NEW YORK (WABC) --As America inaugurates its next president, Hollywood is taking a closer look at one of the country's leaders in business: McDonald's.
Michael Keaton stars as 'The Founder', in a story about the beginning of the golden arches.
McDonald's restaurants around the world serve 68 million customers every day, and it's still hard to believe the nation's biggest fast food company grew out of a single hamburger stand.
'The Founder' shows you how it happened.
The American dream came late to Ray Kroc, who was past 50 when he met two brothers named McDonald in San Bernardino, California, and became 'The Founder' of a company that still bears their name.
"We wanted something different, and that's when my brother here comes up with one of his brilliant ideas: orders ready in 30 seconds, not 30 minutes, " one of the brothers says in the film.
Hard to believe, but 60 years ago this was a revolutionary concept, and that was not their only good idea.
"The golden arches. It's a way to make the place stand-out," they say.
Kroc was intrigued enough to go into business with the brothers, which is where the movie gets even more interesting.
As played by Michael Keaton, Kroc has the boundless optimism of the born salesman.
But his version of the American dream soon became a nightmare for his partners, as Kroc seeks to renegotiate what he calls his 'lousy deal'.
Soon enough, 'The Founder' finds the last piece of the puzzle that will make him one of America's richest men.
"What you ought to be doing is owning the land upon which the burger is cooked," Kroc is told, but the guy who came up with that suggestion is later pushed out by Keaton's character, just as he buys out the McDonald brothers for chump change, because 'The Founder' is no fairy tale!
"Business is war. It's dog eat dog, rat eat rat. I want to take the future. I want to win," Keaton's character says.
A guy this driven needs a star with a lot of charm to play him, because otherwise his story would be just too unpleasant.
Thanks to the star and a fine cast of supporting players, I got caught up in the drama of this story even though, of course, we all know the outcome.
'The Founder' is very entertaining and well worth watching.