Philadelphia

  • Directors: Jonathan Demme
  • Producers: Jonathan Demme, Edward Saxon
  • Writers: Ron Nyswaner
  • Genres: Drama
  • Actors: Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington

The film tells the story of Andrew Beckett (Hanks), a senior associate at the largest corporate law firm in Philadelphia. Although he lives with his partner Miguel Álvarez (Banderas), Beckett hides his homosexuality and the fact he has AIDS from the other members of the law firm. On the day he is assigned the firm’s newest and most important case, one of the firm’s partners notices a small lesion on Beckett’s forehead. Shortly thereafter, Beckett stays home from work for several days to try to find a way to hide his lesions. While at home, he finishes the paperwork for the case he has been assigned and then brings it to his office, leaving instructions for his assistants to file the paperwork on the following day, which marks the end of the statute of limitations for the case. Later that morning, he receives a frantic call asking for the paperwork, as the paper copy cannot be found and there are no copies on the computer’s hard drive. However, the paperwork is finally discovered and is filed with the court at the last possible moment. The following day, Beckett is dismissed by the firm’s partners, who had previously referred to him as their “friend.”

Beckett collapses in court shortly after finishing cross-examination. During his hospitalization, the jury votes in his favour, awarding him back pay, damages for pain and suffering, and punitive damages. Miller visits Beckett in hospital after the verdict and overcomes his fear enough to touch Beckett’s face. After Beckett’s family leaves the room, he tells Miguel that he is ready to die. A short scene immediately afterwards shows Miller getting the word that Beckett has died. The movie ends with a reception at Beckett’s home following the funeral, where many mourners, including the Millers, view home movies of Beckett as a healthy child.

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