Michael Crawford

Trailer for New Harvey Milk Film

Filed By Michael Crawford | September 08, 2008 7:00 AM | comments

Filed in: You Gotta See This
Tags: Emile Hirsch, Harvey Milk, James Franco, Sean Penn

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Here is the trailer for the new film Milk about the life of LGBT hero Harvey Milk. Harvey was the first openly gay man elected to office in the U.S. when he was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977. The film, which opens in November, is one of the few gay films to have a big Hollywood budget.

Milk and S.F. Mayor George Moscone were murdered by Supervisor Dan White in 1978. White's legal defense team at the time claimed that depression and the consumption of a large amount of junk food diminished White's mental capacities and therefore he was not capable of premeditating the murders. Because of what became known as the "Twinkie defense", White was convicted of manslaughter rather than murder and sentenced to seven years in prison.

Sean Penn plays Harvey Milk, James Franco play Scott Smith, Harvey's partner and Emile Hirsch plays activist Cleve Jones who would later go on to found the AIDS Quilt.

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oh. my. god. I didn't have high expectations for this film, but the trailer blew. me. away. I am moved to tears and I can't wait to see the film in November. Sean Penn is great and the acting is top notch.

I'm pretty sure that the first openly gay person elected to office in the US was Elaine Noble in Mass. She was elected to their state legislature in 1972 - I think. It might have been 1971.

According to WikiPedia she was elected in '74 and sworn in '75. Can Time spin it so City Supervisor trumps State Legislator? It's Time, go figure.

I guess 1972 is the new 1974. ;-) Or something like that. Either way, that's still three years prior to Harvey Milk.

I'm afraid we often forget our history. Usually some gay newspaper or newer vintage activist or group will proclaim something as "first", without actually checking; and it makes my head want to explode.

BTW, it's more apt to describe Milk and George Moscone's demise as an assasination, rather than a murder.

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | September 8, 2008 12:59 PM


I am hoping that you cleaned up the mess after your head exploded based on a simple mistake. I guess wasn't paying attention when the taught LGBT history in school. Oh, wait, they don't teach LGBT history in schools.

I agree that we need to do a much better job of educating each other about our history, but snarkily dismissing people as "newer vintage activist" doesn't help with that at all.

I'm surprised to see how much they're playing up Dan White's animosity towards Harvey Milk in the trailer. To my knowledge, (and of course I've only read Mayor of Castro Street and seen "The Life and Times of Harvey Milk") Dan White didn't send warnings to Milk ahead of time. But of course it makes for a better Hollywood drama if there is all this high drama.

I don't believe they're implying that those threats came from White, anyone with a public persona who is openly gay (of happens to be any kind of minority) is generally subjected to anonymous threats, just because he received threats & was then murdered, doesn't necessarily mean the threats were from the man who murdered him, I'm sure there were plenty of other people who were not happy with what he was doing.

Michael Crawford Michael Crawford | September 8, 2008 12:51 PM

I have amended the post to say that Harvey was the first openly gay men elected to public office.

Michael -

I'm sorry that you were offended by my remarks, however, they were meant generically. I was thinking of many different instances where I've encountered that, without taking the time to enumerate those stories.

I wasn't taught GLBT history in school, either. But someone being newer at any given endeavor is a matter of time, not a judgment.

I REALLY WANT TO SEE THIS!!!!! JAMES FRANCO IS HOT!!!! I think this might be better than brokeback mountain.