McDonald's Ray Kroc "The Founder" looks like a good movie coming out*

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by tommy-thewho, Apr 29, 2016.

  1. Raylinds

    Raylinds Forum Resident

    Location:
    NYC
    When I first heard about this movie, I didn't think it sounded extremely interesting but I have loved Keaton since his early comedies (Night Shift is a favorite) and think he has grown into a tremendously talented and diverse actor (I was disappointed when he was cast as Batman, but he nailed it!). Plus I love seeing period pieces from the 50s and 60s so I am looking forward to it coming to Netflix.
     
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  2. johnny 99

    johnny 99 Exiled On Main Street

    Location:
    Toronto
    I saw this last night in the theatre and really enjoyed it. It's a good film. Micheal Keaton is terrific and the whole story of how McDonald's came to be is quite interesting. It's not a movie for everyone, but I thought is was solid all around.
    It was nice to see Laura Dern and Linda Cardellini in it as well.

    Two things I kept thinking while watching it:
    1) I want a hamburger...
    and
    2) The Mark Knopfler song about Ray Krok, "Boom Like That", kept coming up in my head!

    ***/5
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2017
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  3. kevinsinnott

    kevinsinnott Forum Coffeeologist

    Location:
    Chicago, IL USA
    My wife and I saw The Founder. I can't comment on the specific art elements and special effects, although nothing distracted me. The story fascinated me. I lived in Glenview when their first McDonalds came to being. I recall the paramilitary operation they had. I disliked sauces on my hamburger, and it took forever to get a "special order".

    I was happy it wasn't just a puff/admiration piece. I had meetings with McDonalds "agency" "people" while trying to launch my coffee event. I loathed meeting them. They were very pompous and full of themselves working with "McDonalds". I realize it's a cheap fast food place, but you have to realize how much clout they had in their heyday. Seeing the film gave me perspective.

    I did come away with newfound respect for Kroc, who amid some dark qualities, did have a vision and stick-tuitiveness of the best entrepreneurs. I also enjoyed the re-creation of Earl Nightengale's The Strangest Secret, which is not identified but which someone like Kroc would likely have used. Seeing him play vinyl of this (I heard it on cassette) gave it a nice texture. Has Steve ever considered re-mastering the original, which I have on CD?!?!
     
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  4. MRamble

    MRamble Forum Resident

    Saw this tonight. Underwhelming. Not sure what I was expecting from a McDonald's origin story but it came off clunky and heavy-handed. At times the dialogue was sloppy by incorporating modern phrases and terminology. Did people yell "Nice!" in the 50s like they do today?

    I guess just like its burgers they wanted to make it something that could be watched by people of all ages...8 to 80.
     
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  5. kevinsinnott

    kevinsinnott Forum Coffeeologist

    Location:
    Chicago, IL USA
    I was able to discuss the film recently with someone who should know. My good friend who worked for McDonalds corporate had seen it too and whispered to me that Kroc gave soft money to the McDonald brothers for many years following the separation. Hope it's true. It's the one thing in the film that disturbed me about Kroc's character, and frankly, I found inconsistent with other of his traits.
     
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  6. Steve Carras

    Steve Carras Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Whittier,CA USA
    The film's on video by now..I bought it off of Amazon and enjoy it....I love going to The House Of Kroc. :)
     
  7. Rick Bartlett

    Rick Bartlett Forum Resident

    i thought it was a great film. Keaton is so great. I didn't have a lot of expectations for it, like most modern films for me,
    but i've watched it 3 times now, and still love it.
     
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  8. jkm

    jkm The Medium is the Massage

    Location:
    Vancouver, CANADA
    For me it was so-so, but my thought really was "is there enough of a story here to make a movie out of?"
     
  9. Jason Pumphrey

    Jason Pumphrey Forum Resident

    Great film.
    Sadly, it's not the first time the originators have been put aside, and a person takes over their business and becomes ultra wealthy , just at look at Roxanne Quimby did to Burt Shavitz of Burt's Bees, she became a multi-millionaire, and bought him out for next to nothing, he spent the rest of his life living in an old cabin in the woods with no running water or electricity.
     
  10. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto
    Saw it a couple of weeks ago. Good movie but you feel for the brothers. Keaton is always good and intense.
     
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  11. EVOLVIST

    EVOLVIST Forum Resident

    I saw the film tonight. Very entertaining.

    Of course it wouldn't make for a very good watch if Kroc wasn't juxtaposed with the McDonald brothers, but those brothers weren't as Ah-Shucks-American-Apple-Pie as the film made them out to be. They were businessmen, too, who took their lead from White Castle burgers, so their "idea" of an assembly line burger joint wasn't exactly new nor inventive. From what I've come to learn, Kroc made a success of it, despite the brothers shooting down Ray at every turn, like the film's scene where Ray is on the phone with Dick, and all Ray hears is "No, no, no!" coming from the McDonald brothers.

    Ray was operating on sound business principles, while the brothers were just gut-checking themselves. I think the film was accurate in that respect. Progress comes at a price, but the return on your investment should pay off over and above.

