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Milk (I) (2008)

7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 114,008 users   Metascore: 84/100
Reviews: 268 user | 317 critic | 39 from Metacritic.com

The story of Harvey Milk, and his struggles as an American gay activist who fought for gay rights and became California's first openly gay elected official.

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Title: Milk (2008)

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Won 2 Oscars. Another 59 wins & 89 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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John Briggs
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Howard Rosenman ...
David Goodstein (as Zvi Howard Rosenman)
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Storyline

Using flashbacks from a statement recorded late in life and archival footage for atmosphere, this film traces Harvey Milk's career from his 40th birthday to his death. He leaves the closet and New York, opens a camera shop that becomes the salon for San Francisco's growing gay community, and organizes gays' purchasing power to build political alliances. He runs for office with lover Scott Smith as his campaign manager. Victory finally comes on the same day Dan White wins in the city's conservative district. The rest of the film sketches Milk's relationship with White and the 1978 fight against a statewide initiative to bar gays and their supporters from public school jobs. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Never blend in See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some sexual content and brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

Official Sites:

| |  »

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 January 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Untitled Harvey Milk Project  »

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£336,027 (UK) (23 January 2009)

Gross:

$31,838,002 (USA) (10 April 2009)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sean Penn's cosmetic transformation in the film included a prosthetic nose and teeth, contact lenses and a redesigned hairline. His makeup was done by Academy Award winner Stephan Dupuis. See more »

Goofs

According to title cards at the end of the film, Dan White's lawyers argued that consumption of junk food caused a chemical imbalance in his brain. White's lawyers actually claimed that massive consumption of junk food was a symptom of his depression, not a cause. Psychologists employed by White's defense argued that he was clinically depressed, as evidenced by changes in behavior, including consumption of large quantities of junk food. One psychologist claimed that junk food may have contributed to White's mood swings. See more »

Quotes

McConnely: There's Man's Law and there's God's Law in this neighborhood.
Harvey Milk: Uh huh.
McConnely: And in this city.
Scott Smith: You know, we pay taxes!
McConnely: The San Francisco Police Force is happy to enforce either. Have a good day.
[leaves]
Harvey Milk: [calling after him] Yeah, thank you for the warm welcome to the neighborhood!
[to Scott]
Harvey Milk: Schmuck.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Larry King Live: Are They the Oscar Favorites (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Presto, su! Mario! Mario!
Written by Giacomo Puccini
Performed by Symfonický orchester Slovenského rozhlasu (as The Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra)
Conducted by Alexander Rahbari
Courtesy of Naxos
By Arrangement with Source/Q
Tosca: Nelly Miricioiu (uncredited)
Spoletta: Miroslav Dvorský
Sciarrone: Jan Durco (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Moral, ethical, honestly Christian
24 February 2009 | by (Romania) – See all my reviews

I never vibrated together with Van Sant, but this time I must say he convinced me.

The main merit of "Milk" is that it conveys A MORAL PRINCIPLE - in an extraordinarily powerful, and stylish too, way. Or, as it's also stated: "What matters is the fight, more than the outcome!" The script, very dense and well organized, follows the fastidious steps of building up a message, at the same time respecting the ingrate historic chronology - the perpetual dilemma of the docudrama. All around this structure, the direction skilfully grows-up the flesh of the human content, social layers and ethical matters. It turns out a definite lesson of movie-making, for all to see and learn.

I should also add that my country, Romania, is just passing through the historical stage that "Milk" is depicting: pushing homophobia into obsolescence and reaching normality. As such, initially our rating commission came with a positively ludicrous decision: banning "Milk" for the 18- audiences, because (hear this, as a pearl of idiocy!) "It makes propaganda for a certain sexual orientation!" I gave them a piece of my mind, in my own review, pointing out that the movie only MAKES PROPAGANDA FOR MORALS, so it should be recommended to ALL AGES AUDIENCES, no matter how young! In the end, after an official complain, they relented and lowered the rating to "not recommended to under-15". Still silly, but one can't have it all, can we? Thank God, audiences who don't care about this movie will ignore it, and those who do, will see it nonetheless. And become better human beings.


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