Philadelphia (1993)

Drama
Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Roberta Maxwell, Buzz Kilman
When a man with AIDS is fired by a conservative law firm because of his condition, he hires a homophobic small time lawyer as the only willing advocate for a wrongful dismissal suit.
  • Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Company:
  • PG-13 Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 23 Dec 1993 Released:
  • 09 Sep 1997 DVD Release:
  • N/A Box office:
  • Ron Nyswaner Writer:
  • Jonathan Demme Director:
  • N/A Website:

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Trailer:

Gay Men Are Macho Too8/10

Philadelphia is a truly amazing movie and a touching story. Tom Hanks plays a lawyer who has been stricken with a horrible disease. He plays a convincing role as Andrew Beckett, a man who knows the meaning of justice and knows what exactly his rights are. What Mr. Hanks also accomplishes with this role is he breaks free from the stereotypes society has dictated on the average gay man. Andrew Beckett is not feminine in any way, he does not have a flair for shoe shopping or hold his arms limp-wristed or talk with a lisp. For these reasons, it has been said that Tom Hanks was not believable as a gay man. I strongly disagree. Andrew Beckett is a normal man who enjoys smoking cigars and takes joy in the law. Who would think he was gay? This is precisely the point the movie is trying to make. A gay man may be walking among you, every day you may see him at school, may play raquetball with him at the gym, may work late hours with him at the office... but yet you'd never suspect he is gay because he does not wear loafers decorated with tassels and he has a low-pitched voice. Men are men, whether gay or not, and should be treated as such -- gays do not deserve special treatment but they deserve equal treatment. Because in most areas, gay men are just like straight men. I commend Tom Hanks for showing the world that gay men can be just as manly as any other. His Oscar was well-deserved and the movie was amazingly ground-breaking.
Philadelphia is about life, and making it matter.5/10

Philadelphia is a guttingly emotional and tragic story of how a lawyer fired for having AIDS attempts to vindicate himself in court. Tom Hanks gives perhaps the most powerful performance of his career as Andrew Beckett, the afflicted lawyer. He received the Academy Award in a waltz, and you could almost pick any of his major scenes as worthy of the award.

This movie is probably the best drama regarding gay issues ever made. Remember, it was made in 1993, when AIDS was still a terminal disease, and it recalls the early days of an epidemic that may not square with the vision afforded today, but at the time, this was the reality of AIDS.


The entire crew is A-List. Tak Fujimoto, who would also film Silence of the Lambs and Sixth Sense, directed cinematography. Jonathan Demme, also of Silence of the Lambs fame, directs with typical honesty and grit. Bruce Springsteen and Neil Young contributed hauntingly touching original songs. Even Antonio Banderas, whom I never miss an opportunity to vilify, is moving as Hanks' devoted and supportive partner. Denzel Washington was well cast as the homophobic lawyer who ultimately takes Hanks' case, and Mary Steenburgen is surprising in an uncharacteristic villain role.

Ron Vawter, who played one of the lawyers in the firm from which Hanks was fired, and also appeared in Silence of the Lambs, was himself suffering from AIDS at the time of filming, and he eventually succumbed to it a few years later. His appearance in the film encapsulates the reality of the AIDS epidemic, in that it often touched our lives in unexpected places.

Although I have literally thousands of movies in my collection, I don't own this one. Not because I don't love it. I do. It's because I can't watch it without being overcome by emotion. Anyone who can watch Hanks' in the Opera scene, or hear Springsteen's or Young's eerie and melancholy ballads and not weep is dead inside. But in the end, Philadelphia is about life, and making it matter.
Not a better film in sight10/10

With Hanks, who is always watchable, and Washington, who has also got a very good track record, this film was destined to be fantastic but not even I, who always has an optimistic view when it comes to movies, was ready for the impact that this film made. Tom Hanks excelled even himself with his performance as an AIDS striken homosexual who is fired from his job simply because of his condition. It is Hanks, by himself, who makes the whole scenario in the film believable. Although this is Hanks's best performance of his career, he is very closely followed by Denzel Washington who gives a perfect performance as the only lawyer who will take on the case although he is a homophobe himself. The emotional strain of the film on the audience is immense and in the later stages of the film it is almost impossible to watch because of that. The make-up which gives the impression that Hanks really does have the terrible disease is perfect and the simple yet striking direction from Jonathan Demme(The Silence Of The Lambs) make this utterly compelling viewing although at times it is very uncomfortable. All praise to everyone in the making of this beautiful film.

Anyone who hasn't seen this film must do as soon as possible.
Hanks gives his best performance ever10/10
"Philadelphia" may be the movie that changed Hollywood. For so many years, they portrayed gays as sissies, but this movie forced them to change. Tom Hanks gives the performance of a lifetime as AIDS-afflicted lawyer Andrew Beckett, fired from his law firm after they discover his condition. Equally good is Denzel Washington as homophobic lawyer Joe Miller, who is forced to ignore his own stereotypes in taking Andrew's case. Good support also comes from Jason Robards as Andrew's vicious ex-boss, Joanne Woodward as Andrew's ever-loving mother, and Antonio Banderas as Andrew's companion.

Maybe this is just me, but I think that "Philadelphia" was released at just the right time. Think back to 1993. We had just come out of the Reagan-Bush years and we now had Clinton. Maybe he wasn't openly pro-gay, but he did change the military's policy towards gays. Moreover, Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington are analogous to Paul Newman and Sidney Poitier: the embodiment of the new era under a new president (in Newman's and Poitier's case, it was Kennedy; in fact, those two co-starred in "Paris Blues" the year that Kennedy became president, much like Hanks and Washington were starring in "Philadelphia" the year that Clinton became president). But let's not get sidetracked. This is a great movie, and I recommend it to everyone.
Absolutely astonishing!! Hanks' best performance!!!10/10

I only saw this film recently after I saw the special edition DVD for sale at only £5.99. I bought it and watched it as soon as i took it home and I thought it was amazing. Jonathan Demme's direction was great too. but the two best things about it was Tom Hanks' performance as the lawyer with aids and Bruce Springsteen's song " Streets of Philadelphia". I always thought that Liam Neeson's performance in Schindler's List was what should've recieved the Oscar in 1993. But when I eventually saw Philadelphia a few weeks ago, I could see why Hanks won. Denzel Washington as the homophobic but supportive lawyer is also great. The three, Hanks, Washington and Demme make a good team. The film is wonderful.