The Founder : Real vs Reel


The Founder” is a biopic about Ray Kroc’s path to becoming “The Founder” of McDonalds.

Americans love fast food as much as they do movies, but aside from the chicken tenders and pizza now on AMC menus, it’s a bit of a trick combining the two. On the one hand, Morgan Spurlock built an entire career on his documentary Super Size Me, all about his eating (and sometimes regurgitating) McDonald’s food for a month, and got a return of $11 million on his $65,000 budget. On the other, Richard Linklater turned Eric Schlosser’s fascinating nonfiction book Fast Food Nation and turned it into a star-laden social justice drama; even the presence of Bruce Willis and Ethan Hawke couldn’t take its grosses far past $2 million worldwide. What I think Spurlock got right that Linklater didn’t is that you can’t just make a movie that says “fast food is bad,” even though yeah, we all know it isn’t good for you. Spurlock, while advocating for a healthy diet, admitted that he loved McDonald’s food, and you could see the push-pull aspects there.

Ray Kroc => Michael Keaton

Richard McDonald => Nick Offerman

Maurice ‘Mac’ McDonald => John Carroll Lynch

Joan Smith => Linda Cardellini

Did Ray Kroc first become involved with McDonald’s when he was a milkshake machine salesman?

Yes. In fact-checking The Founder movie, we learned that after serving in World War I as a Red Cross ambulance driver, Ray Kroc mainly worked in sales, and for 17 of those years, he worked as a paper cup salesman for Lily Tulip Cup Company. (Some of his other jobs to help make ends meet included pianist and DJ on a local Oak Park, Illinois radio station.) He transitioned from a successful career selling paper cups into working as a traveling milkshake machine salesman (Ray Kroc Documentary). The McDonald brothers, who owned a small restaurant chain based out of San Bernardino, California, became clients of Kroc’s in 1954 after they had purchased eight Multimixers, which sold at $150 a piece (a hefty price back then). The five-spindled milkshake machine promised to make five shakes at a time. “This little fellow came in with a high voice,” recalled Richard McDonald in a 1991 interview. “He says, ‘My name is Ray Kroc.’ My brother and I were impressed with him. He was a very aggressive guy. That’s the type it takes to sell anything.” -Sun Journal


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