'Philadelphia' (1993)

Inspired by one of the first AIDS discrimination lawsuits, this <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PECLB001366" title="Jonathan Demme" href="/topic/entertainment/jonathan-demme-PECLB001366.topic">Jonathan Demme</a> film was one of the first mainstream Hollywood movies to feature a major box-office star in the role of a gay protagonist. <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PECLB002203" title="Tom Hanks" href="/topic/entertainment/movies/tom-hanks-PECLB002203.topic">Tom Hanks</a> plays a closeted homosexual attorney who’s fired from his law firm after he’s diagnosed with AIDS. Hanks won an Oscar, as did <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PECLB003757" title="Bruce Springsteen" href="/topic/entertainment/music/bruce-springsteen-PECLB003757.topic">Bruce Springsteen</a>, who wrote “The Streets of <a class="taxInlineTagLink" id="PLGEO100101023010000" title="Philadelphia (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)" href="/topic/us/pennsylvania/philadelphia-county/philadelphia-%28philadelphia-pennsylvania%29-PLGEO100101023010000.topic">Philadelphia</a>.” In his acceptance speech, Hanks thanked his high school drama teacher, Rawley Farnsworth, and his former classmate John Gilkerson, “two of the finest gay Americans, two wonderful men that I had the good fortune to be associated with.”  He also paid tribute to AIDS victims saying, “The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels.”
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( TriStar Pictures )

Inspired by one of the first AIDS discrimination lawsuits, this Jonathan Demme film was one of the first mainstream Hollywood movies to feature a major box-office star in the role of a gay protagonist. Tom Hanks plays a closeted homosexual attorney who’s fired from his law firm after he’s diagnosed with AIDS. Hanks won an Oscar, as did Bruce Springsteen, who wrote “The Streets of Philadelphia.” In his acceptance speech, Hanks thanked his high school drama teacher, Rawley Farnsworth, and his former classmate John Gilkerson, “two of the finest gay Americans, two wonderful men that I had the good fortune to be associated with.” He also paid tribute to AIDS victims saying, “The streets of heaven are too crowded with angels.”

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