "Young Lady", according to the laws of morality. Calling people names that offend them is not OK!
    2. People can come up with the phoniest excuses to fire someone from a job, only to hide the real reason why that person is being fired.
    For example, I once worked at Lazar's Bazaar in Eugene, Oregon, lacing shoes, which by the way is hard to do when you can't see. Lazar is not only the store owner, but at the time that I worked there, he was also my boss. There came a day when I got fired from my job, just two months after Lazar had hired me. Instead of my boss making up a phony reason for me being fired, it was actually my family. For days, they had spread the news that I had allegedly spoken to my boss in a nasty tone of voice. However, Lazar revealed the real reason for letting me go, which was because my productivity wasn't good enough for him, in other words, my work wasn't fast enough for him. So remember, if you are a boss of a company, and you suddenly decide you want to fire someone from a job, don't make up phony excuses as to why they're being fired. Always tell them the truth!
    3. Emotions are not something to be played with! When someone needs help, and especially medical help, try to ask that person what's the matter. Try to have them explain how they feel.
    The scene that struck me is when Tom Hanks' character, Andrew Beckett, was in the men's restroom, and I believe he was going to the toilet. But while this was going on, I could've sworn I heard him crying. That made me want to come over to that restroom, put my arms around him, give him a big hug, gently pet him on the back, and say to him that everything's going to be all right. Crying is not uncommon --- Especially in guys! We all have feelings, and sometimes, feelings get hurt. Also, when someone is crying, it's not uncommon for another person to stand there and make fake tears (a common facial expression where people pretend to be crying), and boo hoos (a common sound that people make when they mock someone who's crying.). I say, when anyone is crying, it's not cool to make fake tears and boo hoos! That only makes them cry more! When Tom Hanks emerged from rinsing his mouth (If I'm not mistaken, I believe he threw up in that scene, which probably explains the crying), when I heard him say, "I think I need to go to the hospital", I knew right away that he was in desperate need of medical help. If someone is feeling pain or discomfort, ask them in a tender tone if everything's all right, and try to help them in their situation, whatever the problem may be.
    4. This whole world, and especially the city of Philadelphia, is in desperate need of Brotherly and Sisterly Love. For those who may not know, the name Philadelphia is Greek. It comes from the words, "Philos", which means "Love" or "Loving", "Adelphos", which means "Brother", "Brothers", or "Brotherly", and "Adelphia", which means "Sister", "Sisters", or "Sisterly". It is high time we take a moment to come together, give peace a chance, live in perfect harmony, stop the fights and the wars, Stamp out the Profanity and the name calling, put an end to hating and killing each other, and once and for all, bring the Brotherly and Sisterly Love back home to Philadelphia!...more info
  • good condition
    This was my first used purchase and i was extremely satisfied with the condition i recieved my item!...more info
  • Questions to the film critics....
    I saw Philadelphia for the 1st time two nights ago. Even though I enjoyed the movie (Hanks performance was excellent, the courtroom scenes were not too boring, and Antonio Banderas is always hot!)I have a question for reviewers who keep criticizing the film for the support that Beckett's (Tom Hanks) family shows. Why is that deemed unrealistic/too Hollywood? In my opinion that was one of the most beautiful aspects of the film. Believe it or not there are many families who are supportive and loving to their homosexual relatives. Often it is the cliche to make the homosexual person an outcast in the family or hated by his father etc. Since I am seeing this film 12yrs after the release I am used to seeing gays in cinema/television having troubled relationships w/their families if they have one at all. Also for any family to want to turn their back on their dying son is heartless, so it was refreshing to see a gay son so unconditionally loved by his family.
    A second question is for one reviewer who felt the ending was "greasy". Why did the ending not make sense? There was a scene w/Beckett and Miguel(Antonio Banderas) where they discuss planning a memorial service. Beckett obviously wanted a memorial service/life celebration not your standard funeral. So the ending made perfect sense to me. Also I do not think Washington's character(Miller) made a complete 360 on his views on gays. But it would be unrealistic for him to have that experience of defending and working w/Beckett and not come away with something....more info
  • A Powerful and Moving Film
    Tom Hanks stars in this provocative drama about a lawyer who is dismissed from his high-profile law firm under suspicious circumstances. Hanks stars as Andrew Beckett, a highly successful lawyer in a prominent Philadelphia law firm headed by Charles Wheeler (Jason Robards). Andrew is given a very lucrative account to handle, but his paperwork for the case mysteriously disappears moments before the case is to begin, and to make matters worse, the Statute of Limitations is about to run out. Fortunately, the paperwork is found in time, but Andrew, as a result of this mishap, ends up falling out of favor with his senior partners, but is there more than meets the eye?

    Andrew is dismissed by his firm for nearly fouling up the case, but Andrew beleives that there are other reasons for his firing, so he decides to fight his dismissal in court. He seeks the help of attorney Joe Miller, played magnificently by Denzel Washington. Unknown to the conservative Miller, Andrew is infected with the AIDS virus. Andrew believes that this is the real reason that he was fired, not the botched legal case. However, Miller is very reluctant to help Andrew. Miller fits the classic "homophobic" stereotype; all homosexuals are "bad", they should be locked up, etc. Undeterred, Andrew decides to fight his case on his own.

    One night while studying at a local law library, Andrew and Joe meet up once again. The two begin to talk, and Joe begins to ask questions about Andrew's case. After much consideration, Joe decides to represent Andrew, and, as the movie goes along, a very strong friendship develops between the two. Despite their friendship, will Joe be able to help Andrew win his lawsuit, or will the large firm and their high profile and high-priced lawyers win in the end?

    This is an excellent movie. I'm a big Tom Hanks fan, and I've seen many of his other films ("Saving Private Ryan, "Apollo 13", etc), but he gives his best dramatic performance in "Philadelphia". Watching the way that the AIDS virus progresses during the course of the movie is very dramatic and very effective. The scene where Andrew raises his shirt in the courtroom to expose the leisions on his chest is especially dramatic. The medical aspects of the disease are handled well throughout the film. Andrew's fall in the courtroom is extremely gripping to see.

    Denzel Washington's character of Joe Miller deserves as much praise as Hanks' charater of Andrew. Washington does an excellent job of playing a homophobic person confronted with the responsibility of defending a homosexual. It's enlightening to watch Joe's transformation from homophobe in the beginning of the film to trusted friend and colleague at the end. His courtroom scenes and examination of witnesses are high points of the movie.

    The supporting actors (Jason Robards as Charles Wheeler and Antonio Banderas as Miguel) give powerful performances as well. I especially liked Robards. He did a fantastic job of portraying the prototypical "tough and by the book" lawyer. In the end, however, it was his close-mindedness that was his downfall.

    I give this movie my highest recommendation. The acting and story is first-rate and the message is very powerful; friendship and belief in what you are doing can overcome any obstacle....more info
  • Demme Opens Our Minds, Our Hearts, Our Eyes, and.. the Door
    This review refers to the Columbia TriStar DVD edition of "Philadelphia"....

