[[caption-width-right:300:"I'm Harvey Milk, and I'm here to recruit you!"]]

->''"My name is Harvey Milk and I'm here to recruit you!"''

''Milk'' is a 2008 film, that was directed by Gus Van Sant and stars Creator/SeanPenn, Emile Hirsch, Creator/JamesFranco, and Creator/JoshBrolin.

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 UsefulNotes/SanFrancisco'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 ban gays and their supporters from public school jobs.

Milk was nominated for countless awards, and won 2 [[UsefulNotes/AcademyAward Oscars]] for original screenplay and lead actor, Penn's second win. It was also nominated for picture, director, and supporting actor (Brolin).

Not to be confused with the drink, nor with the film ''Film/MilkMoney''. Compare the acclaimed 1984 documentary about Milk, ''Film/TheTimesOfHarveyMilk''.
!!This film provides examples of:

* TheSeventies
* AdaptationalAttractiveness: Maybe a smidge, but the photo montage at the end shows that they got the likenesses really close. And the performances are excellent across the board, so it's easy to forgive.
* ArmoredClosetGay: Harvey's take on Dan.
* BettyAndVeronica: With Harvey as Archie, Scott as Betty, and Jack as Veronica.
* {{Biopic}}
* BittersweetEnding: Harvey is killed by Dan, but becomes a gay rights icon in the process.
* BrokenBird: Jack. Possibly Dan as well.
* BuryYourGays: Justified in that this is a true story and Harvey really was assassinated by Dan White, but not because Harvey was gay. The real Dan went to City Hall intent on murdering the mayor over a political vendetta, which he did. In the process, he also ran into Milk, against whom he also held a political grudge.
** Also averted, since almost every character with a speaking part in the film is gay, and are alive at the end.
** Justifiedly played straight with [[spoiler: Jack]].
* ButNotTooGay: Completely subverted at the beginning of the film.
* CastFullOfGay: Justified due to the setting.
* CouldSayItBut: Harvey talks to Cleve about Prop 6 passing.
--> '''Harvey''': "I can't say it because I'm a public official, but if this thing passes, fight the hell back."
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment: "He will be stabbed and have your genitals, cock balls and prick cut off."
* DrivenToSuicide: Apparently an appalling number of Harvey's lovers [[spoiler: including Jack.]] In the what-happened-after epilogue, we learn that [[spoiler: White killed himself some years after being released from jail.]]
* DeadpanSnarker: Harvey, not unlike his real-life counterpart was said to have been.
--> '''Dan White''': Can [[HomosexualReproduction two men reproduce]]?
--> '''Harvey''': No, but god knows we're trying!
* DragQueen: None of the major characters, but they can be seen in the background of all the major protests. And of course, performing in Harvey's larger-than-life [[spoiler: last]] birthday party.
* EnterStageWindow: To avoid metal detectors and get his gun into City Hall, Dan White climbs through a basement window. This actually happened.
* {{Fanservice}}: Scott swimming naked in Dan White's pool. Heck, the opening shot of that scene is on his bare butt.
* FiveTokenBand: Along with Harvey Milk, an openly gay man, the Board of Supervisors that he becomes a part of includes Gordon Lau, a Chinese-American, and Carol Ruth Silver, a single mother.
* ForegoneConclusion: Harvey Milk is killed. Actually, the film [[InMediasRes starts with the announcement of his]] assassination.
* TheFundamentalist: State Legislator John Briggs and Anita Bryant.
* GayAesop: Possibly a TropeCodifier.
* {{Gayborhood}}: Justified due to the setting, since it was Harvey's base of political support. After all, Castro is the original Gayborhood
* GayConservative: According to Scott, Milk himself was originally one. A more played straight kind of example is David Goodstein.
* HomoeroticSubtext: Buckets of it. Rather expected due to the subject matter.
* HowWeGotHere: The film is showing what happened leading up to the news of Harvey being killed.
* ImportantHaircut: Harvey gets one of these, along with a shave, in order to get more votes.
* LittleNo: [[spoiler: Harvey just as Dan pulls a pistol on him and shoots him dead. True to his character, he seems less frightened and more [[DisappointedInYou disappointed]] that his murderer would stoop so low.]]
* MarriedToTheJob: What causes a rift between Harvey and Scott.
* MayDecemberRomance: Harvey is in his early 40s, while at least one of his boyfriends appears to be in his early-to-mid 20s (who even starts their relationship by asserting he doesn't date guys over 40). It seems Jack is about Scott's age.
* MononymousBiopicTitle
* MurderTheHypotenuse: Well, more like "have the hypotenuse commit suicide." [[spoiler:Jack's suicide, to be specific.]]
* NobodyOver50IsGay: Averted. The film provides a fairly wide tapestry of homosexual men. And if Milk had lived he'd be 80 in 2010.
** Also, he's already in his forties during the events of the film and often jokes about his age. He died at age 48.
* OscarBait
* QueerRomance: The film has two significant homosexual love stories.
* ShownTheirWork: The filmmakers used historical photographs of the actual events as a guide for certain shots and shot the scenes in the original locations, even going so far as to recreate Harvey Milk's camera shop at its original address. Some of the actors, most notably Sean Penn, even wore their characters' actual clothes during filming.
* TheSmurfettePrinciple: Judging by the scenes that weren't archive footage, there was exactly one (1) woman fighting for her rights alongside Milk. Even the crowd scenes had more drag queens than women.
* TalkingDownTheSuicidal: Harvey talks Paul, a disabled gay kid, out of killing himself before his parent send him off to a CureYourGays institution.
* ThemeNaming: By accident: Milk and White.
* ThoseTwoGuys: Plabich and Rivaldo - never get any screen time alone. [[WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue epilogue]] shows they became partners in a political consulting firm.
* TokenLesbian: Anne Kronenberg, the campaign manager.
** Also, a played down ButchLesbian. (It is Creator/AlisonPill, after all).
* TroubledButCute: Harvey's preferred love interests.
* TheTwink: Several examples - photographer Danny Nicoletta definitely qualifies, and Jack is more of a BrokenBird example. Cleve is depicted as one in his first appearance.
* WaistcoatOfStyle: Harvey
* WhereAreTheyNowEpilogue: At the end, pictures of the actual people depicted in the film, and brief summaries of their lives after the assassination are shown.
* YouRemindMeOfX: Late in the movie, Harvey expresses his concerns to George Moscone about Dan White getting reappointed. Harvey even uses the "You will not be elected dog catcher" line.
-->'''Moscone:''' You know who you sounded like just now? Boss Tweed. Or Mayor Daley.
-->'''Harvey:''' (snickering) I like that. A homosexual with power. That's scary.