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The Founder (2016)

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The story of Ray Kroc, a salesman who turned two brothers' innovative fast food eatery, McDonald's, into the biggest restaurant business in the world, with a combination of ambition, persistence, and ruthlessness.

Director:

John Lee Hancock

Writer:

Robert Siegel
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2,151 ( 105)
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Keaton ... Ray Kroc
Nick Offerman ... Dick McDonald
John Carroll Lynch ... Mac McDonald
Linda Cardellini ... Joan Smith
B.J. Novak ... Harry J. Sonneborn
Laura Dern ... Ethel Kroc
Justin Randell Brooke ... Fred Turner
Kate Kneeland ... June Martino
Patrick Wilson ... Rollie Smith
Griff Furst ... Jim Zien
Wilbur Fitzgerald ... Jerry Cullen
David de Vries ... Jack Horford
Andrew Benator ... Leonard Rosenblatt
Cara Mantella ... Myra Rosenblatt
Randall Taylor ... Owner (Ed's Drive-In)
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Storyline

1954. Having worked as a salesman most of his adult life, Ray Kroc has been a hustler in most senses of the word. That hustling has made him the target of derision among certain circles for peddling what have ended up being more novelty or faddish than useful products, but it has also placed more than a comfortable roof in Arlington Heights, Illinois over his and his wife Ethel's heads. Ethel, however, wishes that he placed as much effort into being at home with her than he is in selling, his current job of peddling five-spindle milkshake makers for Prince Castle which has him constantly on the road going from one drive-in restaurant to another. It is because of the beefs he has with the whole drive-in experience (bad food, bad service) in constantly eating at such establishments while on the road that he becomes enthralled with the concept of McDonald's Restaurant in San Bernardino, California, it owned and operated by brothers Richard McDonald and Maurice McDonald - Dick and Mac. ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Based on the true story See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for brief strong language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Yiddish

Release Date:

20 January 2017 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Founder See more »

Filming Locations:

Atlanta, Georgia, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$3,404,102, 22 January 2017

Gross USA:

$12,786,053

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$24,121,245
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color | Black and White (archive footage)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the lounge scene, Michael Keaton sang the song "Pennies from Heaven" while playing the piano with Linda Cardellini (Joan Smith-Kroc). For the film Jack Frost (1999), he was also the lead singer for the song "Have a Little Faith", along with playing harmonica, both times displaying his musical talent alongside his acting talent. See more »

Goofs

The "Minnesota Is McDonald's Country" banner at McDonald's Minneapolis location is printed in the font ITC Machine, which was released in 1970. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ray Kroc: I know what you're thinkin'... What the heck do I need a 5-spindle for... when I barely sell enough milkshakes to justify my single-spindle. Right? Wrong. Are you familiar with the notion of the chicken or the egg Mr. Griffith, I mentioned... that there'd be costs. Well, I think it applies here. Do you not need the multimixer because, well heck, you're not selling enough milkshakes. Or are you not selling enough milkshakes because you don't have a multimixer? I firmly believe it's ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the opening/closing credits, the real Ray A Kroc is heard giving an interview about how he came to buy out McDonald's. See more »


Soundtracks

In Spite of Everything
Written and performed by Larry Goldings
See more »

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User Reviews

Fast Food Nation
4 December 2016 | by sol-See all my reviews

Based on the true story of Ray Kroc, a traveling salesman who franchised the first family-owned McDonald's restaurant and turned it into the international conglomerate that it is today, 'The Founder' tells a fascinating slice of twentieth century history. The title is well chosen, hinting at the dynamic at the heart of the film with Kroc declaring himself the "founder" of McDonald's when in fact the idea of fast and efficient food service was never his to begin with - something that becomes a point of contention with the original owners. Michael Keaton is excellent in the lead role, exuding both charm and charisma while also always coming off as if he has something up his sleeve. There are several great shots throughout that linger on his face in close-up as he delivers persuasive sales pitches and there is a magnificent sequence late in the piece where several of his sermons in different locations are edited together to overlap as one big speech. Keaton also does well coming off as both victim and aggressor at varying points. At times, he comes across as an all-too-sympathetic underdog whose dreams are hindered by the McDonalds brothers' unwillingness to compromise in the name of progress. At other points, he seems insanely ruthless with how he circumvents everything in his way. Telling a similar slice of contemporary history, 'The Founder' is bound to be compared to 'The Social Network', to which it does not stack up as well, but it deserves to be considered as a film on its own. The storytelling approach here is more comedic than in the Facebook film and while 'The Founder' may have benefited from even more comedy to lighten the mood, it is an amusing film as it is - and a thought-provoking film when considers its basis in actual fact.


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