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City of Angels (1998)

PG-13 | | Drama, Fantasy, Romance | 10 April 1998 (USA)
An angel on Earth, a doctor unable to believe, a patient with a secret, a love story made in Heaven.

Director:

Brad Silberling

Writers:

Wim Wenders (screenplay "Der Himmel über Berlin"), Peter Handke (screenplay "Der Himmel über Berlin") | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
3,156 ( 365)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 10 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Nicolas Cage ... Seth
Meg Ryan ... Dr. Maggie Rice
Andre Braugher ... Cassiel
Dennis Franz ... Nathaniel Messinger
Colm Feore ... Jordan Ferris
Robin Bartlett ... Anne
Joanna Merlin ... Teresa Messinger
Sarah Dampf ... Susan
Rhonda Dotson Rhonda Dotson ... Susan's Mother
Nigel Gibbs ... Doctor
John Putch ... Man in Car
Lauri Johnson ... Woman in Car
Christian Aubert Christian Aubert ... Foreign Visitor in Car
Jay Patterson ... Air Traffic Controller
Shishir Kurup ... Jimmy, Anesthesiologist
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Storyline

Seth is an angel who accompanies the spirits of the recently dead to the ever after. Seth has never been human and so has never experienced touch or taste. When in the hospital however he comes across Dr. Maggie Rice, a brilliant young heart surgeon who is devoted to her profession and her patients. Seth has the power to let himself be seen but Maggie finds him far too mysterious. Seth also meets a patient, Nathaniel Messinger, who has news for him - he too was once an angel like Seth but chose to fall to Earth and become human. Seth makes a decision on his future, which does not turn out as he had expected. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What if angels walked among us, and one of them fell in love with us? See more »

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for sexuality including language, and some nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Warner Bros.

Country:

USA | Germany

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 April 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

City of Angels See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$55,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$15,369,048, 12 April 1998

Gross USA:

$78,685,114

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$198,685,114
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When Maggie asks Seth what he does for a living, he says he is a messenger. In Greek, the word for messenger is "angelos" and is where we get the word angel. See more »

Goofs

When Maggie and Jordan are talking in the locker room and Jordan ask her to marry him, you can see his mouth move, several times, when the camera is behind him, but he doesn't speak in the scenes with the camera behind him. See more »

Quotes

Seth: Why do people cry?
Maggie: What do you mean?
Seth: I mean, what happens physically?
Maggie: Well... umm... tear ducts operate on a normal basis to lubricate and protect the eye and when you have an emotion they overact and create tears.
Seth: Why? Why do they overact?
Maggie: [pause] I don't know.
Seth: Maybe... maybe emotion becomes so intense your body just can't contain it. Your mind and your feelings become too powerful, and your body weeps.
See more »

Alternate Versions

When the film aired on the TVONE channel in New Zealand on Sunday afternoon April 16th 2012, the love scene between Seth and Maggie was omitted for daytime broadcast. See more »

Connections

Remake of Wings of Desire (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

That Old Black Magic
Written by Johnny Mercer and Harold Arlen
Performed by Frank Sinatra
Courtesy of Capitol Records, under license from EMI-Capitol Special Markets
See more »

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User Reviews

Are You in Despair?
17 January 2000 | by Petunia-2See all my reviews

A very different look at the world of angels and their interaction with human beings. If this were a story about the devil, IMDB would have plenty of comments so I am not surprised to read so many negative ones.

I don't believe that angels wear black, but I do believe in the premise of this movie: "sometimes things are true whether you believe in them or not."

Meg Ryan, a very unlikely choice, was thoroughly believable as an obsessive-compulsive doctor who never sleeps. When she loses a patient for the first time, she cries bitterly and cannot understand how it could have happened--all witnessed by Nicolas Cage as Seth, an angel who was sent to escort her patient to heaven. Cage allows himself to be seen by Ryan in a hospital corridor and sweetly asks, "Are you in despair?" This entire conversation sweeps the women in the audience into their evolving relationship. Yes, I guess this is definitely a woman's movie.

Others in lesser roles were quite good. Dennis Franz nails the part of a former angel who has "fallen to earth." (I do not watch his television show so this was the first time I have seen him act--I was impressed.) Andre Braugher, formerly of Homicide (a show I did watch), was terrific as Seth's closest angel friend, although he had very few lines, as usual Braugher was effective. His smile at the end of the movie stays with you.


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