    In 1993 Jonathan Demme had many critics eating their words, as this breakthrough film dealing openly with Gays and AIDS become a box-office smash. Audiences were more savvy, then they were given credit for. Demme brings us a story that is stirring, heartwarming and intellegent. One that opened our eyes, hearts and minds to this devastating illness and the community it so affected.

    Tom Hanks plays a brillant attorney, working for a top law firm, who seems to be on top of the world. He is not however, on top of the world. This young brillant attorney has been sticken with the AIDS virus, and when his symptoms begin to emerge, he is fired from the firm. The reason he is given for his removal from the company..."an attitude problem".

    After many attempts to gain legal counsel, to help him fight the firm in a discrimination suit, he finally gets some help from an unlikely source. Denzel Washington is an attorney of another sort. He's "That TV Guy", a personal injury lawyer, who has not only gone up against Hanks in court, but is also a bit of a homophobic himself.

    So we watch, mesmerized, as surrounded by the love and support of his family, and his lover(Antonio Banderas), he fights as the disease progresses, and as they fight this landmark case in court. Another transformation that is remarkable to view is that of Denzel Washington, opening his mind and heart As he gains an understanding to his clients lifestyle and the disease itself.

    The Cast is no less than brillant.Hanks recieved Best Actor from Oscar as well as The Golden Globes and The Berlin Film Festival. It also includes Joanne Woodward, Jason Robards and Mary Steenburgen. Some critics, again, thought that the lead characters were wrong for the part. They likened that having Hanks and Banderas playing homosexuals, is the same as having whites play black roles. However, I personally feel that Demme made the wise decision as this film, the first of it's kind, was a story that needed to be told, and told well. Using Box Office draws, brought the audiences in. They not only loved the film but were gifted with a new awareness and understanding. So Five Stars to Director Demme for opening the door.

    You may also remember the wonderful music that came out of this film. Bruce Springsteen recieved an Oscar for Best Original Song("The Streets of Philadelphia"), and also was honored with a Grammy and a Golden Globe. There is also the beautiful closing song by Neil Young "Philadelphia", a terrific socre by Howard Shore and we are also treated to some beautiful music by Mozart and Giordano.

    The DVD is presented in Widescreen(Anamorphic), the sharpness and clarity of the picture is excellent. The sound, also excellent,has the choice of Dolby Dig 5.1 or Surround, go to the set-up for this. It may be viewed in French and Spanish, and has subtitiles in Spanish and Korean. On the back of the case(mine anyway) it says there are some production notes, I was unable to locate these in the menu. There are no other Special Features.

    This is a film, that defines courage in every sense. It is a film that you may even see the toughest of men wiping a little tear from their eye. It's okay guys, go ahead, we LIKE that!

    Thanks and enjoy.....Laurie...more info

  • The Beast Has Finally Hit Home
    Although Philadelphia is not the sort of film that I would normally buy for my collection, being too sentimental for my personal liking, it is nonetheless a very powerful and important film, that everyone should watch.
    Aids was an epidemic that took some time to get noticed outside the gay community, initially the most affected, and as such, as far as movie subjects were concerned,it was largely ignored by mainstream cinema and Hollywood.
    The most famous film to deal with Aids at that time was Longtime Companion, but this movie was largely considered as a 'gay' film, and as a result did not quite acquire the distribution and the wider audience that it deserved.
    But when HIV and Aids started to affect Hollywood and members of its 'club' then the mentality started to change drastically.
    It took the deaths of Rock Hudson, Brad Davis, Tony Richardson, Anthony Perkins and others for Hollywood to wake up to the beast that was slowly creeping up its iron doors.
    Philadelphia was primarily the result of this awarness and alarm that gripped the movie industry.
    Jonathan Demme's film had such an impact at the time that it got nominated for the Oscar and landed its star Tom Hanks a deserved best actor award (and Bruce Springsteen won his Oscar for the song 'Streets of Philadelphia).
    In addition to it being very well directed and acted ,it is a very important film for several reasons,
    The fact that Tom Hanks, a loved actor worldwide,a VIP member of the Hollywod club and straight, played the dying gay man with such convincing force, it brought worldwide sympathy to the character, and as a result an increased tolerance,and a deeper understanding and recognition of the problem of AIDS,no longer a fringe virus confined to a 'minorty group', but an epidemic that can affect everyone.
    It is also a shout of defiance at the conservative establishment, and can be looked at metaphorically as any fight for justice from any group of minorities, be it sexually or culturally different.
    For these reasons Philadelphia is a landmark film with a bold and heartfelt message, as death, love too should be indiscriminate about age, faith, culture and yes gender....more info
  • Certain times I like it, others I don't
    How do you separate a socially important film from a great film? Sure this film tackled the AIDS/homosexuality issue head-on but that doesn't automatically make it a great film. I'm not knocking this film, of course not. But there's a lot of parts in it that I didn't like which maybe made it appear to be a lesser film than what it wants to be, it is or what everyone makes it out to be.

    Andrew Beckett works for a prestigious law firm working on a big account. His health declines a little bit nothing overly serious until he's fired for apparently botching the case. Turns out not only is he a homosexual but he has AIDS so he figures that's why he was fired. He needs representation so he hires Joe Miller, a top and famous attorney who is, rather bluntly, very intolerant of gays. So they form an unlikely duo to battle a top firm while dealing with gay bashers to closet gays.

    One small nitpick: it seemed like anyone that is in Andy's family or friends circle is against him. There was not a lot of normal everyman citizens who supported him. A similar problem in Brokeback Mountain where any scene with the 2 men was gorgeously shot while them with their wives looked rather bland and desolate looking, complete with sad looking wives. It's nothing that derails the film though. And I don't know why but I never liked Jonathan Demme's trademark of looking in the camera. It works for Silence of the Lambs but here it looks...weird, and maybe a bit too on the nose.

    Now Tom Hanks did win the award for Best Actor but honestly it should've went to Denzel Washington who manages to be visibly struggling with his less-than-enthusiastic view on gays and the changing perspectives dealing with the case. Hanks, in a way, reminds me of Charlize Theron who put on ugly makeup for Monster. Losing a crapload of weight does not automatically give you an Oscar. No knock against Hanks but it seems funny it went to him instead of Washington.

