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Milk (2008)

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Biography, Drama |

Milk is a American biographical film based on the life of gay rights activist and politician Harvey Milk, who was the first openly gay person to be elected to public office in California, as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Directed by Gus Van Sant and written by Dustin Lance Black, the film stars Sean Penn as Milk and Josh Brolin as Dan White, a city supervisor, and Victor Garber as San Francisco Mayor George Moscone.

Attempts to put Milk’s life to film followed a 1984 documentary of his life and the aftermath of his assassination, titled The Times of Harvey Milk, which was loosely based upon Randy Shilts’s biography, The Mayor of Castro Street.

The film opens with archival footage of police raiding gay bars and arresting patrons during the 1950s and 1960s, followed by Dianne Feinstein’s November 27, 1978 announcement to the press that Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone had been assassinated. Milk is seen recording his will throughout the film, nine days (November 18, 1978) before the assassinations. The film then flashes back to New York City in 1970, the eve of Milk’s 40th birthday and his first meeting with his much younger lover, Scott Smith.

Dissatisfied with his life and in need of a change, Milk and Smith decide to move to San Francisco in the hope of finding larger acceptance of their relationship. They open Castro Camera in the heart of Eureka Valley, a working-class neighborhood in the process of evolving into a predominantly gay neighborhood known as The Castro. Frustrated by the opposition they encounter in the once Irish-Catholic neighborhood, Milk utilizes his background as a businessman to become a gay activist, eventually becoming a mentor for Cleve Jones.

Director: Gus Van Sant

Writer: Dustin Lance Black

Stars: Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Emile Hirsch, Diego Luna, James Franco, Alison Pill, Victor Garber

Cast:

Sean PennHarvey Milk
Emile HirschCleve Jones
Josh BrolinDan White
Diego LunaJack Lira
James FrancoScott Smith
Alison PillAnne Kronenberg
Victor GarberMayor Moscone
Denis O’HareJohn Briggs
Joseph CrossDick Pabich
Stephen SpinellaRick Stokes
Lucas GrabeelDanny Nicoletta
Brandon BoyceJim Rivaldo
Howard RosenmanDavid Goodstein
Kelvin YuMichael Wong
Jeff KoonsArt Agnos
Ted Jan RobertsDennis Peron
Boyd HolbrookDenton Smith
Frank M. RobinsonFrank Robinson (as Frank Robinson)
Allan BairdAllan Baird
Tom AmmianoTom Ammiano
Carol Ruth SilverThelma
Hope TuckMary Ann White (as Hope Goblirsch)
Steven WiigMcConnelly
Ashlee TempleDianne Feinstein
Wendy Tremont KingCarol Ruth Silver (as Wendy King)
Kelvin Han YeeGordon Lau
Robert ChimentoPhil Burton
Ginabel MachadoLily
Daniel LandrocheYoung Teen
Trace WebbBoy with Flier
Velina BrownMorning Show Host
Scott Patrick GreenHouse Boy
Mary DiltsChannel 5 Reporter
Roman AlcidesCity Hall Engineer
Robert George NelsonSan Francisco Cop No.1
Brian DankerSan Francisco Cop No.2
Richard GrossRiot Cop
Borzin MottaghianBriggs’ Driver
Brian Yates SharberGay Man
Camron PalmerMedora Paine
Cully FredricksenAssistant Sheriff
Mark MartinezSylvester
Danny GlickerCustomer (as Daniel Glicker)
Catherine CookOpera Performer – Tosca
Joe MeyersOpera Performer – Spoletta
Dominic SahagunAnother Protester
William McElroyBarber
Joey HoeberUnion Man
Mark E. StangerPriest
Christopher GreeneReporter
Jesse CaldwellChamber Clerk
Paul ArnoldSupervisor
Jack DunstonSupervisor
Ron GruetterSupervisor
Awele MakebaSupervisor
Tony VellaSupervisor
William M. VerducciSupervisor
Gilbert BakerTelephone Tree
Shavi BlakeTelephone Tree
Sean Paul LockhartTelephone Tree (as Brent Corrigan)
Draco DewarTelephone Tree
Dave FrancoTelephone Tree
Alex GonzalezTelephone tree
Olen HolmTelephone Tree
Elias McConnellTelephone Tree
Tom RandolTelephone Tree
Lynn McReeMoscone’s Secretary
Cleve JonesDon Amador
John ParsonCastro Man
Jay KerznerSpeaker
Kristen Marie HollyAnne’s Friend
Sandi IppolitoRelative
Roger GrohReporter
Maggie WeilandGirl on Motorcycle
Dustin Lance BlackCastro Clone
Drew KuhsePizza Delivery Man
Eric CookRobert Hillsborough
Roger MuddSelf (archive footage)
Carolé AcuñaProtestor
Martin AndrisCastro Voter
Matt AustinCampaign Messenger
John Douglas AyersCastro Local
Harmony BlossomLaw Student
Dani BoccaCastro Street Kid
Matthew BridgesBirthday Party Goer
Tom BrokawSelf (archive footage)
Jerry BrownSelf (archive footage)
Clyde J. BruffPolitician
Anita BryantSelf (archive footage)
John Edward CabreraTeamster
David CadeWaiter
Greg CalaSenator Briggs’ Aide
Jimmy CarterSelf (archive footage)
Cabran E. ChamberlainRiot Cop
Hardy ChildersCastro Man
John ClerkinCastro Guy
Brad ComfortCastro Clone
Kimberly ContrerasActivist
Bryson James CookeCampaign Volunteer
Walter CronkiteSelf (archive footage)

Sources: imdb & wikipedia

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