    Depending on who you believe, though, yeah, the chances are great that Ray gave the McDonalds the shaft on royalties. After all, Ray opened up a McDonalds across the street from the original, which drove them out of business. On the other hand, wow, 1 million in 1960 is 8 million in 2017. That's a whopping chunk of change. Still, if the brothers had allowed progress, at .5% that's $60 million a year, gross, in 2017, for each McDonald household.

    I just wonder if they could have all worked it out a little better. Too bad, so sad.
     
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  12. PaulKTF

    PaulKTF Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    Ray was a turd who took advantage of two naive, trusting fools and then screwed them out of all kinds of money. I'm glad his ex-wife got almost all of it and donated it to NPR. heh.
     
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  13. kevinsinnott

    kevinsinnott Forum Coffeeologist

    Location:
    Chicago, IL USA
    Joan was Ray's ex-wife? Um, I think not. "Widow" is the correct term. Big difference. It means Joni inherited his massive fortune, where (mentioned) she donated 225 million to NPR (no wonder they upgraded to Neumann U87s), but the even larger sum of 1.6 billion dollars to the Salvation Army. Both she and Ray Kroc were bell ringers for the Salvation Army's annual Christmas appeal and Ray is locally known here to have delivered McD's coffee to bell ringers to keep them warm during cold weather. Joan was a Catholic (also funded the Catholic university Kroc Center) and she gave her money to NPR and Salvation Army for religious reasons. (She felt NPR has distinguished itself among mainstream media by maintaining criticism of the Iraq War). She gave to lots of other charities too, often suddenly after hearing of someone in need.

    Whenever anyone asked Ray or Joni about their giving so much money away, Ray's and her (although it's credited to Ray) response: "I've never seen a Brinks truck following a hearse. Have you?"
     
  14. Brian Lux

    Brian Lux Forum Resident

    Location:
    Placerville, CA
    Just saw it. Well done movie, Keaton was good and I always love Laura Dern and the McDonald Bros seem like good guys but the Kroc character was so vile and evil the film left knots in my stomach. And learning that world-wide 75,000,000 eat at McDonalds every day... well, I'd best say no more.
     
  15. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    Vile? Evil? At his worst, I'd describe him as "hard-nosed". The McDonald brothers were over-ruling every innovation he attempted, and he bought them out with what was a fairly generous amount at the time. They left the business as millionaires, and they were never going to become so if they had never met Ray Kroc. Most likely, someone else would have come along and copied their entire business model, and there would be a world-spanning hamburger chain with a different name, and the world would never have heard of the McDonald brothers.
     
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  16. Brian Lux

    Brian Lux Forum Resident

    Location:
    Placerville, CA
    To me, yes, evil, vile. Differing viewpoint, that's all.
     
  17. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    Sure, but do you acknowledge that if Ray Kroc hadn't bought the McDonald's brothers out, that someone else - another customer, a former employee - would have taken their ideas, duplicated it and given them nothing at all?

    I'm not saying the man was a saint, but on a scale of Jesus to Hitler...
     
  18. PaulKTF

    PaulKTF Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    He was just a jerk who screwed over two people who founded a business. That doesn't make him Hitler or anything close to it and I hope no one is suggesting that. :)

    On the other hand, had he not stepped in McDonalds would not have become what it is, so...
     
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  19. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    If they hadn't been such a pain, so resistant to growth and innovation, he would very likely have brought them into the corporation. Many of McDonald's signature items were created by franchisees and added to their menu. I can easily see an alternate history where Dick and Mac took their buyout in franchises and wound up extremely wealthy.
     
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  20. Brian Lux

    Brian Lux Forum Resident

    Location:
    Placerville, CA
    Yes, I'm sure some others would have (and obviously did) run with the McDonald bros ideas. But the way Kroc did it was (as Paul above just said) screw over the brothers. He broke contracts (equating them with hearts "made to be broken") and ruined their family business, even basically stole their name. The man was greedy, relentless, heartless and yes, in my opinion, evil and vile. A Hitler? No. A Kroc? Yes.

    Have you seen the film? It's all there.
     
  21. Chris DeVoe

    Chris DeVoe Forum Resident

    He gave them each a million dollars, which as EVOLVIST pointed out is worth 8 million in current terms, for their business and name. Yes, he hosed them on the percentage - a percentage not in the contract they signed.
    Read the whole thread, where I've commented about having seen the film a couple of times.
     
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  22. Still, I'd love to see what words you'd use to describe Hitler if the likes of Ray Kroc count as "vile and evil".
     
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  23. PaulKTF

    PaulKTF Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    You can be vile and evil without wanting to kill an entire ethnic group, you know... I mean there are degrees of evilness. :)
     
    Brian Lux likes this.
  24. Brian Lux

    Brian Lux Forum Resident

    Location:
    Placerville, CA
    Sorry, that's not allowed on these forums.
     
    EVOLVIST likes this.
  25. Brian Lux

    Brian Lux Forum Resident

    Location:
    Placerville, CA
    We each have our own differing perspectives on this. I can respect that.
     

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