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City of Angels

City of Angels title card animated GIF

Year - 1998
Studio - Warner Bros.
Stars - Nicolas Cage, Meg Ryan, Dennis Franz, Andre Braugher
Director - Brad Silberling
Writing Credits - Dana Stevens
Music - Gabriel Yard


Meg Ryan plays Maggie, a pragmatic heart surgeon who has all the skills of her profession, but senses she is lacking in empathy or "bedside manner." Seth, played by Nicolas Cage, is an angel, one of many we see in Los Angeles, all dressed in long black overcoats, and are seen perched on high buildings, the Hollywood sign and, at sunset, standing along the beach. Seth appears at the bedside of dying hospital patients to escort them to eterniity, unseen by mortals.

When Maggie loses a patient in surgery, Seth tries to offer comfort. Maggie, however, is strangely able to see Seth. He is stunned by this fact, and the revelation creates a desire in him to experience being human. They fall in love, and Seth is faced with the ultiimate choice between his immortaliity and the sensuality and pain of human existence. Seth shares his dilemma with his fellow angel, Cassiel (Andre Braugher).

City of Angels poster


City of Angels is a remake of Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire, but, unlike most Hollywood remakes of foreign classics, effectively stands on its own. Dennis Franz appears in a role similar to that of Peter Falk in the original, a human who has knowledge of the angels' existence.