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
3,540 ( 120)
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:

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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film made Roger Ebert's year-end list of the 20 best movies of 2008. Ebert did not rank his picks that year, opting instead for an alphabetical list. He later said that the film was the most deserving of all the Best Picture Oscar nominees. 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

Harvey Milk: Is anyone gonna pay the pizza guy, or are we all just gonna stare?
Dick Pabich: Why wouldn't we stare?
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Connections

Featured in WatchMojo: Top 10 Movie Riots (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Kalinka (Little Snowfall)
Performed by Wiener Sängerknaben (as Vienna Choir Boys)
Courtesy of Koch International
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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
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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