Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Joanne Woodward, Jason Robards, Antonio Banderas, Lisa Summerour, Chandra Wilson, and Mary Steenburgen.
It was partly inspired by the story of Geoffrey Bowers, an attorney who in 1987 sued a law firm for unfair dismissal in one of the first AIDS discrimination cases.
Twenty-seven year old Andrew Beckett (Hanks) is a University of Pennsylvania graduate who works for the largest corporate law firm in Philadelphia. Andy is successful, easy-going, handsome, secretly gay, and a sufferer of AIDS. Because his boss (Robards) has a strong prejudice against gay people, he hides the truth about his sexuality along with his partner, Miguel (Antonio Banderas) from the members of the firm.
His condition has reached the stage when he has developed Kaposi's sarcoma. His work is sabotaged and he is promptly fired.
Andrew tries to hire a lawyer to take his case and sue the firm for illegal dismissal, but nobody will take an AIDS sufferer as a client. One of the attorneys he attempts to hire is Joe Miller (Washington), a family man and injury lawyer who is secretly homophobic himself. Joe must show that Andrew is a good man, not a threat, and he begins to realize that gays are human beings.
Andrew has a blackout in court and dies soon after. He does, however, succeed in court and the firm is ordered by the jury to make a large payout plus four million dollars in punitive damages.
The Boss on the streets of Philly
The film was the second Hollywood big-budget, big-star film to tackle the issue of AIDS in America and also signalled a shift in the early 1990s for Hollywood films to have more realistic depictions of homosexuals.
However, the fact that Hanks' and Banderas' characters do not display normal relationship affections such as kissing, and the absence of gay women drew criticism from some gay film critics.
In an interview for the 1996 documentary The Celluloid Closet, Hanks remarked that some scenes showing more affection between him and Banderas were cut, including a scene showing him and Banderas in bed together.»
Another summer has just started.
Another summer I'll be spending without you.
Just like the last fourteen.
We didn't get to watch Philadelphia together.
There was no more time left for you.
You know how I felt when I watched it.
Just a few months later.
I shed a tear for you now,
I cherish your memory,
And I feel so much better.
I miss you terribly.
You'll be in my heart forever.
This post is for you, dear Z. L.
And for all of those who left this life as prematurely as you did, so absurdly.