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Milk (2008)

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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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2,979 ( 293)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 61 wins & 141 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Harvey Milk
... Cleve Jones
... Dan White
... Jack Lira
... Scott Smith
... Anne Kronenberg
... Mayor Moscone
... John Briggs
... Dick Pabich
... Rick Stokes
... Danny Nicoletta
... Jim Rivaldo
... David Goodstein (as Zvi Howard Rosenman)
... Michael Wong
... 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:

His life changed history. His courage changed lives. See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 January 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Untitled Harvey Milk Project  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,453,844, 30 November 2008, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$31,841,299, 16 April 2009
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Number 9 on Owen Gleiberman's Entertainment Weekly Magazine list of the 10 best movies of 2008. See more »

Goofs

When Milk is walking the streets gathering support to run for supervisor, one shot shows modern cars (including a black SUV) on the right side of the screen. See more »

Quotes

[from trailer]
Harvey Milk: All men are created equal. No matter how hard you try, you can never erase those words.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mike & Mike: Episode dated 26 February 2016 (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Mia gelosa!
from "Tosca" by Giacomo Puccini
Performed by Maria Callas, Giuseppe Di Stefano and the Orchestra e Coro del Teatro alla Scala (as Orchestra Del Teatro Alla Scala)
Conducted by Victor de Sabata
Courtesy of EMI Classics
Under license from EMI Film & Television Music
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Everything comes together in this one
18 November 2008 | by See all my reviews

Let's get one thing out of the way. Is it entertaining? And how! Sean Penn's best performance to date – Oscar quality; Emile Hirsch riotously perfect (best "supporting?"); James Franco heartbreaking; Diego Luna, devastating; Josh Brolin, flawless. Not one false note in any of the actors – a very complicated story unfolds with absolute clarity. I will be seeing this one again just for the screenplay. I was very gratified that no attempt is made to be "delicate" about Harvey Milk's personality, either his sex life or his out-sized ego, which perhaps ironically for some, makes him all the more heroic. The finest "political" film I think I've ever seen. It does more than dramatize a strong true story, it captures convincingly the truth about a whole political movement. (One that's as freshly active as today's headlines: Prop 6 or Prop 8 — does it ever end?) There is an ease and familiarity to the "scene" — to the historical period and place — with very few, small anachronisms, as far as I could tell. This is also the most assured work of Gus Van Sant, a genuine film artist, who here delivers a complete drama with real visual style and brazen wit. The blending of documentary footage is the most seamless I can remember seeing anywhere. The crowd scenes are remarkable, and all of the location shooting miraculously right. For a couple of fast, fast hours, I felt as though I had spent a couple of days — hilarious, intense, inspiring days — immersed in 1970s San Francisco. This movie does what all movies should do. See it.


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