Clash of the Classics: Milk vs. Gods and Monsters
BY Advocate.com Editors
July 11 2014 2:52 PM ET
After compiling a list of the most essential LGBT movies, The Advocate is pitting the top 32 entries against one another in a series of one-on-one face-offs. In this Sweet 16 round, Milk, an acclaimed biopic that portrays the life and times of one of the LGBT's rights movement's greatest heroes, is up against Gods and Monsters, the stirring love story of gay director James Whale. Which film is more essential? Vote below, and check out our full list of the top 175 most essential LGBT movies at Advocate.com/top175.
Milk, 2008 (2 seed)
This film about the life and death of pioneering gay politician Harvey Milk won two richly deserved Oscars, for Dustin Lance Black's screenplay and Sean Penn's performance in the title role. It does not make Milk a plaster saint, but portrays him as fully and fallibly human as well as a formidable crusader for the rights of all. Directed by Gus Van Sant, it's a film that moves and inspires, while assuring that a new generation will know an important figure in our history. —Trudy Ring
Gods and Monsters, 1998 (Seed 15)
One of our greatest gay actors, Sir Ian McKellen, plays James Whale, the gay movie director who brought Frankenstein and The Invisible Man to the screen in 1930s Hollywood (and demonstrated his versatility by helming the first film version of Show Boat). While Whale is a real-life figure, Gods and Monsters is a fantasia on his last days, showing him largely forgotten by the film industry and drawn to a young, straight gardener, played by Brendan Fraser. McKellen's performance as this gifted, tragic man is extraordinary and heartbreaking. Bill Condon won an Oscar for his screenplay, adapted from Christopher Bram's novel Father of Frankenstein; McKellen was nominated, but he was robbed. —Trudy Ring
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— The Advocate (@TheAdvocateMag) July 11, 2014