Fearing it would compromise his career, lawyer Andrew Beckett hides his homosexuality and HIV status at a powerful Philadelphia law firm. But his secret is exposed when a colleague spots the illness's telltale lesions. Fired shortly afterwards, Beckett resolves to sue for discrimination, teaming up with Joe Miller (Denzel Washington), the only lawyer willing to help. In court, they face one of his ex-employers top litigators, Belinda Conine.Written by
Michael Keaton was the second choice to play Andrew Beckett. He turned down the role and made My Life (1993) instead. Incidentally Keaton played a man who was terminally ill; like Tom Hanks whose character had AIDS, while Keaton's character had cancer. Also Keaton and Hanks co-starred with Bradley Whitford in My Life (1993) and Philadelphia (1993) respectively. See more »
While on the witness stand when Charles Wheeler responds to the question "are you gay?", by laughing and with, "How Dare you", he is demonstrating his prejudice against homosexuals. See more »
[making their cases before the judge in her office]
This 'pestilent dust' that council refers to has appeared on only three occasions. Each time it was tested and the results: limestone. It's messy, but innocuous.
[leans in toward Andrew]
Defined by Webster's as 'harmless.'
I know what it means. May I?
[takes the packet of dust]
Thank you. Your honor
[takes a whiff of the dust]
, imagine how the children in this neighborhood are being made to feel: the constant pounding o-of ...
[...] See more »
"This motion picture was inspired in part by Geoffrey Bowers' AIDS discrimination lawsuit, the courage and love of the Angius family and the struggles of the many others who, along with their loved ones, have experienced discrimination because of AIDS." See more »
The cable and network television versions of Philadelphia edit out portions of the pharmacy scene where a gay University of Pennsylvania law student attempts to pick up Joe Miller. These two versions end this scene with the law student responding "Do I?" to Joe Miller's question concerning whether Miller looked gay. In the theatrical, home video and premium channel versions, Joe Miller continues to berate the law student with bigot remarks regarding homosexuals. See more »
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Arranged and Performed by Cyril Watters
Courtesy of Promusic See more »
Hanks gives his best performance ever
"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.
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