    Is it a watchable film? Of course, it's quite good and performances are excellent. I don't know whether you should blind buy it though, that's up to you....more info
  • Inspiring and, great performances!
    When I saw this movie for the first time I was 16 years old. It was shocking to me to realize the fact of been so close to the death because of AIDS. I cried like a child with the movie and understood how society is so cruel and cold with other people just because they think or act different. This movie shows the reality of life in it's maximum expression. I've seen this movie like 10 times and always make me cry, think and smile of happiness for those who are just... HUMANS like everybody, else!...more info
  • "5 Stars! One great film. Tom & Denzel are outstanding".
    I remember the first time I saw this movie, I was very young, but I remember liking it even then. But now I really love this movie. One of my favorite movies of all time, right up there with Forrest Gump. This Anniversary Edition is a must have. And thank God it's a 2-Disc Edition, it deserves it. That movie is going to be added to my collection the second it hits the shelves at my work (Blockbuster). The movie it's self is just a really good, emotionally strong, kick-butt flick. It's a really sad movie, but that's what makes the film great. The song "Streets of Philadelphia" by Bruce Springstien is one of my favorite songs of all time... but I have a really big list of favorite songs:) Overall, this movie gets a '10', 2 thumbs up, and 5 extremely big stars, because it was that good....more info
  • Good movie, too preachy in areas
    I finally got around to renting a copy of "Philadelphia". Honestly, I was bored and nothing seemed interesting in the video store at the time. I paid my money, took it home, popped it in, and watched for two hours. The plot is inherently well-known so I won't rehash it here. However, I do find the film to take their viewpoint in treating homosexuals as regular people to almost bashing you over the head extreme. I'm no longer a subscriber to any faith. I'm skeptical of all religions, but I still maintain a study to better understand people and show respect where I can. I respect the fact that one's personal preference in bedroom activites should not be included in workplace policy, or any other public discourse, unless mutually agreed upon. I tend to keep it behind the bedroom door. Whatever two consenting adults do is none of my business. However, if a religion states in it's holy book that the deity who inspired said holy book isn't pleased with same-sex relations, that is their belief and I respect it. Does that mean that religious people should be blindly labeled as "Homophobes"? No, only if they engage in the typical intolerance and prejudice shown to various ethnic groups the world over and apply that to actions consenting adults engage in, in the privacy of their bedroom. I've known and have worked with homosexuals in various jobs and also studied with in course during my college days, and I actually found a few to be more enjoyable and a breath of fresh air compared to some heterosexual people. I don't consider myself to be "Enlightened" (I have no time for people who claim to be anyways), but I eventually came to my current outlook in life long before I saw Philadelphia. I enjoyed the film for it's themes in removing intolerance, but the film just was a tad too preachy at times. Do I recommend it, yes, but I do know some won't change in their views no matter how foolish....more info
  • another overrated movie
    This movie had the potential to tell a compelling story, but for me it missed the mark. It's not a bad movie, but I didn't think it was so great.

    The movie had good believable acting from Hanks and Denzel Washington, but the part the movie fails in is the TELLING of the story. There's just too many courtroom scenes and not enough character development, and without that, it gets pretty boring and repetitive. You can't give the movie credit for the story it's TRYING to tell, because as far as I'm concerned, the story it DID tell was not told in an entertaining way.

    The two main characters weren't developed enough. For one, the transformation of Denzel's feelings about gay people was not believable, there just wasn't enough shown on screen to make the viewer believe that he would have any reason to change his feelings. The way it was directed, it looked as if that opera scene is what changed Denzel's feelings about Hanks, and that's ridiculous to have someone's lifelong feelings that has been etched into their persona be changed almost because of a single incident (like I said, the way it was directed implied this). They should've shown a gradual change and made it interesting, maybe throw in a scene where Denzel protects Hanks from ridicule or something, I don't know, just show some sort of growing relationship to make the viewer care. ...more info
  • The Oscar Winning Philadelphia with Hanks
    March was Oscar month, and TCM (Turner Classic Movies) who showcase great Oscar movied showed ''Philadelphia'' with Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington .

    ''Philadelphia'' is the powerful movie about a well educated and hardworking lawyer named Andy Beckette who contracts AIDS and is then illegally and prejudicely fired from his law firm when they find out he has AIDS.

    The movie is nothing short of Excellent demonstrating not only the cold-blooded and hypocritical members of corporte society, but the indignities and prejudices that people living with AIDS have to go through.

    The movie also brilliantly shows the courtroom tactics and lies that defendants and lawyers will use in order to win their case. The Defense (who represents the Law Firm who fired Andy Beckette) tries to make Andy Beckett's lifestyle
    and often times varying performances at work
    against him to try to bring down his reputation and his case.

    From a law point of view, the movie is Excellent.
    From a Film making point of view, the movie is Excellent.
    From a societal message , point of view, ''Philadelphia'' is Excellent.

    Jason Robards, plays Charles Wheeler, a sickening, prejudice man who resembles the most disgusting corporate boss there is: The corporate boss, who pretends to be friends with his coworkers or clients, only to stabbed them in the back later. He will do only anything to benefit himself.

    At the beginning, Wheeler pretends to be Andy's friend, heck he even ask him for legal advice on a special antitrust case called ''Highlite vs. Sander Systems''. Andy Beckett's becomes fired, from the job, once they find out he has aids, but try to make it look he was fired for other reasons. The movie also greatly shows the prejudices, and misconception people have about aids.

    However, Director Jonathan Demme does bring up some controversial areas for example Andy was a guy with many sexual partners, and so his diagnosis of the Aids Virus while dating Miguel Alvarez (Antonio Banderas) is not surprising
    at all. In fact the defense uses Andy's personal history against him very well.

    Denzel Washington plays Jospeh Miller, the lawyer Beckette eventually to try to bring his AIDS case to court.
    Miller himself, at first, displays his own prejudices against people with AIDS. When Beckette, touches items in his office, his face becomes terrified, showing his fear and ignorance that perhaps he will catch AIDS from Beckette.

    Another gritty scene that shows people ignorance and prejudice is the library scene in which Andy Beckette, is conducting researching for his AIDS case against the lawfirm that illegally fired him. The librarian in the library, first asks Andy Beckette, if he would be more comfortable in a study room, but then it becomes evident that the the ignorant librarian is telling not asking Andy Beckette to go to another room.
    Andy being, a very proud man, refuses showing his true dignity even while having AIDS.

    Joseph Miller (Washington) eventually agrees to become Andy's lawyer and this is where more powerful scenes are shown along with brilliant and well scripted performances.
    ''Justice is blind regardless of color, sex and religion.'' is the line that the Judge in the case uses to ensure the parties involved that this will be a fair case. ''Philadelphia'' gathered many Oscar Nominations including Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor leading to Denzel Washington winning for Best Actor.

    ''Philadelphia'' is not the only movie that deals with the issue of AIDS, but it is by far one of the best made.

    I Highly Recommended this movie for both educational reasons (educate people about AIDS along with the ignorant misconception people have about it), and for Journalistic and Filmmaking reasons.

    An Oscar worthy film that has to be seen.

