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McLibel (2005)

 -  Documentary  -  20 May 2005 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 1,832 users   Metascore: 81/100
Reviews: 20 user | 15 critic | 4 from Metacritic.com

McLibel is the story of two ordinary people who humiliated McDonald's in the biggest corporate PR disaster in history.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Helen Steel ...
Herself
Dave Morris ...
Himself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bruce Alexander ...
Anita Anand ...
Voiceover (voice)
Peter Armstrong ...
Voiceover (voice)
Chris Brierley ...
Voiceover (voice)
Rhona Cameron ...
Voiceover (voice)
T. Colin Campbell ...
Himself (as Professor Campbell)
Sue Dibb ...
Herself - The Food Commission
Pip Donaghy ...
Ian Flintoff ...
...
Dan Gallin ...
Himself - Intl Union of Food Workers
Stephen Gardner ...
Himself - Assistant Attorney General (as Stephen Gardener)
...
Himself (as Geoff Guiliano)
Edit

Storyline

McDonald's loved using the UK libel laws to suppress criticism. Major media organisations like the BBC and The Guardian crumbled and apologised. But then they sued gardener Helen Steel and postman Dave Morris. In the longest trial in English legal history, the "McLibel Two" represented themselves against McDonald's £10 million legal team. Every aspect of the corporation's business was cross-examined: from junk food and McJobs, to animal cruelty, environmental damage and advertising to children. Outside the courtroom, Dave brought up his young son alone and Helen supported herself working nights in a bar. McDonald's tried every trick in the book against them. Legal manoeuvres. A visit from Ronald McDonald. Top executives flying to London for secret settlement negotiations. Even spies. Seven years later, in February 2005, the marathon legal battle finally concluded at the European Court of Human Rights. And the result took everyone by surprise - especially the British Government. ... Written by Lizzie Gillet

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

mcdonald | corporation | trial | libel

Taglines:

The postman and the gardener who took on McDonald's

Genres:

Documentary

Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 May 2005 (USA)  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$1,821 (USA) (10 June 2005)

Gross:

$4,337 (USA) (24 June 2005)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Originally released as a 52 film on TV and video in 1997; this extended 85 version came out in theaters in 2005 after the case had gone to the European Courts. See more »

Connections

Edited from McLibel: Two Worlds Collide (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

McJazz
Written & performed by Vince Clarke & Chris Rodel
Recorded by Glue Ear
See more »

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User Reviews

 
David V Goliath, and David continues to win
31 July 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

McLibel is the story of a single father and a part time bar worker, who were taken to court by McDonalds. Thus causing the longest libel trial in British history and the biggest PR disaster in corporate history. All because two people refused to say sorry.

In the documentary Dave Morris comments that if there is a David vs. Goliath story then Goliath is the public, and David is the corporation.

So if anybody is worrying that this documentary provides a one sided view of events, they should relax as McDonalds has a million dollar marketing campaign, whilst Dave and Helen had nothing, not even legal aid.

And this is their story, of how they continued to fight against impossible odds, increasing court decisions against them and revelations that McDonalds had used private detectives to spy on them.

It is appropriate that this story be told in classic Low Budget style, as Franny Armstorng armed with her Dad's camera embarked to tell their story not knowing that it to would take years of her life.

The film contains re-enactments by Ken Loach and in this re-released version brings us up to present day as having finished the libel trial, Helen and Dave took on the British Government in the European Court of Human rights, challenging the governments libel laws. Laws that McDonalds had for years used against institutions like the BBC and the Guardian newspaper.

Finally available on DVD McLibel is a great addition to a growing library of material on the Globalisation debate, achieved by two people who believed in what they were doing and one filmmaker's dedication to their story.


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