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Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price (2005)

Not Rated | | Documentary | Video 4 November 2005
A look at the impact of the retail giant on local communities.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lee Scott ...
Himself - President & CEO of Wal-Mart (archive footage)
Don Hunter ...
Himself - H&H Hardware Owner
Jon Hunter ...
Himself - Son of Don Hunter
Jeremy Hunter ...
Himself - Son of Jon Hunter
Matt Hunter ...
Himself - Son of Jon Hunter
Johnny Faenza ...
Himself - H&H Hardware Employee
Frank Mormino ...
Himself - Owner of Middlefield Tire
John Bruening ...
Himself - Owner of Geauga Vision (as Dr. John Bruening)
Tom Glassburner ...
Himself - H&H Hardware Employee
Weldon Nicholson ...
Himself - Wal-Mart Store Manager Trainer
Al Norman ...
Himself - Founder of Sprawl-Busters
Grace Thibodeaux ...
Herself - Hearne, Texas Resident
Diane DeVoy ...
Herself - Wal-Mart Employee
Cathy Nemchik ...
Herself - Wal-Mart Employee
Stan Fortune ...
Himself - Wal-Mart District Loss Prevention Manager
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Storyline

This documentary takes the viewer on a deeply personal journey into the everyday lives of families struggling to fight Goliath. From a family business owner in the Midwest to a preacher in California, from workers in Florida to a poet in Mexico, dozens of film crews on three continents bring the intensely personal stories of an assault on families and American values. Written by Brave New Films

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It will change the way you think, feel - and shop...

Genres:

Documentary

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 November 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Wal-Mart - Der Hohe Preis der Niedrigpreise  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(shortened)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The parodies of Wal-Mart ads that appear in the film, and were used as trailers, which appear to have been shot in Wal-Mart stores are actually greenscreen shots in which the performer has been composited. See more »

Goofs

At the start of the section where a market trader in London, England is leading a campaign against a new ASDA store, the map has has both Wales and England labelled as 'England' - the 'Eng' is written over Wales. Wales and England (and Scotland) are part of Great Britain; Great Britain, Wales (and Scotland) are not part of England. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Penn & Teller: Bullshit!: Wal-Mart (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

This Land Is Your Land
(1940) (uncredited)
Written by Woody Guthrie
Performed by Bruce Springsteen & E Street Band (Live 1975-85)
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User Reviews

 
Brave New Films pushes our buttons
18 November 2005 | by (Baltimore MD, USA) – See all my reviews

I had a generally low opinion of WalMart before, and Brave New Films' documentary only made them seem worse, but I still have questions. WM is well known for persistent, and often illegal, anti-union activity, which is reported in this film. WM is also known for beating down prices, which is not reported. I didn't know that WM has high turnover, or that many stores are purposefully under-staffed.

The sad stories of the losing competitors do not sway me. Mom and Pop operations of all kinds have been giving way to big box operations for many decades. Olive Garden killed my favorite local Italian restaurant, Lowe's is killing my favorite local hardware store and a planned Home Depot will finish the job. That is just competition in the developed world.

What annoyed me were the subsidies and tax breaks that WalMart manages to get from localities. In one case a WM is shown skipping across the town line, abandoning the subsidized big box stores, just before their sales taxes kick in. But more annoying was a lack of perspective: How many big chains and franchises get subsidies? If many do, that would be the logical counter-argument, so I'd like to have gotten the information.

I was also annoyed that WM employees were on public assistance of some kind, but again: How common is this in retail? Do KMart employees get a lot of public assistance? Or not? Apparently there is a lot of crime in WM parking lots. Is there less crime in Walgreen lots, or more? Brave New Films doesn't say. WM sells products from Chinese sweatshops. Hey, even I know they aren't the only ones. WalMart's habit of stockpiling lawn products in the parking lot often leads to toxic runoff, but they aren't the only ones that do that, either.

I still think that WalMart is a very bad employer, and now I know how much of a drain they are on the local economy, but I think Brave New Films failed to demonstrate whether WalMart is all that much worse than the other businesses on the strip, or simply the biggest of a bad lot. Either way, that would be good to know.


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