    There is a dvd available for ''Philadelphia'' but unfortunately no, special features are given but still a great film....more info

  • An `important' film that is highly `over-hyped'...
    `Philadelphia' tells the heroic tale of Andrew Beckett, a one time hot young lawyer who was unjustly fired from his job when his superiors discovered he was suffering from the AIDS virus. At times this film is extremely touching and ultimately it is inspiring, but it suffers from clich®¶s and an air of simplicity that robs it of any real emotional impact. I won't say that this is a bad film; it is just not a great one.

    Andrew Beckett is young and smart and steadily climbing the corporate ladder in his law firm. He has a caring young boyfriend and very caring and understanding parents; yet something is terribly wrong. Andrew has contracted the deadly virus known as AIDS and as time progresses this virus begins to ware away at his health. He conceals this disease from his workmates, but when his illness becomes visible he is unable to hide it any longer and he finds himself being fired. Of course the law firm will not admit their reasons are based on his physical condition, but the reason given is so shaky that it leads Beckett to conclude the obvious. This is when Beckett approaches lawyer Joe Miller to represent him on trial. Joe turns down the case claiming that he doesn't think Beckett's lawsuit would hold up in court but it is more than obvious that Beckett's condition as well as his `alternative' lifestyle sit crossly with Miller and are the real reasons for his refusal to help. Joe does have a change of heart though and takes on Beckett as a client.

    The initial concept for the film (loosely based on a true account) is intriguing and stock full of potential, but I feel as though it missed the boat somewhere. Many parts of the film seem clich®¶d to me, as if they were just presenting us with what we think we are supposed to see. I can't help but feel too that the film was a tad too simple, one-dimensional even. There really seemed to be no true character development (aside from Miller) and this just didn't sit right with me.

    This leads me to Hanks.

    I have a feeling I am in the minority here but I just didn't appreciate Tom Hanks' performance. I felt that it was clich®¶d and gimmicky and in the end it never really felt `real'. I never felt like I really knew `who' Andrew Beckett was. I knew his circumstance and I knew his plight, but I didn't know him. Hanks tries to explain Beckett to us during an excruciating opera scene where Hanks reaches levels of ridiculousness I just couldn't believe would be omitted in this film. The scene itself should have been stirring and emotionally reaching but Hanks just didn't get it and it comes off mediocre at best. As a whole I felt that his performance was weak when compared to his co-stars, especially Denzel, who completely owed his performance.

    Denzel Washington really surprised me here. His performance is by far the best in the film, for he actually tells the audience a story. We know where this man came from, why he feels the way he does; we know what upsets him and what makes him uncomfortable and ultimately we see a progression of character, real growth that delivers to us the man he is when the credits begin to role. This is much more than can be said for Hanks' portrayal of Andrew Beckett. In my humble opinion Oscar got this all wrong, awarding Hanks for a playing a gimmick yet snubbing Washington for creating an honest character.

    The supporting players are decent here, some better than others. Antonio Banderas has a tendency to over-act, sometimes it works (his Zorro is flawless) and other times it is too much, which is the case here.

    Director Jonathan Demme had a lot to live up to with all the attention and praise he garnered for `The Silence of the Lambs', but he just couldn't really pull this one together. The film plays out well, it looks good, and there are moments that touch the audience, but there is not the intended impact; at least not for me. I know that a lot of people really enjoy this film, laud it even and I know that the critics sang its praises (or at least Hanks' praises) but I can't do either. The film is important in that it takes its serious subject very seriously and it proved to open the eyes of many to a growing problem, but in the end I'm just not `that' impressed. Washington is award worthy, that is for sure, but the film as a whole is lacking....more info
  • Hear Springsteen's and Neil Young's songs, then press STOP
    "Philadelphia" is Hollywood's pathetic, hygienic attempt to deal with the maelstrom of controversy surrounding AIDS. It just doesn't want to offend anyone. (Even the Talking Heads's song "Heaven," heard in one scene, has its "heaven is a place where nothing ever happens" lyric rendered not so offensive.) The performances of Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington are noteworthy, but the film refuses to fully explore how AIDS can lay waste to a person's body, mind, and relationships. Does our main character's family and friends struggle with an admixture of hatred, disgust, pity, and sorrow for their infected son? Of course not! That would be too real for the suburban megaplex crowd and for the gay community. No, in "Philadelphia," the AIDS victim's family and friends are supportive until the end. Who's the bad guy? Well, it's our hero's employer, whose somewhat understandable fears of a ravaging syndrome (which was not fully understood in 1993) being introuduced in the workplace are portrayed as malicious. The subject of AIDS is a powderkeg, but in "Philadelphia," it seems about as controversial as cancer....more info
  • How do you measure a year in the life?
    For any of you Rentheads out there, yes, the title of my Philadelphia review is from the musical Rent, more specifically the song "Seasons of Love." I saw the musical Rent before I saw Philadelphia and some of the same basic human emotions and reactions regarding AIDS, homosexuality and mortality that are in RENT apply equally well to Philadelphia. "Philadelphia" follows the journey of lawyer Andrew Beckett as he sues his firm for firing him on the grounds of discrimination. The catch: Beckett is gay and is in the final stages of AIDS.

    We see Beckett as a capable lawyer, compassionate, determined to make a change in the world. He hides the telltale KS (Kaposi's Sarcoma) lesions on his face from his coworkers with makeup but he is noticeably thin and fatigued. Suffering from severe chronic diarrhea as a result of KS and AZT, he is taken to the hospital where we first meet his longtime companion Miguel (Antonio Banderas), a rather headstrong yet tender lover who is fiercely devoted to Andy. Later we meet Joe Miller, the lawyer that we first see Andy arguing a case against in the beginning of the film. Miller is a stereotypical "ambulance chaser" with the prerequisite cheesy TV ads. He is also an extreme homophobe and is fearful of HIV. Throughout the film Joe Miller learns to accept Andy for the goodhearted, decent person that he is and the fragility of all life. He does not agree with Andy's lifestyle but does not want to abandon him, knowing that in his condition Andy could never defend himself.

    The months pass quickly, and Andy's deterioration is frighteningly rapid. His hair thins and turns grey, he requires blood transfusions, he is gaunt and grey and suffers from frequent respiratory infections. He knows that he will die soon and tries to face death with dignity, echoing the lyrics from the RENT song "Will I?": 'Will I lose my dignity Will someone care Will I wake tomorrow From this nightmare?' Andy's fears and his love for life are beautifully expressed during a monologue set to the aria "La Momma Morta" performed by Maria Callas. Miguel wants Andy to start writing a will and planning for his memorial, but instead Andy throws a "celebration of life" party for himself and his friends (mostly homosexuals with the exception of Joe Miller and his wife. Joe handles the occasion beautifully considering his intensive dislike of homosexuality).

