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Milk (2008)

Trailer
2:26 | Trailer
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.

Director:

Gus Van Sant
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Popularity
3,577 ( 1,347)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 64 wins & 142 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sean Penn ... Harvey Milk
Emile Hirsch ... Cleve Jones
Josh Brolin ... Dan White
Diego Luna ... Jack Lira
James Franco ... Scott Smith
Alison Pill ... Anne Kronenberg
Victor Garber ... Mayor Moscone
Denis O'Hare ... John Briggs
Joseph Cross ... Dick Pabich
Stephen Spinella ... Rick Stokes
Lucas Grabeel ... Danny Nicoletta
Brandon Boyce ... Jim Rivaldo
Howard Rosenman ... David Goodstein (as Zvi Howard Rosenman)
Kelvin Yu ... Michael Wong
Jeff Koons ... Art Agnos
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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 »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The only film that year nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards, and not in Best Motion Picture Drama at the Golden Globes. See more »

Goofs

In the camera shop during Milk's 1973 campaign for supervisor, the song "Rock the Boat" by the Hues Corporation played in the background. But that song wasn't released until the summer of 1974, by which time Milk had already cut his hair short and was clean shaven. In the film the clean-cut Harvey Milk didn't appear until the beginning of the 1975 campaign. 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

References The Boys in the Band (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

Rock the Boat
Written by Wally Holmes
Performed by The Hues Corporation
Courtesy of JiMi Lane Music
See more »

User Reviews

 
Van Sant delivers a great marriage of art and history
15 November 2008 | by greg-253See all my reviews

Just caught the Portland premiere and have a few thoughts.

Very thankful this film was made. Until now, it seemed like I was fairly alone in knowing about Harvey's legacy. After "Milk" starts getting attention....I hope that a whole new generation will come to know the Mayor of Castro Street (see Randy Shilt's book) and the importance of the gay rights movement.

That being said, Van Sant's "Milk" is great marriage of art and history. Instead of a dry portrait of an assasinated leader, we get a beautifully rendered flavor of the times, and an intimate vision of a man finding his place within a community and history.

Casting is brilliant. Penn inhabits Harvey Milk in a way that few actors I believe would be capable. His physicality and energy is very believable - and it's easy to forget what actor you're watching. After a while...it's just Harvey. I could go on about the supporting cast...all very solid in their own way. James Franco (Scotty) stands out as well....showing his range and willingness to expand as an actor.

Kudos all the way around...I see this film getting several nods at Oscar time.

Additionally...Rob Epstein's Oscar-winning 1984 documentary "The Times of Harvey Milk" is a definite must for anyone who enjoyed this film. I watched it right after "Milk" - and am still impressed with how affecting it is.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 January 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Untitled Harvey Milk Project See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,453,844, 30 November 2008

Gross USA:

$31,841,299

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$54,589,558
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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