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Philadelphia [DVD]

Price: £10.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Antonio Banderas, Jason Robards, Mary Steenburgen
  • Directors: Jonathan Demme
  • Producers: Jonathan Demme, Edward Saxon
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English, Cantonese Chinese, Czech, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, Russian
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: UCA
  • DVD Release Date: 6 Jun. 2011
  • Run Time: 125 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (97 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004Q8GY70
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,571 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Tom Hanks' Oscar-winning performance as a gay man dying of AIDS in Jonathan Demme's big-budget, all-star movie brings the modern disease to mainstream Hollywood. Hanks plays Andrew Beckett, a lawyer who is fired when his boss discovers that he has AIDS. He then engages the services of homophobic lawyer Joe Miller (Denzel Washington) to take his company to court.


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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. G. M. Glover on 7 Mar. 2002
Format: DVD
I've watched this film so many times and it never fails to evoke the same intensity of emotion. Tom Hanks is absolutely outstanding; the whole cast have been superbly selected. The relationship between Andrew Beckett (Hanks) and Joe Miller (Washington) develops before your very eyes, the scene in the library being the catalyst, when Miller realises that discrimination and prejudice aren't just confined to the colour of skin. There are even a few light moments - notice how Miller's wife, having just given birth, takes the camera off her fumbling husband to put the film in!! The sheer loneliness of Beckett's attempts to find someone to fight his case is amplified by the haunting soundtrack. The courtroom scenes are tense, with Miller's humour being the only relief. It's the final part that really proves gutwrenching; Beckett in hospital saying goodbye to his family and the "home videos". Brilliantly directed and worth every penny.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Stacey Frost on 27 July 2004
Format: DVD
After a long battle with my Mom, that ended with the deal "If you watch Escaflowne: The Movie, I'll watch Philadelphia with you", I finally sat down to watch it. Flop knows why I put this film off for so long.
Based on the novel, Philadelphia tells the story of Andrew Beckett, an excellent lawyer fired from his prominant law firm after the partners discover he had AIDs. The film follows his path as he chooses to take the firm to court, and and leads up to the outcome of the trial.
This film has to be one of Tom Hanks' graetest achievements. Possibly one of the most heart-wrenching scenes in cinema ever comes as Tom Hanks emotively describes an opera song, 'La Mamma Morte' as Maria Callas version plays in the background. This culmination of emotions, the combination of music, facial expression and story-telling evoke a sort of deep heart felt sorrow for this man. It is, put simply, a beautiful scene.
Performances by Denzel Washington and Antonio Banderas should not be ignored either, as they act in such a way as to create an air of natural behaviour, emotion and conflict. I do feel, however, that Banderas' character, Miguel, came off better in the novel, as more time was given to him and his feelings. However, Banderas worked well with what he was given, so commendation must go to him.
The brilliant thing about Philadelphia is that the film is not only about AIDs and homosexuality. It brings to light the issues of discrimination in the workplace.
Put plainly, this is a film definately worth watching, especially with a box of hankies nearby.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. S Worthington on 27 Feb. 2001
Format: VHS Tape
If you haven't seen this film, you really are missing something fantastic. The way this film tackles the issue of AIDS head on is brilliant and the cast is simply superb and really help bring the film to life! However, perhaps the most brilliant aspect of this film is that, although it is advertised as a film about AIDS (which of course, it is) it is as much about the attitudes of society towards homosexuality as it is about AIDS. The clever bit is that the films producers clearly understood modern attitudes and were aware that a groundbreaking film about AIDS would get far higher viewing figures than a film about homosexuality. However, by the time you realise that the film is not just about AIDS, you are hooked and only the most devout homophobe would not be touched and have their eyes opened to the prejudice that still surrounds us today. An excellent film and worth more than 5 stars!!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Themis-Athena on 4 Mar. 2004
Format: DVD
"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.
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