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The Times of Harvey Milk

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Title: The Times of Harvey Milk  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Rob Epstein, Harvey Milk, Twinkie defense, Milk (film), Dan White
Collection: 1980S Documentary Films, 1980S Lgbt-Related Films, 1984 Films, American Documentary Films, American Films, American Lgbt-Related Films, Best Documentary Feature Academy Award Winners, Documentary Films About American Politicians, Documentary Films About Lgbt Topics, Documentary Films About San Francisco, California, English-Language Films, Films Directed by Rob Epstein, Harvey Milk, History of Lgbt Civil Rights in the United States, History of San Francisco, California, Lgbt History in San Francisco, California, Lgbt Politics in the United States, Peabody Award Winning Broadcasts, Sundance Film Festival Award Winners, United States National Film Registry Films
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

The Times of Harvey Milk

The Times of Harvey Milk
The Times of Harvey Milk film poster
Film poster
Directed by Rob Epstein
Produced by Richard Schmiechen
Rob Epstein
Gregory W. Bex
Written by Rob Epstein
Carter Wilson
Judith Coburn
Starring See Cast
Narrated by Harvey Fierstein
Music by Mark Isham
Cinematography Frances Reid
Edited by Rob Epstein
Deborah Hoffmann
Distributed by New Yorker Films
Release dates
  • October 26, 1984 (1984-10-26)
Running time
90 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Box office $29,802

The Times of Harvey Milk is a 1984 American documentary film that premiered at the Telluride Film Festival, the New York Film Festival,[1] and then on November 1, 1984 at the Castro Theatre in San Francisco.[2][3] The film was directed by Rob Epstein, produced by Richard Schmiechen, and narrated by Harvey Fierstein, with an original score by Mark Isham.

In 2012, this film was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.[4]


  • Plot 1
  • Participants 2
  • Featured people 3
  • Awards and honors 4
  • Home media 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


The Times of Harvey Milk documents the political career of Harvey Milk, who was San Francisco's first openly gay supervisor. The film documents Milk's rise from a neighborhood activist to a symbol of gay political achievement, through to his assassination in November 1978 at San Francisco's city hall, and the Dan White trial and aftermath.


Archive footage

Featured people

The film was produced after Milk's death using original interviews, exclusive documentary footage, news reports, and archival footage, so that Milk is credited as the lead (posthumously). Other politicians including San Francisco mayor Dianne Feinstein appear in archival footage. The movie opens with a tearful Feinstein delivering her announcement to the media that Moscone and Milk had been assassinated by Dan White.

Also featured in the film is schoolteacher Tom Ammiano, who would go on to be a member of the California State Assembly.

Awards and honors

The film won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for 1984,[5] and was awarded Special Jury Prize at the first Sundance Film Festival, among other awards.[6]

Home media

A digitally restored version of the film was released on DVD and Blu-ray by The Criterion Collection in March 2011. The release includes audio commentary featuring director Rob Epstein,coeditor Deborah Hoffmann, and photographer Daniel Nicoletta, interview clips not used in the film, a new interview with documentary filmmaker Jon Else, a new program about The Times of Harvey Milk and Gus Van Sant’s 2008 film, Milk, featuring Epstein, Van Sant, actor James Franco, and Milk friends Cleve Jones, Anne Kronenberg, and Nicoletta, rare collection of audio and video recordings of Milk, excerpts from Epstein’s research tapes, featuring Milk partner Scott Smith, footage from the film’s Castro Theatre premiere and the 1984 Academy Awards, panel discussion on Supervisor Dan White’s trial, and excerpts from the 25th anniversary commemoration of Milk’s and Mayor George Moscone’s assassinations.


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  4. ^ "National Film Registry selects 25 films for preservation " Los Angeles Times (December 19, 2012)
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External links

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