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Philadelphia [VHS] (1993)

Tom Hanks , Denzel Washington , Jonathan Demme  |  PG-13 |  VHS Tape
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (225 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Roberta Maxwell, Buzz Kilman, Karen Finley
  • Directors: Jonathan Demme
  • Writers: Ron Nyswaner
  • Producers: Jonathan Demme, Edward Saxon, Gary Goetzman, Kenneth Utt, Kristi Zea
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Rated: PG-13 (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Columbia Tri Star
  • VHS Release Date: February 14, 1995
  • Run Time: 125 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (225 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 630310696X
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #370,993 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As Powerful As Ever May 26, 2006
I purchase a lot of DVDs. For the past few years, it seems that almost every DVD comes in a special edition two-disc release that includes deleted scenes, documentaries, cast bios, trailers, teaser trailers, music videos, and the director's recipe for three-alarm chili. I usually don't have time to get beyond the first disc, and much of what I do get around to usually turns out to be as boring as it gets. This time, however, I am happy to report that the two-disc anniversary release of Philadelphia is worth both the money and the time invested in it, even if you already have Philadelphia on DVD.

The special features include the 84-minute documentary, One Foot On A Banana Peel and the Other In the Grave, an extraordinary piece of amateur filmmaking by an AIDS patient named Juan Botas. What I did not know was that Mr. Botas' AIDS diagnosis provided the inspiration for director Jonathan Demme to make Philadelphia in the first place, as Mr. Botas was best friends with Mr. Demme's wife. In the meanwhile, Mr. Botas mentioned to filmmaker Demme that it was a shame that the black humor, amazing courage and other interesting dialogue that emanated from his fellow patients at the clinic where he was being treated was being lost forever as it left their lips. Mr. Demme gave Mr. Botas his hand-held camera, and the results so impressed Demme that he wound up releasing the documentary through his own production company. The finished film is touching, oddly comic, tragic and as effecting as any piece of drama you've ever witnessed. One of the patients from the doctor's office was also given a few lines in the main feature, Philadelphia.

Which brings us to that film.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping And Compelling January 3, 2004
"Philadelphia", based on a true story, is one of the best releases of 1993, starring Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Mary Steenbergen, Antonio Banderes, and more. Its production was extra crutial being that during the time of release, many were still severely fearing AIDS. The producers accomplish every scene wonderfully. The movie's portrayal of AIDS and its victims is very accurate to reality. The plot was written beautifully, though sad. It explores more than just AIDS; it explores discrimination against those who have it and against homosexuals. Such combination remains ahead of its time. The plot becomes more interesting as Andy Beckett's lawyer becomes more educated about such issues and begins changing his beliefs about them. Its emotional impact is intense, never held back for a second. It forces audiences to feel the events. The movie is more than entertainment; it's also educational.
Tom Hanks's Oscar winning performance as Beckett is heartwrenching. His every drop of heart and soul was poured through his performance. His previous hardcore research about the lifestyle, the disease, and the actual events is obvious. This is one of many movies that proves that Tom Hanks is one of the best actors in history. Denzel Washington's performance as Beckett's lawyer is beautiful. His acting skill proves very crutial in his character's personality and point of view. All other actors, major or minor, also perform their roles wonderfully. Everyone, including Hanks and Washington, offers their own useful emotional prospective to this movie.
Bruce Springsteen's Oscar winning song "Streets of Philadelphia" is a beautiful way to begin the movie. Its dark theme matches the plot perfectly. It also offers new prospectives to the movie.
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37 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good start. February 4, 2003
"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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart Wrenching
Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington give moving performances in this Hollywood treatment of AIDs. I would suggest getting this as a DVD if it is available. The music is great.
Published 6 days ago by P. Mulloy
5.0 out of 5 stars Philadelphia
What more can you say but Tom Hanks is great in everything he does. This movie I have to give it a 5 Star rating!!!!
Published 8 days ago by Ann Taylor
5.0 out of 5 stars It never gets old
The acting, the music, the pathos. A once in a lifetime film. This film began changing the world and moving it toward toleralnce and equality for all.
Published 13 days ago by Loretta Montoya
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Film
Excellent film, that explores issues still relevant today. Wonderfully cast with all-star performances by every actor/actress involved in the film. In short, I loved it!
Published 14 days ago by Pilar
5.0 out of 5 stars Philadelphia
This movie never gets old.. it's true to life story line gives you a small peek into what life with AIDS was like back then and probably to this day without proper care and early... Read more
Published 1 month ago by C. Travers
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Great Great
This movie is beyond praise it deserved all the awards it received. The acting was supreme by everyone in it. You even get to hear the great Maria Callis sing.
Published 1 month ago by Geradine Dinardo
5.0 out of 5 stars Hanks and Washington ... What a great pair!
It doesn't get any better than this ... Used this as a teaching tool in high school ... quite effective made them think AND touched their hearts ... Read more
Published 1 month ago by annette chomuik
5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT MOVIE! Cannot believe I haven't seen it til now
If you are a Tom Hanks fan and appreciate all that is Tom Hanks, this is a must-see! He won his first Oscar and rightfully so! Denzel is a perfect compliment to Hank's character. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Aris Pilipchuk
5.0 out of 5 stars Stands the test of time
Wonderful movie at a critical time in the awareness of AIDS. And it is now standing the test of time: my teen daughter found it and loves it as well.
Published 1 month ago by Tim Crosby
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Movie
This was a great family movie. Really enjoyed it and loved the story line. Very clean movie with a reason. will probably watch again
Published 1 month ago by D.W
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Maria Callas
Who is Maria Callas? I've only caught this movie from middle to end, and that was just one time. :D
Apr 1, 2010 by compsciguy |  See all 3 posts
Band in 'Philadelphia' Party Scene?
It is Heaven by Talking Heads cover by Q Lazzarus but I cannot find the full version :(
Mar 29, 2012 by Simon06 |  See all 2 posts
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