    Andy is attacked from within and without: AIDS ravages his body while lawyer Belinda Conine (Mary Steenburgen) tries to rip apart his credibility and personal life on the witness stand and in the court. Andy is made to confess his past mistakes that have ultimately and unknowingly cost him his career and his life: his past visits to a gay pornography theatre, at least one anonymous sexual encounter at said theatre (interestingly enough this occurred 10 years earlier when he was still with Miguel, yet Miguel was not infected, suggesting that this act was a momentary lapse in judgment rather than an habitual act). This admittance to Andy's having sex with a stranger and contracting AIDS is used against him, showing that he was a threat and could have infected Miguel and other partners with AIDS. Miguel watches, tortured, from the bench. Andy is increasingly ill and frail in the courtroom and eventually collapses. Inevitably Andy dies in hospital with Miguel at his side.

    Antonio Banderas is absolutely amazing in his role as Miguel--the slow dance with Andy at the party, the arguments at home, the anguish and tenderness in his eyes as he kisses Andy's fingers, the only part of him not tubed, as Andy is dying. His eyes reflect so much love for Andy, fear of losing him, pain at seeing the agony he lives through every day with AIDS. He has been with him for a decade, and suddenly mundane moments take on new meaning as there will not be others to follow. He too must face Andy's mortality, and he appears outwardly gruff and argumentative. He must appear courageous for Andy's sake and his own or he would become lost in his grief.

    In my opinion this is the definitive role of Tom Hanks' lifetime. Andy is an ordinary man: a devoted lover, a decent, honest person, and an outstanding lawyer. He tries to do what is right, what he believes in, to be proud of himself and his accomplishments. Tom Hanks brings a wisdom and tenderness to the role that makes him ultimately believable and not just a victim. Just a glance from Hanks, a word, a gesture, conveys more about Andy than pages of dialogue ever could. The loving glances between Miguel and Andy and Andy and his family, his look of hopelessness as he stands on the street after being refused by Joe Miller, his face as he is on trial, sick and alone and having to defend his actions from the past. He faces injustice and loss with courage. Tom Hanks becomes Andy, going through a physical and spiritual transformation that touches our souls.

    This movie does an excellent job of covering both the treatment of homosexuality and the AIDS epidemic in the U.S. during the early 1990's. Because it is a mainstream film it shies away from certain elements, mainly more physical contact and scenes between Miguel and Andy, and focuses more on Joe Miller's gradual acceptance of AIDS and Andy's homosexuality. There are many scenes involving fear and hatred directed at homosexuals and offensive language and jokes. But "Philadelphia" has something meaningful to say about the power of love and support in times of need, about understanding and being tolerant of alternative lifestyles, and about accepting the inevitability of death with grace and courage. An excellent film, touching and thought-provoking....more info

  • cried like a baby
    Total Tear Jerker!! I cry everytime I watch this movie cause it brings me closer to reality. I deal with people everyday with HIV/AIDS, and everyday I see people get treated like crap simply because they are sick. I would recommend this movie to anyone that has not watched the movie and knows someone with HIV/AIDS. ...more info
  • Great Performances Overcome One-Dimensional Script
    Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, and director Johnathan Demme more than deserve the accolades received for this story of a gay, AID-stricken attorney who sues the lawfirm that unjustly fires him; in fact, Demme and his cast are so incredibly good that you won't realize how one-dimensional the script is until you've had time to recover yourself after the film's powerful conclusion.

    The problem with the script, at least as I see it, is that PHILADELPHIA is written in such a way as to create maximum identification with and sympathy for Hanks, and in consequence it never goes any further than it absolutely must into the myriad of issues swirling around the AIDS epidemic; there is no real effort to look beyond the the deliberately glossy, upper-middle-class surface the film posits as reality. Well intentioned, no doubt, but the film never actually makes a viable statement of any kind.

    Even so, Hanks, Washington, and the astonishingly gifted cast turn PHILADELPHIA into a powerfully emotional experience, and that alone is more than worth the price of admission. Strongly recommended--but if you're looking for more in an AIDS-related film than an exercise in catharsis, you may be disappointed....more info

  • Movie with human touch
    THis is great movie and I loved it.It removes the apprehension and hat we have for homosexuals and people who suffer from AIDS.The movie is not just about lawsuits and prejudice but also about human acceptence.Gays are just like us but only have different hormonal instincts.If we can forgive everyone who are not gay for their human weakness why not accept gays as they are.Great acting by Tom hanks but the spotlight is Denzel as well who is equally great in acting.Hats off to both of them ...Great actors...more info
  • The confilcting issue of AIDS in our society
    Philadelphia, 1993, 125 minutes, directed by Jonathan Demme. Actors and Actresses include; Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Antonio Banderas, Roberta Maxwell, Buzz Kilman, Karen Finley, Daniel Chapman, Mark Sorensen, Jr., Jeffrey Williamson, Charles Glenn (1), Ron Vawter, Anna Deavere Smith, Stephanie Roth, Mary Steenburgen, Lisa Talerico, Joanne Woodward, Jason Robards and more.

    The film takes place in 1973 in Philadelphia, PA, the city of brotherly love. The theme of the film consists of a man with AIDS fighting for his right to work although he is disabled with debilitating disease.

    The plot of the film involves a man with AIDS being terminated from his position as Senior Associate with a prestigious law firm in the city of Philadelphia. Shortly after he is promoted to Senior Associate of the law firm and given the most important case the law firm has ever received, he is terminated from his employment with the law firm. The genre of the film is a drama.

    I would give this film four star. I believe the film deserves four stars because of the truth of the AIDS disease it brought forward to our society. This was a very empowering film. Although at the time of its release, AIDS was though of a disease you could contract by just touching a person with AIDS, this film opened up the eyes of our society by showing that AIDS is a disease just like Cancer and Heart Disease....more info

  • it's not about the acting...
    Two of my best friends were living their last days when Philadelphia was made. One of them went to the Dr. whose office was used in the opening scenes, and was receiving an experimental drug that was the precursor to today's more successful cocktails. I watched them struggle at a time when Reagan wouldn't even say the word AIDS to the public. Bush wasn't much better. So to have a film come out that tried its best to tackle the most tragic disease in our lifetime, one that touched me personally, well, I was and am willing to forgive a couple of shortcomings. It was a monumental film for anyone struggling with AIDS, and for those who helped support them, giving us all one of the first voices that permeated the psyche of our country, beyond the boundaries of NY and SF.

    Now I just learned a good 14 years after the fact, that one of those best friends, Tim Pettifer, was among the guys in the waiting room in "One Foot On A Banana Peel and the Other In the Grave" which is included here. In his characteristic modesty, he never mentioned that it might be produced, and it was released after he died. I'm going to buy it of course, and am filled with nervous anticipation (and dread) at the thought of seeing him come back to "life". I've never stopped grieving this loss.

    My point is that the work and effort that went into this film went far beyond Hollywood and acting and such. It spoke a truth that was, at that time, not being talked about intelligently, if at all. As one of Tim's caregivers, I know for a fact that there was so much in Philadelphia that was spot on. The film bears witness to an excrutiating moment in time, when most of our nation was in total denial. Sadly, not much has changed....more info
  • an all time favorite
    Joe Miller made me think how I am, Andy's parents' made me know how I should be. A wonderful film depicting a terrible situation with great dignity, tenderness, respect. One suffers throughout the movie as a close friend to Andy and aspires to be loved with the intensity, magic and depth with which Andy and Miguel love each other. Great movie!...more info
  • Important social commentary
    Based on a real-life case, director Jonathan Demme ("The Silence of the Lambs") sets out in "Philadelphia" to recount the struggle of one AIDS-infected man seeking judicial redress after he is fired from his job, he believes because of his sexual orientation and terminal illness. Though it certainly wasn't the first film to deal with AIDS, "Philadelphia" was the first major studio to take on the subject with an A-list cast. As attorney Andrew Beckett seeking to challenge his job termination in court, Tom Hanks, of course, won the first of his two back-to-back Oscars ("Forrest Gump" followed a year later), and has solid support by Denzel Washington as the reluctant fellow attorney who pleads Beckett's case; Jason Robards, in the dispassionate role of the law partner who orchestrates Beckett's dismissal; Antonio Banderas as Beckett's lover; and Joanne Woodward as Beckett's supportive mother. On that count, the film may be somewhat idealistic in that, tragically, not all gay and AIDS-infected men have the support of their families. But the film does provide important social commentary on institutional prejudice and case law as it applies to the person with AIDS. Sadly, while the film ends with some measure of justice for Beckett, his real-life counterpart was not successful in winning his case against the employer who fired him. The film garnered a second Oscar, that one for Bruce Springsteen's powerful "Streets of Philadelphia." In sum, "Philadelphia" is a relevant social film that speaks to our individual and collective conscience....more info
  • A Very Special Film
    I find it hard to sit through this movie in it entirety when it's shown on television. It is so raw and heartfelt. (Yes, Tom Hanks and the rest of the cast are THAT good!). Still, I rank this as one of the best films made in the latter part of the 20th century. Really a must-see for all the reasons that make movies worthwhile....more info
  • A great film!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    This is one of my favorite films of all time.Tom Hanks(in a powerful performance that won him his first Oscar)plays Andrew Beckett,a lawyer who gets fired from his job because he has has AIDS.While his boss tells him he was fired for incompetence,Andy knows the truth and goes to find any lawyer to support him in court.Eventually,Joe Miller(Denzel Washington)finally takes the cases,despite the fact he is prejudice against people like Andy,
    but after he gets to know him and see him as a person, they eventually they become friends.Overall,a powerful movie that is filled with brillant performances.And while Denzel Washington does a good job,Tom Hanks is clearly the best actor in the film.I recommend this movie!!!!!
    ...more info
  • Can't go wrong
    How could this only get a couple Academy Award Nomination??? It's a travesty. Superb screenplay. Phenomenal directing. Dynamite score and original songs from Neil Young and The Boss. I think Neil's is better. Denzel was just as worthy of a supporting actor Oscar as Tom Hanks was with his. This is just a great film and the ending is so touching and deep and personal. Everyone has got to love this movie. Antonio has a nice small role, but even he took it on so well. Tom Hanks turns in one of the best performances of all time....more info
  • Touching human story
    Philadelphia deals with an AIDS-stricken homosexual attorney, played by Tom Hanks, who brings a wrongful-dismissal suit against the firm that fired him. It's a wonderfully sympathetic tale that did wonders in increasing understanding of people suffering from AIDS in the early 90s, and a magnificent display of acting by Hanks and Denzel Washington. The film shows just how easy it is for society to dismiss someone at a time of greatest need, and how wrong it is to do that. The film, along with Bruce Springsteen's title song, has aged well in the intervening years and remains relevant today....more info
  • One of Hanks' best performances
    I'm not going to lie to y'all -- this movie is really difficult to watch. It portrays a once vibrant, young lawyer fight his battle with both AIDS and discrimination. But, it is a must-see, especially for those who possess fear of AIDS and homosexuality. It's in your face, but you could possibly learn something the hard way.

    Tom Hanks is one of my favorite actors, but I believe that this is his stand out performance. His portrayal of Andy Beckett is out of this world. Denzel Washington also really rises to the occassion.

    I highly recommend this movie to EVERYONE and I think it should be shown at schools, workplaces, etc. We could ALL learn a lesson from it.

    The only reason that I gave it four stars instead of five is *because* it's so hard to watch. The lawyer for the defendant will INFURIATE you. (And that's only a start)

    For you fellow Indigo Girls fans out there: listen for the Girls' amazing cover of "I Don't Wanna Talk About It" early on in the film. ;)...more info

  • Tom's best acting yet..
    This is, by far, one of the best movies. The story is moving, and will have you in tears multiple times. Tom truelly shines, and is one of the few actors that you no longer see as a person, but as their character. Very emersed. This will also question your thoughts and beliefs, and possibly make you reconsider the next time youre about to make a snap judgement....more info
  • Philadelphia
    Denzel Washington is probably my favorite actor. Even in that dog of a movie called THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, he shone. Tom Hanks? Well, lemme quit hating the guy. This is a well-intentioned movie, Tom did a creditable job, and we had extreme close-ups with funny colors to camouflage the spots where he overreached. I was also pleasantly surprised to see Antonio Banderas fly in the face of his Latino studliness by playing a gay guy. A passionate one, though, since he's still a Latino, after all.

    Actually, this is a Hollywood "message movie," and you know what that means. It's about as subtle as Michael Moore. Those who agree with the message flock to be beaten about the head by it for two hours. Those who the filmmakers would like to see the movie, those who don't agree with the message, stay as far away from it as possible.

    There's a scene in the library where nobody wants to sit at the table with AIDS boy. The way they stared at him reminded me of "lao wei in China" experiences. Denzel's character was reminded of segregation, even though he's too young to remember it, and started to care about Tom Hanks' character.

    AIDS discrimination is bad. Actually, any discrimination at all is bad. And that's the movie's message. I agree with the message, but still. That's all we've got.

    As a totally irrelevant non-sequiter, if the name "Sam Francisco" means anything to you, you've seen subtle commentary on discrimination.

    I love a great courtroom drama. This one was merely good. With so much of an agenda to squeeze into a two-hour film, they had to take a few shortcuts here. Sad, ain't it? But even so, a well-intentioned film that I'm glad I saw. Once. Not twice. Once is enough, thank you.
    ...more info
  • Inspiring and, great performances!
    This movie shows the reality of a cruel world but full of hope and future. The fight against AIDS should not stop never. I love the performances of all cast. The theme and the way it was presented was very professional and truely. I like this movie a lot. I cry every time I see it because is so emotional and inspiring....more info
  • No day in the park
    This is one of those topic movies that needs to be made to articulate an issue, but my God is it depressing. I don't even like to remember the sad scenes that make up the movie; Tom Hanks struggling to fit in while his coworkers first shun and then fire him is enough to bum anyone out. The powerful performances enhance this gloominess, and there is no heartstring left unplayed by the filmmakers. I feel guilty about giving this such a mediocre rating, but I just wouldn't recommend it to anyone who didn't need to be taught a lesson about discrimination against HIV positive people. ...more info
  • great movie
    Philadelhia is one one of the best and most powerful movies of all time. The fact that this movie is finally getting the 2-disc treatment it deserves is really great. Tom Hanks won an Oscar for his powerful portrayal as an AIDS-infected lawyer who decides to fight back.


