Movie Renter's Guide - March, 2009


"Milk" (Blu-ray)


Harvey Milk (Penn) was the first openly gay man to be elected to a major public office, and the story chronicles his move, along withhis partner, Scott Smith (Franco),from New York to San Francisco in 1970, where he opens a camera shop in the Castro District.

He quickly realizes that the local shop owners don't want him there, so he begins an activist campaign to change the ways gays are treated.

After several attempts to be elected to the San Francisco City Board of Supervisors and to the State Assembly, he finally is elected to the Board of Supervisors in 1977, with his district being the Castro and Haight areas of the city.

State Senator John Briggs (O'Hare) along with anti-gay activist Anita Bryant attempt to get laws that give gays rights in other states repealed, with some success, and they set their sights on California. Briggs puts forth the Briggs Initiative in 1978, which fails.

Supervisor Dan White wants Harvey to support his bills, but Harvey turns him down, so Dan does not support Harvey's bills.

White resigns as Supervisor, and then changes his mind, and neither Harvey nor Mayor George Moscone (Garber) support his re-instatement.

As a result, Dan White assassinates both Harvey Milk and Mayor Moscone. (Note: Anita Bryant's career was very successful until she started her anti-gay activisim, and it went downhill from there with a divorce and three failed stage shows that she started in three different cities, with unpaid taxes that amounted to nearly one million dollars. Her obsession with anti-gay activism basically destroyed her life.)


  • Universal
  • 2008, Color, Rated R, 2 Hr 9 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • 1080p
  • Codec: Not Specified
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio
  • Starring Sean Penn,Josh Brolin, James Franco, Diego Luna, Denis O'Hare, Victor Garber
  • Directed by Gus Van Sant
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: Yes
  • Sex: Yes
  • Language: Bad


I remember the assassination, but I did not realize that Milk was a major cornerstone in jump starting a national trend for passing laws that would givegay Americans the rights they deserve along with every other American citizen. Although Anita Bryant is shown as a major bigot in the anti-gay movement, there were and still are many others who continue trying to take their rights away.


The image is a little soft here and there, and the surrounds are not used very much.


Only a few extras, including Remembering Harvey, Hollywood Comes to San Francisco, and Marching for Equality.