7.5/10
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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
Reviews
Popularity
3,660 ( 174)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 65 wins & 143 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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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

Matt Damon was originally cast as Dan White. He had to back out due to scheduling conflicts with Green Zone (2010). See more »

Goofs

A red "UNITE HERE" poster is visible in the camera shop, after Harvey has given his speech on the soap box. "UNITE HERE" formed in 2004. See more »

Quotes

Anne Kronenberg: My girlfriend says you guys don't like women, I'm just asking: Is there a place for us in all this, or are you guys all scared of girls?
Harvey Milk: Okay, gentlemen: We've already got a tinkerbell, a lotus blossom, we've got Jim and Dick in their three-piece suits, we need someone to manage things, a woman this time. Plus, she's the right price, and she's got bigger balls than anyone else here.
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Connections

Referenced in The Chase Australia: Episode #2.74 (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

The Washington Post March
Written by John Philip Sousa
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User Reviews

 
"I'm 40 and I haven't done anything"
3 November 2008 | by jpm-onfocusSee all my reviews

Gus Van Sant's talent and humility allows Harvey Milk to be a the center of this remarkable story without putting himself in front of the camera. Sean Penn shines with a new and extraordinary light as Harvey Milk. His humanity is overwhelming at times. That permanent smile defining his face talks volumes about his faith in people, no matter what. His awareness is filled with truth and innocence, he worries he's about to be 40 and hasn't accomplished anything. Little did he know.The film is constructed brilliantly in a series of vignettes that builds up into a whole fluid narrative. Josh Brolin, as the disturbed Dan White is another standout in a complex and remarkable performance. No cheap shots here. Diego Luna, Joseph Cross and Emile Hirsch are also terrific as the boys around Harvey but it is James Franco who truly gets under your skin. His romantic turn is one of the most compelling gay love stories I've ever seen (and I've seen Brokeback Mountain). Highly recommended!


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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
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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