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City of Angels (1998)

Nicolas Cage , Meg Ryan , Brad Silberling  |  PG-13 |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (586 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Nicolas Cage, Meg Ryan, Andre Braugher, Dennis Franz, Colm Feore
  • Directors: Brad Silberling
  • Writers: Dana Stevens, Peter Handke, Richard Reitinger, Wim Wenders
  • Producers: Alan Glazer, Arnon Milchan, Charles Newirth
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Special Edition, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: September 29, 1998
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (586 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 0790737345
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,684 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "City of Angels" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Documentary "Making Angels"
  • Documentary "Inside the Special Effects"
  • Deleted Scenes with optional commentary by director Brad Silberling and editor Lynzee Klingman
  • Selected scenes with commentary by director of photography 'John Seale'
  • Selected scenes with commentary by production designer Lilly Kilvert
  • Interviews with and Peter Gabriel and Alanis Morissette
  • Music video by "U2"
  • Music Video by "Goo Goo Dolls"

Editorial Reviews

Some critics complained that City of Angels could never compare to Wim Wenders's exquisite German film Wings of Desire, which served as the later film's primary inspiration. The better argument to make is that any such comparisons are beside the point, because Wings of Desire was a much more deeply poetic, artfully contemplative film, whereas City of Angels is an enchanting product of mainstream Hollywood. Meg Ryan stars as Dr. Maggie Rice, a heart surgeon who is grieving over a lost patient when an angel named Seth (Nicolas Cage) appears to comfort her. She can see him despite the "rule" that angels are invisible, and Seth's love for Maggie forces him to choose between angelic immortality and a normal human existence on earth with her. Featuring heavenly roles for TV veterans Andre Braugher and Dennis Franz, the film liberally borrows imagery from Wings of Desire, but it also creates its own charming identity. Cage and Ryan give fine performances as lovers convinced they are soul mates, and although the plot relies on a last-minute twist that doesn't quite work, this earnest love story struck a chord with audiences and proved to be one of the surprise hits of 1998. --Jeff Shannon

Product Description

Seth, an angel watching over Los Angeles, begins finding his job difficult as he falls in love with Maggie, a beautiful heart surgeon.
Genre: Feature Film-Drama
Rating: PG13
Release Date: 14-SEP-2004
Media Type: DVD

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
83 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "I'll Say It Was You" April 23, 2005
Nicolas Cage gives a wonderful performance as Seth, an Angel who falls in love and begins to long for the ability to express that love, in a film that in some respects resembles the 1930's film "Death Takes a Holiday" with Fredric March and Evelyn Veneble. Seth's assignment as an angel is to help the dead cross over in this quasi remake of the Wim Wenders foreign film, "Wings of Desire." Few films since the glory days of Hollywood and the old studio system have been given the romantic glow of this film.

Meg Ryan is Maggie, the heart surgeon who is the object of Seth's affection. He is stunned when she somehow senses his prescence when trying to save one of her patients, and is touched and bewildered by her. Andre Braugher steals every scene he is in as Seth's fellow Angel and friend. They all hang out at the library and gather every morning at the beach to see the sunrise and hear the singing of heaven.

Dennis Franz has a fine turn as a patient in Maggie's hospital who knows Seth is there because he too was once an Angel. As Seth and he become friends, Seth contemplates how wonderful it would be to truly love Maggie, and searches for the courage to leave heaven behind and, simply fall.

This is one of the most romantic movies to come out of Hollywood in decades and has a message about the wonderful things we all take for granted. More than that, it is a story about the importance of love, even one felt for only a moment, for it is that experience which makes us special among all creation. To love is all, and to be loved in return is truly divine.

There are some memorable scenes in this romantic and haunting film. One involves the simple act of shopping for fruit at a farmer's market.
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38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
This movie is a priceless work of art: the script, cast, soundtrack, cinematography-- everything! It is also likened to an Aesop's Fable; there is a definite moral/lesson to be learned! (See above title.)
We watch the story of an angel (Seth played by N. Cage) fall in love with a Doctor (Maggie played by M. Ryan) of a heart surgery patient who was not supposed to "make it" and doesn't. While Maggie is trying to save her patient, another nurse says, "He's going." To which she looks dead at Seth and says "He's not going anywhere." Whether she actually sees him or not we don't know. Seth thinks she does; this snowballs his thinking and he begins to question his existence.
Near the end he makes a choice after some counseling from Dennis Frantz. "Free will brother," is his advice. So Seth goes for it. He becomes human and finds Maggie; they share what all humans search for and few find: a physical connection that is so deep it transcends into the spiritual. They are each others' soulmates.
This movie reaches out from the screen and captures your heart (if you still have one. If not, it reaffirms that we all have free will and we can choose to open our hearts to love again.) If you have a broken heart watch how Seth deals with his; truly an inspiration. Remember "some things are true whether you believe them or not."
"Now abide faith, hope, love these three; but the greatest of these is love." From THE HOLY BIBLE, I CORINTHIANS 13:13.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Someone Up There Likes Us February 2, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
"City of Angels" opens up the doors of possibility while reflecting upon the realities of life. Every day we walk upon the earth, and most of us move about oblivious to the higher powers that guide us. In the movie, angels are everywhere, mostly unseen.One of the most profound aspects of this film is the portrayal of every range of human emotion, from laughter to grief, love to desperation. Nicolas Cage excels in his role as Seth, the unseen protector, whose desire is not just to observe, but to experience, life.Meg Ryan's Dr. Maggie Rice is driven, but struggles with the tenderness underneath. She feels she must be granite for her colleagues and patients alike, but inside she battles the reality of having emotions and reactions to them.This movie will make you laugh and cry, and if you contemplate its events, you will find that life is as it should be....maybe not fair, but it is real.May the angels watch over you.....
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite movies @}->--- June 7, 2008
This is a definate chick flick but it's a good one. I love the chemistry between Meg Ryan and Nicholas Cage in here. She plays a Dr and he's an Angel who sees her in the hospital where she works. She can see him but he doesn't let her know his secret. The only way their relationship can grow is if he leaves his 'life' as an angel. He can leave the life of no death, pain and sadness, and trade it for a normal life that humans experience.
They both act really well in this and it was good to see Meg in a more serious role. I cannot go into more depth without giving you the ending, but I have to stress that this is such a beautiful movie (ok a little depressing in parts) but overall so good. You will most probably need tissues; it never fails to make me cry. It's such a beautiful romantic story and an under-rated movie for sure. I love it and it's one of my all time favourites.
PS I love Megs curls in this.
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music from movie
Brad Yared did the score. Other composers listed in the crew are Peter Gabriel, Curly Hamner and Jude Christodal. This information is on the same page as Amazon's DVD information. Also, the CD is on Amazon as well with the score and the individual songs done by Peter Gabriel, Alanis... Read More
Aug 24, 2006 by Twilightjoan |  See all 2 posts
Think Seth regretted his decision?(Spolirs ahead) Be the first to reply
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