MPAA Rating: PG-13

Entertainment: +2

Content: -2 1/2

Likable, ambitious and brilliant, Andy Beckett (Tom Hanks) has been working for the most prestigious law firm in Philadelphia. His clients are handed to him on a silver platter, so to speak, because the firm's senior partners recognize his potential. Equally ambitious and smart is attorney Joe Miller (Denzel Washington), who gets his personal injury clients by advertising on TV. Andy loses his job when the senior partners find out he is homosexual and has AIDS. After seeing Joe perform in court, Andy asks Joe to represent him in his suit against the firm. At first, Joe refuses because he wants no contact with gays, much less one with a deadly contagious disease. After talking to his doctor, discussing the situation with his wife and much soul searching, Joe finally agrees to fight for Andy's rights. This "politically correct" story of the prejudices and intolerance suffered by homosexuals is well acted, but very biased. In fact, it will probably be a top contender at the 1993 Academy Awards.

Obviously, the title and setting of PHILADELPHIA was chosen because it is called the "city of brotherly love." The law firm claims they fired Andy because he had mishandled a very important lawsuit. It becomes obvious that the mishandling was a setup so they would have a reason to terminate him without bringing up sexual orientation. Andy has very strong emotional support from his loving family who accept his lifestyle unconditionally. Andy warns them before he goes to trial that they will be subjected to much unfavorable publicity, but they all encourage him to fight back. His mother (Joanne Woodward) tells him, "I didn't raise my children to sit in the back of the bus." There are a few instances of homosexuals embracing, and at a party Andy and his partner host, most of the guests are homosexual couples who dance together. Joe is approached by a gay man in a drugstore who assumes Joe is gay because his client is a homosexual. Joe reacts angrily, pushing the guy out of the way. Interestingly, a brief scene showing rear male nudity occurs at a health club frequented by the "straight" lawyers. A few obscenities and exclamatory profanities are the only other offensive elements. Though its primary message concerns protecting the rights of the disabled, PHILADELPHIA clearly presents homosexuality as an acceptable lifestyle and those who don't agree as bigots.

Preview Reviewer: Mary Draughon
Tri-Star Pictures, 10202 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several (6) times - Moderate

Obscene Language: Few (3) times - S-word

Profanity: Several (7) times - Exclamatory 4; Regular 3

Violence: Once - Mild (shoving)

Sex: None

Nudity: Once (rear male nudity briefly)

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Lawyer tells

Drugs: Cigar smoking; social drinking

Other: Homosexuality portrayed as acceptable.

Running Time:
Intended Audience: Adults

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