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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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Won 2 Oscars. Another 61 wins & 140 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Rick Stokes
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David Goodstein (as Zvi Howard Rosenman)
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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 »


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  »

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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:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tom Ammiano: The California Assemblyman and former San Francisco Supervisor plays himself. He was a founder in the No On 6 Campaign. See more »

Goofs

When Milk and allies dispose of Coors Beer, contemporary Bud Light and Budweiser taps are clearly seen in the bar. See more »

Quotes

Michael Wong: How do you know she's not a plant for Rick Stokes?
Anne Kronenberg: Are you guys always this paranoid?
Michael Wong: Yes, we take after Harvey.
Harvey Milk: Shouldn't you be doing someone's laundry?
Michael Wong: Shouldn't you be at a hairdresser's convention?
Harvey Milk: [fake scream] Aah!
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Tonight Show with Jay Leno: Episode #20.148 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Ah, quegli occhi! Quale occhio al mondo
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

 
Van Sant delivers a great marriage of art and history
15 November 2008 | by See 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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