Title: Philadelphia

Release Date:  1993

Nationality and Language: USA, English

Running time: about 120 Minutes

MPAA Rating:  R

Distributor and Production Company:

Director; Writer: Jonathan Demme


Cast:  Tom Hanks

Technical:  regular aspect ratio

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Review: Movie Review: Philadelphia (1993)

Starring Tom Hanks; Directed by: Jonathan Demme; MPAA Rating, R;

This somewhat tear-jerking film tells the story of a young lawyer (played by Tom Hanks) who is fired from his firm after he develops AIDS. We watch his descent from a hearty, handshaking young man into a frail shell, who collapses in the court room in the final scene after talking about gay movies. Indeed, some of the scenes are galling. Another law partner actually notices his first Kaposi's sarcoma lesion, which ultimately leads to his dismissal. "He brought AIDS into our men's room" ¾ indeed, pandering to our worst fears. The lawyer who takes his case (played by Denzel Washington) starts out as homophobic himself. The famous opera acting-out scene is based on one of Gesualdo's weakest operas. Antonio Banderas is not totally convincing as the lover. In the end, the jury returns an emotional high.

Some people may argue that the film does not hold the Hanks character responsible enough for his own situation. Is this a good study of the Americans with Disabilities Act?

Hanks come across (at least early in the film) as a much more charismatic character than in some of his other films (Forest Gump, or The Green Mile, where he looks frankly fatter with a double chin). During his healthy days, the lawyer comes across as the aggressive sort of person that Tom Hanks would play later in Saving Private Ryan.

This film may have really helped improve the attitude towards sexual orientation in the workplace by private employers. Today, most reputable employers include sexual orientation harassment as an item that falls under "offensive conduct," although it may not be well enforced in blue-collar settings.

Not sure that I get the significance of using the name Philadephia—the City of Brotjerly Love, the home of  Liberty Bell, the site of the Rocky movies with Sylvester Stallone. .


Related reviews: And the Band Played On   The Dying Gaul


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