- Genre: Romance
- Main Cast: Nicolas Cage,Charles Roven,Andre Braugher,Dennis Franz,Dawn Steel,Meg Ryan,Colm Feore,Dennis Franz,Andre Braugher,Nicolas Cage,Meg Ryan,Brad Silberling,Brad Silberling
- Duration: 90 Minutes
- Number of Discs: DVD 1
- This movie features unrestricted public exhibition which needs to be subject to parental guidance for children below the age of 12.
|DVD DISC, AC-3, Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, Dubbed, Subtitled, NTSC, Full Screen
|Andre Braugher, Brad Silberling, Meg Ryan, Nicolas Cage
|Initial release date
|Year of Release
City of Angels is a 1998 American romantic fantasy film directed by Brad Silberling and starring Nicolas Cage and Meg Ryan. Set in Los Angeles, California, the film is a loose remake of Wim Wenders’ 1987 film Wings of Desire (Der Himmel über Berlin), which was set in Berlin. As with the original, City of Angels tells the story of an angel (Cage) who falls in love with a mortal woman (Ryan), and wishes to become human in order to be with her. With the guidance of a man (Dennis Franz) who has already made the transition from immortality, the angel falls and discovers the human experience.
When producer Dawn Steel saw potential to pursue more story ideas in Wenders’ original concept, she and her husband Charles Roven acquired the rights for an English-language adaptation. After years of delay, they found support from Warner Bros. and recruited Silberling and screenwriter Dana Stevens to execute the project. Themes were borrowed from Wenders’ work, though the ending was altered, to a more tragic effect. City of Angels was filmed around California and dedicated to Steel, who died before the premiere.
The remake was released to financial success, but mixed reviews, with some critics judging it to be a mawkish adaptation. It was also noted for its soundtrack, and nominated for several awards, particularly for its performances and soundtrack.
In Los Angeles, California, Seth is one of many angels who watch over humans, protecting them in unseen ways. His main responsibility is to appear to those who are close to death and guide them to the next life.
During this task, Seth and one of his fellow angels, Cassiel, ask people what their favorite thing in life was. Despite these daily encounters, they have trouble understanding human beings and their ways, as angels lack human senses.
While waiting to escort a man undergoing heart surgery to the other world, Seth is impressed by the vigorous efforts of the surgeon, Maggie Rice, to save the ill-fated man’s life and her sincere anguish at her failure to do so. Seth soon becomes focused on Maggie and becomes visible to her. They develop a connection, which soon turns to mutual attraction, although Maggie is already involved with one of her colleagues, Jordan Ferris.
Seth then meets Nathaniel Messinger, one of Maggie’s patients, who senses Seth’s presence. He tells him that he, too, had once been an angel. But, as free will is granted equally to mortals and angels, he decided to become human by “falling”. Seth begins to consider being with Maggie, and she learns that he is an angel.
Lake Tahoe is featured in the film.
Seth becomes human by jumping from the top of a skyscraper. Immediately upon awakening, he starts to experience many human feelings and sensations that he had never been able to understand, beginning with physical pain. As a human, Seth heads to the hospital to see Maggie but is told she has gone to her uncle’s mountain cabin at Lake Tahoe.
Penniless and naïve, he cannot pay for the journey and gets mugged. He eventually hitches a ride to Lake Tahoe and appears, soaked and cold, at Maggie’s doorstep. She realizes he has become mortal for her love, and they have sex. The next morning, as Seth is showering, Maggie rides her bicycle to a local store. On her way back, happy and fulfilled, she rides her bicycle with her eyes closed and her arms wide open. Her happiness is cut short when she fails to notice a logging truck crossing her path and is gravely wounded in the collision.
Seth senses that Maggie is in trouble and runs to her aid. He arrives in time for her to tell him she sees the angel who has come to accompany her. Although Seth can no longer see angels, he senses one nearby and frantically begs Maggie not to look at him/her. She tells him she is not afraid anymore and that when they ask her what her favorite thing in life was, she will say it was Seth, and she then dies.
Grieving and alone, Seth is visited by Cassiel. He asks if he is being punished for becoming human, which Cassiel assures him is not the case. Sometime later, Seth expresses his joy in being human and the fact that he has accepted his new life by running into the ocean, feeling the waves at dawn, in sight of the angels.