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The Times of Harvey Milk (1983)


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Critic Reviews: 2
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 0



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Movie Info

A documentary portrait of San Francisco's first openly gay politician, city supervisor Harvey Milk, The Times of Harvey Milk might not have been made but for the tragic circumstances of Milk's death. On November 27, 1978, Dan White, a former city supervisor who was desperate to regain his post, entered City Hall with a gun and murdered both San Francisco's mayor, George Moscone, and Milk. At the trial, White's lawyer skillfully turned the jury's attention away from his client's public anti-gay

Jun 8, 2004

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All Critics (22) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (18) | Rotten (0) | DVD (12)

A lot has happened in the 25 years between Rob Epstein's Oscar-winning 1984 documentary and Gus Van Sant's biopic, but the subject of the nation's signal gay rights leader is as relevant as ever.

February 12, 2009 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

a finely structured and deeply moving portrait of not just a man, but, as the title suggests, the times in which he lived and how he affected, and was affected by, them

March 28, 2011 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

Thought-provoking look at a charismatic politician's life.

December 31, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Superb documentary about slain political activist Harvey Milk.

December 8, 2008 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Throughout the film, Epstein keeps Milk's political agenda in mind

November 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews

...tremendously entertaining and surprisingly moving...

November 5, 2008 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

White comes across, even if one ignores his political and social opinions, as a Travis Bickle who used his outward persona to achieve the first rung of public office. The interviews with him are far more fascinating than those with Milk, just as evil is f

June 15, 2007

A chronicle of a significant chapter in gay history as well as a portrait of an endearing figure.

January 9, 2007 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Must-see for anyone interested in human rights.

July 23, 2004

A richly detailed film that takes the story beyond White to create a vivid impression of a specific time and place.

June 25, 2004 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

It's one thing for a documentary to claim a person great, it's something else entirely to convince the audience they have an active role in fulfilling his legacy.

June 4, 2004 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Melodramatically one-sided, but compelling -- and indelible just the same. El Presidente could benefit from a look.

January 26, 2004
Tyler Morning Telegraph (Texas)

If there is a finer, more moving documentary than this, I have yet to see it.

October 16, 2002 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for The Times of Harvey Milk

The Times of Harvey Milk is a flawless documentary about on e of the most iconic civil rights activists of the 20th century. Harvey Milk fought for Gay rights in the mid to late 70's. This is a brilliant picture that documents his stunning achievement. He inspired something greater than himself. This is an in depth documentary about Milk's legacy and how he stood up for gay rights. Not only did he stand up for Gay Rights, but he also gave hope to many minorities. Featuring interviews and archive footage, The Times of Harvey Milk is a necessary viewing due to its historical value in the fight for rights and equality, not just for Gay and Lesbians for but for everyone. This is an inspiring film that is quite sad as well due to the fact that Harvey Milk died senselessly at the hands of Dan White. The film shows Harvey's determination and courage to fight for something close to his heart, and this is a flawless film that can stir up all kinds of good emotion. I respect Harvey Milk because he put himself above and risked everythi8ng to do what he felt was right. If you love great documentaries, then give this one a chance. You will surely enjoy it, like I did. This is a brilliant interviews and stories about Milk's achievements. I've seen plenty of documentaries, and this is among the finest and most important films that I have seen in a long time. The Times of Harvey Milk is simply a brilliant piece of cinema. This is hard at times to watch, but very rewarding in the end. This is a film that will definitely stay with you.
August 14, 2013
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Having seen Milk before watching this; the first film to win Best Documentary at the Academy Awards, I was already ingratiated to the image and personality of the first openly gay politician in American history. Penn paints a picture of a working Joe, staunchly oppressed by the political standards towards sexuality in his early days as a Wall Street broker, his relationships and personal life on display as a way to show his human side to a general audience. This documentary focuses on Milk's aspirations as a leader and less on his life outside of that world. The documentary also doesn't quite showcase the role of Anita Bryant in Prop 6, instead showing a lot of archived footage from newscasts and interviews with Briggs. We're given a small view of Milk, painting him as a responsible and justified politician, and not this multi-sided, intensely savage and yet peacemaker icon, his death more of a sacrilege than an assassination. The brutality of his death and the imagery of the candlelit march resonant better than a filmed sequence of events like in Milk. This is a tale of human rights being exemplified in the Castro district of San Francisco. This is about hatred, chaos, revenge, anarchy, the final resolution between the different peoples of the large scale cityscape, and the fact that discrimination reaches between race, sexual orientation, the disabled, and elderly, and it's all fear turned in on itself. Scary to watch, especially towards the end, if you're not crying or welled with emotion, there is something missing from your movie watching experience.
September 12, 2011

Super Reviewer
September 1, 2009

Super Reviewer

wonderful doc profiling someone who wanted to make a difference and the sad miscarriage of justice that followed his slaying.
June 20, 2007
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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Latest News on The Times of Harvey Milk

January 22, 2009:
RT Interview: Gus van Sant and Dustin Lance Black on Milk
Gus Van Sant and Dustin Lance Black look rather exhausted at this stage in their publicity whirlwind...
November 19, 2007:
Sean Penn's Got Milk
Nearly three decades after his assassination, a feature film about the life and death of Harvey Milk...
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