The Leading Men Collection [2 Discs] [DVD]

This four-pack of films starring Oscar winner Denzel Washington includes Devil in a Blue Dress, Glory, the remake of The Taking of Pelham 123, and Philadelphia.
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Overview

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Special Features

  • Closed Captioned

Synopsis

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3
A New York City subway dispatcher draws on his extensive knowledge of the subway system in order to outsmart a dangerous criminal mastermind who's hijacked a subway train in this remake of the 1974 thriller inspired by John Godey's best-selling book. Walter Garber (Denzel Washington) is drifting through his daily routine when he receives word that a heavily armed gang of four has hijacked a subway train and is holding all of the passengers hostage. Led by cunning master thief Ryder (John Travolta), the gunmen will begin executing everyone aboard should the authorities fail in delivering ten million dollars in the space of just one hour. With the tension in the tunnels rising, Walter races to save the hostages before the shootings start. But through it all, there's one part of Ryder's plan that Walter can't quite comprehend: even if the thieves do succeed in getting their money, how could they possibly get out of the tunnels undetected? ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi

Devil in a Blue Dress
Denzel Washington stars in this adaptation of the novel by African-American crime author Walter Mosley, the first of his stories to reach the screen. Ezekiel Rawlins (Washington), known to his friends as "Easy," has just lost his job at an aircraft plant in post-WW II Los Angeles, a time when good-paying jobs for black men are hard to come by. He's wondering how to make his mortgage payment when he's approached by De Witt Albright (Tom Sizemore), who describes his job as "doing favors for friends." It seems that a woman named Daphne Monet (Jennifer Beals) has gone missing; Daphne is the former girlfriend of wealthy mayoral candidate Todd Carter (Terry Kinney) and a known habitué of the black jazz clubs and night spots on L.A.'s Central Avenue. Albright offers Easy $100 to help him find Daphne, and while he doesn't have any detective experience, the price is right, so Easy agrees. After a passionate affair with a friend of Daphne's, Coretta James (Lisa Nicole Carson), leads to that woman's murder, Easy enlists the help of his friend Mouse (Don Cheadle), who seems to know just a bit too well how to use a gun, which gives Easy all too clear a look at the lower depths of L.A.'s upper crust. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Glory
Glory is a celebration of a little-known act of mass courage during the Civil War. Simply put, the heroes involved have been ignored by history due to racism. Those heroes were the all-black members of the 54th Regiment of the Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, headed by Col. Robert Gould Shaw (Matthew Broderick), the son of an influential abolitionist (played by an uncredited Jane Alexander). Despite the fact that the Civil War is ostensibly being fought on their behalf, the black soldiers are denied virtually every privilege and amenity that is matter of course for their white counterparts; as in armies past and future, they are given the most menial and demeaning of tasks. Still, none of the soldiers quit the regiment when given the chance. The unofficial leaders of the group are gravedigger John Rawlins (Morgan Freeman) and fugitive slave Trip (Denzel Washington), respectively representing the brains and heart of the organization. The 54th acquit themselves valiantly at Fort Wagner, SC, charging a fortification manned by some 1,000 Confederates. Glory was based on Lincoln Kirstein's Lay This Laurel and Peter Burchard's One Gallant Rush; the latter book was founded on the letters of Col. Robert Gould Shaw, the real-life character played by Matthew Broderick. The film won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for co-star Denzel Washington, and additional statuettes for Best Cinematography (Freddie Francis) and Sound Recording. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Philadelphia
At the time of its release, Jonathan Demme's Philadelphia was the first big-budget Hollywood film to tackle the medical, political, and social issues of AIDS. Tom Hanks, in his first Academy Award-winning performance, plays Andrew Beckett, a talented lawyer at a stodgy Philadelphia law firm. The homosexual Andrew has contracted AIDS but fears informing his firm about the disease. The firm's senior partner, Charles Wheeler (Jason Robards), assigns Andrew a case involving their most important client. Andrew begins diligently working on the case, but soon the lesions associated with AIDS are visible on his face. Wheeler abruptly removes Andrew from the case and fires him from the firm. Andrew believes he has been fired because of his illness and plans to fight the firm in court. But because of the firm's reputation, no lawyer in Philadelphia will risk handling his case. In desperation, Andrew hires Joe Miller (Denzel Washington), a black lawyer who advertises on television, mainly handling personal injury cases. Miller dislikes homosexuals but agrees to take the case for the money and exposure. As Miller prepares for the courtroom battle against one of the law firm's key litigators, Belinda Conine (Mary Steenburgen), Miller begins to realize the discrimination practiced against Andrew is no different from the discrimination Miller himself has to battle against. The cast also includes Antonio Banderas as Andrew's partner, Joanne Woodward as Andrew's mother, and Stephanie Roth as Joe's wife. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Denzel Washington
    Denzel Washington - Walter Garber
  • John Travolta
    John Travolta - Ryder
  • James Gandolfini
    James Gandolfini - Mayor
  • John Turturro
    John Turturro - Camonetti
  • Luis Guzman
    Luis Guzman - Phil Ramos

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