Each week I choose a song from a movie which may be popular or not. The only criteria is that its a great song and it fits the scene in the film perfectly. Let me know if you agree.
Streets of Philadelphia – Bruce Springsteen
Streets of Philadelphia is a song that was written and performed by Bruce Springsteen for the film Philadelphia in 1993, an early mainstream film dealing with HIV/AIDS. Released in 1994, the song was a hit in many countries, particularly Canada, France, Germany, Ireland and Norway, where it topped the singles charts.
The song was a critical triumph and went on to win the Academy Award for Best Original Song and four Grammy Awards, including Song of the Year, Best Rock Song, Best Rock Vocal Performance, Solo, and Best Song Written Specifically for a Motion Picture or Television. In 2004 it finished at 68 on AFI’s 100 Years…100 Songs survey of top tunes in American cinema.
Philadelphia the film, was one of the first mainstream Hollywood films to acknowledge HIV/AIDS, homosexuality, and homophobia. It was written by Ron Nyswaner, directed by Jonathan Demme and stars Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington.
The film is the story of Andrew Beckett (Tom Hanks), a gay lawyer infected with AIDS, who is fired from his law firm in fear that they might contract AIDS from him. After Andrew is fired, in a last attempt for peace, he sues his former law firm with the help of a homophobic lawyer, Joe Miller (Denzel Washington). During the court battle, Miller sees that Beckett is no different than anyone else on the gritty streets of the city of brotherly love, sheds his homophobia and helps Beckett with his case before AIDS overcomes him.
Tom Hanks won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role as Andrew Beckett in the film, while the song “Streets of Philadelphia” by Bruce Springsteen won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Ron Nyswaner was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.
The end scene in the hospital when his family are gathered around his bed to say goodbye is heartbreaking. A performance that leaves you counting your blessings and shows that even in the bleakest of moments of human existence there are moments of huge humanity.
A film to watch that makes you at times watch through your fingers and shout at the screen at some of the bigotary that is doled out to this poor individual. Hanks best performance in his long career.