FilmNation Entertainment and The Weinstein Company produced “The Founder,” which opened in the United States on Jan. 20, 2017. Michael Keaton portrays a fifty-something Ray Kroc in the unfolding story of how he and the McDonald brothers joined forces to begin building what is now known as a fast food empire.
The film does not always shed a good light on Kroc and his business acumen. At one point in “The Founder,” he appears to be the bad guy who stole the unique fast food marketing idea from its original founders, Richard and Maurice McDonald. Certainly, there were tense moments as Kroc wove his ideas and forced them into fruition.
‘The Founder’ Demonstrates the Power and Success of Franchising
What “The Founder” does show, is the success of franchising a business. The concept of combining the McDonald brothers’ idea of moderate mechanizing the burger industry, offering the hot sandwiches from grill to consumer in 30 seconds, and creating a mega-company was ingenious.
While Kroc was not actually the founder of McDonald’s, he most assuredly was the creator of this worldwide phenomenon. In fact, he created the corporation using the brothers’ idea as a springboard.
Was he ruthless? Maybe. Were the founders pushed aside and did they lose their share of the profits? Yes.
Kroc’s business savvy could have come right out of Donald Trump’s playbook. Stumble into an idea, and manipulate the situation until it works out for no one other than himself. Then, when the business grows, take all of the credit leaving the little guys behind.
What the Flick? Official Review of ‘The Founder’
Critics of “The Founder,” state that the movie was an oversimplification of the manipulation Kroc perpetrated. They assert that he was not fair in his dealings with the McDonald brothers. Speaking on a panel in a YouTube video produced by What The Flick? were Alonso Duralde, Matt Atchity, Christy Lemire, and William Bibbiani.
Duralde stated he thought the “movie should be a blistering satire of capitalism.” His complaint is that “The Founder” is not. In fact, his comments suggested that since the star was Keaton and everyone loves him that Kroc was not such a bad man. “He’s so charming. What’re you gonna do?”
Whereas, Lemire’s review was slightly different. She opines that the movie appears to be a success story of three men, two who had an idea about how to serve people food in a quick manner. Kroc, the third man, stole their idea and created a multi-billion dollar business by calling himself the founder of McDonald’s.
‘The Founder’ Ratings and Stats
“The Founder” is rated PG-13 and is billed as a dramatic, historical biography. It has a 7.3/10 rating on Amazon and the Rotten Tomatoes score is 81 percent. Director John Lee Hancock brought “The Founder” writer, Robert Siegel’s vision to the big screen.
Joining Keaton are two stars portraying the McDonald brothers; Nick Offerman, as Richard, and John Carroll Lynch, as Maurice. While “The Founder” does not offer the viewers much of Ray Kroc’s biography, it does demonstrate what can be accomplished when ideas are put into practice.
By Cathy Milne
thebalance: The Ray Kroc Story – McDonalds Facts and History
IMDb: The Founder
YouTube Video Courtesy of What the Flick?: The Founder – Official Movie Review
Image Courtesy of Scott Beale / Laughing Squid’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License