    However, to me the best performance is given by Denzel Washington. His character is the one that shows the most growth over the two hour movie. His speeches and even just his facial expressions convey more emotion in this movie than most actors would ever dream of.
    ...more info
  • An `important' film that is highly `over-hyped'...
    `Philadelphia' tells the heroic tale of Andrew Beckett, a one time hot young lawyer who was unjustly fired from his job when his superiors discovered he was suffering from the AIDS virus. At times this film is extremely touching and ultimately it is inspiring, but it suffers from clich®¶s and an air of simplicity that robs it of any real emotional impact. I won't say that this is a bad film; it is just not a great one.

    Andrew Beckett is young and smart and steadily climbing the corporate ladder in his law firm. He has a caring young boyfriend and very caring and understanding parents; yet something is terribly wrong. Andrew has contracted the deadly virus known as AIDS and as time progresses this virus begins to ware away at his health. He conceals this disease from his workmates, but when his illness becomes visible he is unable to hide it any longer and he finds himself being fired. Of course the law firm will not admit their reasons are based on his physical condition, but the reason given is so shaky that it leads Beckett to conclude the obvious. This is when Beckett approaches lawyer Joe Miller to represent him on trial. Joe turns down the case claiming that he doesn't think Beckett's lawsuit would hold up in court but it is more than obvious that Beckett's condition as well as his `alternative' lifestyle sit crossly with Miller and are the real reasons for his refusal to help. Joe does have a change of heart though and takes on Beckett as a client.

    The initial concept for the film (loosely based on a true account) is intriguing and stock full of potential, but I feel as though it missed the boat somewhere. Many parts of the film seem clich®¶d to me, as if they were just presenting us with what we think we are supposed to see. I can't help but feel too that the film was a tad too simple, one-dimensional even. There really seemed to be no true character development (aside from Miller) and this just didn't sit right with me.

    This leads me to Hanks.

    I have a feeling I am in the minority here but I just didn't appreciate Tom Hanks' performance. I felt that it was clich®¶d and gimmicky and in the end it never really felt `real'. I never felt like I really knew `who' Andrew Beckett was. I knew his circumstance and I knew his plight, but I didn't know him. Hanks tries to explain Beckett to us during an excruciating opera scene where Hanks reaches levels of ridiculousness I just couldn't believe would be omitted in this film. The scene itself should have been stirring and emotionally reaching but Hanks just didn't get it and it comes off mediocre at best. As a whole I felt that his performance was weak when compared to his co-stars, especially Denzel, who completely owed his performance.

    Denzel Washington really surprised me here. His performance is by far the best in the film, for he actually tells the audience a story. We know where this man came from, why he feels the way he does; we know what upsets him and what makes him uncomfortable and ultimately we see a progression of character, real growth that delivers to us the man he is when the credits begin to role. This is much more than can be said for Hanks' portrayal of Andrew Beckett. In my humble opinion Oscar got this all wrong, awarding Hanks for a playing a gimmick yet snubbing Washington for creating an honest character.

    The supporting players are decent here, some better than others. Antonio Banderas has a tendency to over-act, sometimes it works (his Zorro is flawless) and other times it is too much, which is the case here.

    Director Jonathan Demme had a lot to live up to with all the attention and praise he garnered for `The Silence of the Lambs', but he just couldn't really pull this one together. The film plays out well, it looks good, and there are moments that touch the audience, but there is not the intended impact; at least not for me. I know that a lot of people really enjoy this film, laud it even and I know that the critics sang its praises (or at least Hanks' praises) but I can't do either. The film is important in that it takes its serious subject very seriously and it proved to open the eyes of many to a growing problem, but in the end I'm just not `that' impressed. Washington is award worthy, that is for sure, but the film as a whole is lacking....more info
  • On the streets of Philadelphia
    Back in 1993, AIDS had been in the forefront of the news and everyone's minds for quite a while. Still, a major Hollywood movie still hadn't dealt with the subject matter. Sure we had some incredible films like "Longtime Companion" and the stunning "Parting Glances" (both which I highly recommend as truly visionary cinema), but they were more independent and not likely seen by mainstream audiences. Finally, with the foresight of Jonathan Demme, and the star power of Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington, Philadephia roared onto the screens and into our hearts. And now, finally, we have a DVD treatment that this movie truly deserves.

    Andrew Beckett, high priced lawyer of a top Pennsylvania law firm, suffers from AIDS quietly at the beginning of the film. A lesion betrays his secret quickly, leading to his dismissal. Firing back, Beckett attempts to secure the services of Joe Miller, a personal injury lawyer with an everyman reputation. At first rejecting his offer and even pouring salt in his wounds by mocking him, Miller is converted to the cause after witnessing subtle discrimination in a library. It is through Miller that everyone can approach this story, and it is through Beckett that we learn dignity and we learn pain.

    Much as been said about Tom Hanks' Academy Award winning performance as Beckett, and Denzel Washington's wonderful portrayal as Miller. Together, the two are an acting powerhouse, both equally dynamic and compelling in their characters. One can only wish they would team up again sometime in the future. At any rate, they are supported by a fine ensemble, starting with the late Jason Robards to the rarely seen and much missed Joanne Woodward, whose performance will reduce you to tears in seconds.

    Included in this DVD package are several documentaries detailing the development of the movie. The director's and writer's commentaries shed wonderful light into the process that went into making the movie. The few deleted scenes are wonderful to see, especially during a "settlement" negotiation between the parties. One very poignant thing mentioned in the documentary were the number of people suffering with AIDS that were employed in this movie, both in front of and behind the scenes. Very touching.

