Friday, January 25, 2013


1993 American Feature

Cast: Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Jason Robards, Mary Steenburgen, Antonio Banderas, Joanne Woodward, Chandra Wilson, Bradley Whitford and Ron Vawter
Director: Jonathan Demme
Writer: Ron Nyswaner

When Andrew Beckett, a lawyer with AIDS, is fired by a conservative law firm because of his condition, he must hire a homophobic small-time attorney to represent him in his wrongful termination suit.


  • Internet Movie Database: 7.6/10
  • Rotten Tomatoes - Critics: 77% / Audience: 86%
  • Metacritic - Critics: 66% / Audience: 8.0%
  • OMG rating: 5/10

  • DVD: Available
  • Soundtrack: Available
  • Book: Available


  • Academy Awards for Best Actor (Hanks) and Original Song ("Streets of Philadelphia"); also nominated for Best Original Screenplay, Original Song ("Philadelphia") and Makeup.
  • BAFTA Award nomination for Original Screenplay.
  • Berlin International Film Festival Silver Berlin Bear Award for Best Actor (Hanks).
  • GLAAD Media Award for Outstanding Film.
  • Golden Globe Awards for Best Actor - Drama (Hanks) and Original Song ("Streets of Philadelphia"); also nominated for Original Screenplay.
  • Grammy Award for Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television ("Streets of Philadelphia").
  • Writers Guild of America nomination for Original Screenplay.

  • Credited as the first studio theatrical feature to deal with the subject of HIV/AIDS. 
  • Philadelphia was inspired in part by the life of Geoffrey Bowers, a lawyer who sued his former employer, the law firm Baker & McKenzie, for wrongful dismissal in one of the first AIDS discrimination cases.
  • The film's workings title included People Like Us, At Risk and Probable Cause.
  • Casting Call: Daniel Day-Lewis, Andy Garcia, Michael Keaton, John Leguizamo, Bill Murray, Robin Williams and James Woods.
  • Director Jonathan Demme had to convince TriStar Pictures to hire actor Ron Vawter to play Bob Seidman. TriStar wanted Demme to hire someone else because Vawter was HIV-positive and the insurance company covering the film refused to extend coverage to him. Demme managed to convince TriStar to allow the hiring of Vawter anyway, because refusing to hire an actor because of his HIV-positive status would have been particularly ironic in the context of a movie about the injustice of a lawyer being fired because he is HIV-positive.
  • Quentin Crisp makes a cameo appearance in the party scene.
  • In 2003, Andrew Beckett ranked #49 on the "Heroes" list in the American Film Institute's "100 Years, 100 Heroes & Villains" list.
  • In 2004, "Streets of Philadelphia" ranked #68 on the American Film Institute's "100 Years, 100 Songs" list.
  • In 2007, Philadelphia was ranked #20 on the American Film Institute's "100 Years, 100 Cheers" list.

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