PHILADELPHIA
1993, Sony Repertory, 125 min, USA, Dir: Jonathan Demme

In one of the first mainstream Hollywood films to deal with AIDS, Tom Hanks stars as a young attorney suffering from the disease who must retain a small-time lawyer (Denzel Washington) to lead a wrongful termination suit against his former employer. This acclaimed drama costars Jason Robards, Mary Steenburgen, Antonio Banderas and Joanne Woodward, and earned Oscars for Hanks' moving performance and Bruce Springsteen's original song "Streets of Philadelphia."


MALCOLM X
1992, Warner Bros., 201 min, USA, Japan, Dir: Spike Lee

This sweeping biography of the famed African-American leader remains one of director Spike Lee’s greatest films. Denzel Washington earned an Oscar nomination for his riveting performance in the title role, rising from petty criminal to charismatic leader of the Nation of Islam before his assassination in 1965. Angela Bassett costars.


DEVIL IN A BLUE DRESS
1995, Sony Repertory, 102 min, USA, Dir: Carl Franklin

Adapted from the first of Walter Mosley’s popular Easy Rawlins novels, this neo-noir stars Denzel Washington as the private investigator plying his trade in South Central Los Angeles after WWII. When DeWitt Albright (a memorably shifty Tom Sizemore) asks Easy to find a missing woman (Jennifer Beals) involved with a mayoral candidate, the detective soon has several murders to solve. With Don Cheadle. “It's the film's glowing visual qualities, a striking performance by Denzel Washington and the elegant control Carl Franklin has over it all that create the most exotic crime entertainment of the season.” - Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times.


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