“Some of these people make me sick. But a law’s been broken here. You do remember the law, don’t you?” – Joe Miller
Number of Times Seen – at least 5 times (Theater in 1993, video, DVD and 1 Jun 2014)
Brief Synopsis – In the early days of AIDS a young up and coming lawyer is fired from his job and decides to sue the law firm for wrongful termination.
My Take on it – This movie came out at the right time and watching it now twenty years later, it is still powerful if not more so because of all we have learned over these last two decades about AIDS.
This movie takes the topic of AIDS head on (one of the first mainstream movies to do so) and even in scenes which today would be considered non-PC, they found a way to verbalize the fears of all sides of the issue.
A lot less was known about AIDS and HIV back in 1993 when this was made and this movie tackles much of those unknown fears.
The performances of Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington are both excellent here. Hanks went on to win his first of two consecutive Best Actor Oscars. (The other was for Forrest Gump (1994) in the following year). No one has yet to accomplish that feat again since he did so. It’s actually ironic that this movie also starred Jason Robards who along with Hanks is one of only 5 actors to have been able to win consecutive Oscars. The other 3 were Luise Rainer, Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn.
The music is very somber and heartfelt and two songs were nominated for Oscars; Streets of Philadelphia by Bruce Springsteen and Philadelphia by Niel Young. They are both excellent songs. Springsteen’s song won Best Song that year
Bottom Line – Excellent performances by Hanks and Washington. Heartfelt music that really sets the tone of the movie. Powerful film during the days when people feared those stricken by this terrible disease due to lack of knowledge. Highly Recommended
Rating – Oscar Worthy
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Great post, this movie is so moving and Hanks is phenomenal.
Tnx vinnie. I definitely agree
I loved those two songs too. The film is so powerful, especially that scene in the library. “Would it make you more comfortable if i read the book in a private room?”
Yep. They were able to show all of our fears realized due to lack of knowledge
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