    But this isn't just a movie about AIDS. This is a movie that soars above the simple "movie of the week" syndrome, and dares to address such things as tolerance, acceptance, getting over your fears, and welcoming people for who they are. It's amazing how relevant and meaningful those messages are today. In a climate of unacceptance and intolerance to others, hopefully Philadelphia's essential meanings will continue to ring as a bell of Liberty, and not just in the streets of the town of Brotherly Love....more info
  • denzel could have been nominated for the big one
    philadelphia was a good movie don't get me wrong but it dragged in certain parts 4 me like when denzel played joe and tom played andrew going over the case at andrew's apt he wasn't focused he was more focused on the opera song playing which was too long for a scene for me to understand other that that they movie was rather for very good denzel helped me enjoyed the film because he played his role well as the lawyer who wasn't prejude against homos and people with aids ...more info
  • Fighting for what's right.
    Philadelphia starring Tom Hanks is a powerful movie from beginning to end. I have seen this film many times and I am still moved by the plot and incredible acting especially by Hanks. His performance was a turning point in his career, this film brought him back from his short hiatus. Denzel Washington also stars as Hank's lawyer and even though Washington's character can be superficial at times, he is able to show the many different aspects of a person not familiar with AIDS or homosexuality. If you want a deep and profound film about love, forgiveness, and the strength to stand up for injustice then Philadelphia is the film for you. Enjoy!...more info
  • MIND GAME
    If you'd told me 15 years ago that Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington were about to become major forces in Hollywood, I'd have told you that it was well past closing time. To me, Hanks was a great guy who'd be forever saddled with class B material, while Washington was just the new handsome face on the block. This film changed everything for both of them. In the first place, for the umpteenth time, this is a story of prejudice. The relative paucity of reviews for an Academy Award winner such as this may still indicate some confusion amongst the voters. Secondly, the script material and the acting skill of our protagonists matured both of them exponentially amongst the viewing public. Can one really believe that "Forrest Gump" would have produced such fabulous results for Hanks were it not for this film? Or that Washington seems to be everywhere garnering quality roles? Finally,and less obviously, we again relearn that prejudice is not an inborn instinct; it is learned behavior that has been proven time and again in a child's sandbox. Lest we forget, visit one from time to time and take a moment to reflect....more info
  • Must see film
    One of the first films to deal with HIV and AIDS to hit mainstream America... Very sad but effective... Probably still Tom Hanks and Denzels best roles... Must have for any DVD collection... Extras get an A+ ...more info
  • As Powerful As Ever
    I purchase a lot of DVDs. For the past few years, it seems that almost every DVD comes in a special edition two-disc release that includes deleted scenes, documentaries, cast bios, trailers, teaser trailers, music videos, and the director's recipe for three-alarm chili. I usually don't have time to get beyond the first disc, and much of what I do get around to usually turns out to be as boring as it gets. This time, however, I am happy to report that the two-disc anniversary release of Philadelphia is worth both the money and the time invested in it, even if you already have Philadelphia on DVD.

    The special features include the 84-minute documentary, One Foot On A Banana Peel and the Other In the Grave, an extraordinary piece of amateur filmmaking by an AIDS patient named Juan Botas. What I did not know was that Mr. Botas' AIDS diagnosis provided the inspiration for director Jonathan Demme to make Philadelphia in the first place, as Mr. Botas was best friends with Mr. Demme's wife. In the meanwhile, Mr. Botas mentioned to filmmaker Demme that it was a shame that the black humor, amazing courage and other interesting dialogue that emanated from his fellow patients at the clinic where he was being treated was being lost forever as it left their lips. Mr. Demme gave Mr. Botas his hand-held camera, and the results so impressed Demme that he wound up releasing the documentary through his own production company. The finished film is touching, oddly comic, tragic and as effecting as any piece of drama you've ever witnessed. One of the patients from the doctor's office was also given a few lines in the main feature, Philadelphia.

    Which brings us to that film. At the time of its release, Philadelphia received some very harsh criticism from the AIDS community for its perceived flaws; it was judged by many as "too Hollywood" to be realistically representative of the HIV / AIDS experience. To their credit, in the background documentary included here, "People Like Us" (which was the original working title of Philadelphia) the creative team behind Philadelphia (including Jonathan Demme, Tom Hanks and the screenwriter Ron Nyswaner) meet this criticism head on, presenting a defense of their work that is both credible and illuminating. Many complained that Philadelphia was void of any tenderness or physical contact between the male couple (Hanks and Bandaras) but this is not only redressed by a closer look at their scenes together, an extremely intimate scene between the lovers in bed (which was excised from the final cut) was deleted not for its controversy but because the scene simply didn't work (having now seen it, I can attest to this fact). I have long seen this movie as not a film about AIDS per se, but as a film about homophobia. Indeed, the main thrust of the plot (besides the trial) is the transformation of the character of Joe Miller from committed homophobe to a more enlightened and tolerant person. One of my favorite scenes (which it turns out many people wanted to delete from the final cut) deals subtly with Millers transformation - the "opera scene".

    In that scene, Miller is asked by the character or Andy what he thinks about gay people. The attorney responds that, when straight people think of them at all, most straight people pretty much see all gay people as some sort of sub-human predatory monsters, out to ensnare the children of the world into a twisted sick life, and destroy all that straight people hold dear. Andy abruptly changes the subject, "Do you like opera, Joe?" he asks. Caught by surprise, Joe admits he does not know anything about it - and Andy Beckett - this sub-human destroyer of children, responds by tenderly and passionately explaining his deep love for beautiful music by allowing Joe to see just a small piece of exactly why so many gay men love opera. He plays the aria La Mama Morte, carefully, passionately and articulately explaining the story and the beauty behind the words and music. Joe is immediately transformed - it's clear that he is deeply moved. By playing the piece, La Mama Morte through again in its entirety, the screenwriter and director shows us that the music has stayed with Joe long after he's left Andy's home. We see him leave Andy's apartment and go home in a sort of daze, kiss his sleeping baby and slip into bed with his slumbering wife, while the beauty of the music haunts and caresses him, like a gorgeous gay lullaby. Some of my gay friends were among those who didn't get this scene - they saw it only as a stereotypical depiction of a gay man's love for opera. I got it right away - by exposing Joe to a thing of beauty he'd never experienced before, Andy had suddenly allowed Joe to consider that gay men were not only something more than what he thought, he demonstrated that we are capable of enormous passion and the ability to appreciate delicate beauty. This scene, more than any other, allowed Andrew Beckett to be transformed from a predatory sub-human freak into a human being, not only for Joe Miller, but for many in the straight audience. It has remained one of my favorite scenes in a movie ever, and a small part of what makes Philadelphia such a powerful experience.

    Highly recommended.
    ...more info
  • Philadelphia
    Philadelphia is the best acting Tom Hanks has ever done. The movie shows how a struggle with AIDS cannot only kill but change someone's perspective. ...more info
  • INSULTING TO THOSE WHO DIED
    THIS MOVIE IS AN INSULT TO EVERYBODY WHO DIED AND TO EVERYONE WHO LOST A LOVED ONE....more info
  • A very powerful film with a message.
    This movie was very powerful, and very emotional. Tom Hanks deserved the Oscar that he got for this movie, because he had me believing that he was actually a man who has done nothing bad to people, but is dying a very painful death. Denzel really shined in this movie as he went from someone who didn't like Gay men to a man who is willing to fight for them. This movie took alot of the stigma off of Aids, and should be seen by everyone so that people can realize that AIDS cannot be caught by casual contact, and that we need to give our support and love to them....more info

 

 
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