Roger & Me

( 9 )

Overview

Michael Moore's wickedly iconoclastic documentary was inspired by the decline and fall of Flint, Michigan. Once the site of a thriving General Motors plant, Flint went quickly to seed when GM decided to close down and move out. As Moore pokes around what has been described by one magazine as "the worst place to live in America," he finds out how the local populace is coping with GM's betrayal of the American Dream. Among those visited are a family who is evicted just before Christmas, and an enterprising ...
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Overview

Michael Moore's wickedly iconoclastic documentary was inspired by the decline and fall of Flint, Michigan. Once the site of a thriving General Motors plant, Flint went quickly to seed when GM decided to close down and move out. As Moore pokes around what has been described by one magazine as "the worst place to live in America," he finds out how the local populace is coping with GM's betrayal of the American Dream. Among those visited are a family who is evicted just before Christmas, and an enterprising middle-aged woman who set up a thriving business slaughtering and skinning rabbits. Never feigning objectivity, Moore contrasts the impact of the shutdown on the average Joes and Janes with the diffident reaction of Flint's power elite. The latter's patronizing attitude towards the unemployed multitudes is succinctly captured in the scenes in which visiting celebrities Robert Schuller, Anita Bryant, Bobby Vinton and Pat Boone exhort the citizenry to grin and bear it. Even more out of synch is "Miss Michigan" Kaye Lani Rae Rafko, who in her morale-boosting speech to the disenfranchised GM employees begs them to pull for her in the upcoming Miss America pageant! The film's throughline is Moore's futile effort to locate GM chairman Roger Smith, so that he can show Moore first-hand the utter devastation of Flint. Roger & Me is very funny, but it is the gallows humor of soldiers about to embark on a suicide mission. In 1992, Michael Moore more or less updated Roger & Me with his half-hour short subject Pets or Meat: The Return to Flint.
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Gregory Baird
The deep chasm between the haves and have-nots opens wide in 1989's Roger & Me, Michael Moore's hilariously scathing documentary. In this breakthrough film, which put the future Academy Award winner on the map, Moore takes up the case of his hometown, Flint, Michigan, a city sucker-punched by the American Dream. The city has been decimated since the 1980s, after the closing of General Motors plants put tens of thousands out of work. As the self-appointed representative of the people of Flint, Moore embarks on a quixotic quest to find GM's then-chairman, Roger Smith, and get to the bottom of things. Moore sketches his case in broad strokes, allowing the corporate fat cats to shoot themselves in the foot either in interviews or in candid footage, meanwhile intercutting a tragic series of local foreclosures and evictions. All the while, Moore's camera proves an utterly disarming presence, and even those familiar with the media spotlight -- including Flint native Bob Eubanks and former Chevy spokesman Pat Boone -- seem caught unawares, looking foolish at best and heartless at worst. In the end, Big Business and the rich appear indifferent and even cruel, while everyone else seems mindless, deluded, or just recently homeless. This makes for an often wickedly funny yet disturbing film that asks tough questions about corporate responsibility while exposing a nightmarish side of contemporary capitalism.
All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Michael Moore's Roger & Me offers a scathing critique of corporate America. Offering a strong point-of-view and a palpable contempt for anyone who takes advantage of the working class, Moore reveals a series of heartbreaking people whose lives and city have been taken away from them due to corporate greed. Moore's everyman persona provides a perfect disguise. Those in positions of authority who are willing to talk to him for this film seem unable to comprehend how this chubby average guy could possibly do them any harm. While he certainly takes (arguably deserved but always hilarious) potshots at a future Miss America, game show host Bob Eubanks, and crooner Pat Boone, Moore's bitterness is tempered by a sadness that allows one to forgive him when his satire hits an innocent bystander rather than his intended target. Funny, cruel, outraged, and sad, Roger & Me offers more emotions than the average fiction film -- one of the many reasons it became the most successful documentary ever at the time it was released.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/25/1994
  • UPC: 085391197836
  • Original Release: 1989
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Home Video
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Michael Moore Narrator
Pat Boone Himself
Anita Bryant Herself
Bob Eubanks Himself
Connie Francis Herself
Technical Credits
Michael Moore Director, Producer, Screenwriter
Judy Irving Sound/Sound Designer
Kevin Rafferty Cinematographer
Wendey Stanzler Associate Producer, Editor
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(6)

4 Star

(0)

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    I was disillusioned to learn the movie is a fraud. Michael Moore's story of not being able to get Roger Smith to answer questions was completely false. He did interview Smith, but chose to leave the footage out of the movie because the truth contradicted what he wanted to say.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    REALITY SUCKS

    you cannot dispute the facts of this movie, or what happened. I have been to grounds where GM laid off thousands and thousands of people and it is depressing to see it what it turned into. And greed is the cause for all of it and it makes me sick. i was very touched by Moore's documentary and hopefully by watching others will see the real truth of greed and selfishness

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A Visionary at Work

    Thanks for your Conservative view Rob, but those of us who care about humanity really enjoyed the landmark of this movie. Props to Michael Moore! And, oh yeah, see this movie! It shows grim reality and exposes big buisness for the pigs they truly are. This movie is a must see along with Bowling For Columbine. It's all real. It's all about who can ACTUALLY accept the truth. And I think it's obvious some people can't.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Terrific early piece for Moore

    First of all, this movie is NOT presented in Black and White as the BN description would lead you to believe. This movie is excellent and a great doc on Moore's home town. It's amazing what the city tried to do to help the economy. Unbeknownst at the time, this movie is a sort of foreshadowing for his greatest film to date, Bowling for Columbine, in which an unfortunate incident occurs in Flynt.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Moore Dishonest

    Michael Moore is dishonest. I knew of him when he was a skinny, long-haired teenager in Davison, Michigan. That is right. He is not from Flint (like he says). He is from Davison. Ask him why he and his family members drove Toyota cars throughout the 1970s and 1980s. Everyone else in town was driving GM vehicles. Buy this if you enjoy revisionist history.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Very Accurate Portrayal of Flint

    Anyone who states that Michael Moore is fabricating the truth in this movie has never been to Flint Michigan! I spent my college career at Kettering University, the former General Motors Institute, and I can truthfully say from first hand knowledge that Michael Moore hits the nail on the head. The city was still trying to recover from the problems of the 1980s when I graduated in 1998. This movie should be a ''must see'' for all business and economic majors so they can understand what impact business decisions can have on employees' lives and the surrounding community

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Moore discovers his niche

    Michael Moore stretches the truth and rearranges chronologies to create a self-congratulatory ''liberals good, big business bad'' reality for his target audience: liberals between the ages of 21 and 35. Entertaining and profitable (for Moore) but, ultimately, I take points off for being deliberately msleading and dishonest. The Academy felt the same and took it out of nomination contention in the documentary category in 1989.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 21, 2002

    shows how ugly people are

    I saw this film in high school as part of our economics class, and it shows how ignorant all those are for buying hondas, toyotas, etc., and how folks were put out of work and had the rug torn out from under them by corporations trying to keep up with the japanese and their 10 cents on the dollar pay structure. Since I started driving, I have owned 3 cars, all of which are fords, assembled in minnesota with 90% or more american made parts, knowing that my car purchase can be an investment in assuring future employment of my fellow citizens, who can keep their american dream and not fall victim to the profit margin being the bottom line of u.s. companies.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2002

    Blown Away

    This movie captivated and moved me greatly. It is real -- it is an everyday story told of the common man's struggle for survival and respect. I would recommend it to everyone of all walks of life-- This movie reveals something new --yet something known to all of us.

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews