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Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price
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Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price (2005) (V) More at IMDbPro »

Wal-Mart: The High Cost of Low Price -- A feature length documentary that uncovers a retail giant's assault on families and American values.


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Release Date:
4 November 2005 (USA) See more »
It will change the way you think, feel - and shop...
A look at the impact of the retail giant on local communities. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
"Store Wars" redux: A corporate cancer that feeds on America See more (69 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
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
Jon Lehman ... Himself - Wal-Mart Store Manager
Phenix Montgomery ... Himself - Wal-Mart Employee
Josh Noble ... Himself - Wal-Mart Employee
Donna Payton ... Herself - Wal-Mart Employee
Alicia Sylvia ... Himself - Wal-Mart Employee
Edith Arana ... Herself - Wal-Mart Inventory Specialist
Norberto Ricardo ... Himself - Wal-Mart UFCW Union Rep
Anthony J. Kuc Jr. ... Himself - Wal-Mart Assistant Manager (voice)
Ulrich Dalibor ... Himself - Organizer for Ver.di (voice)
Elke Richards ... Herself - Wal-Mart Employee
Zlata Djuric ... Herself - Wal-Mart Employee
Shane Youtz ... Himself - Attorney
Vivian Calimee ... Herself - Wal-Mart Regional Marketing Director
Sue Midolo ... Himself - Wal-Mart Training Coordinator
Brigitte Bramley ... Herself - Wal-Mart Support Manager
Red Esry ... Himself - Owner of Esry's IGA
Scott Esry ... Himself - Red Esry's Son
Dee Esry ... Herself
Jordan Esry ... Herself - Red Esry's Granddaughter
Ernest Esry ... Himself
Richard Techau ... Himself - Mayor of Brookfield, MO
Darrell Williams ... Himself - City Manager of Brookfield, MO
Monica Jefferson ... Herself - Speech Language Pathologist
Greg Pettis ... Himself - Mayor Pro Tem of Cathedral City, CA
Steve Sowles ... Himself - Fire Chief of Cathedral City, Ca
Donna Lisenby ... Herself - Catawba Riverkeeper
John Berry ... Himself - National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (archive footage)
Wen Di 'Princess' Kwi ... Herself - Wal-Mart Factory Worker in China
Wen 'Little Bear' Yi ... Himself - Wal-Mart Factory Worker in China
Jim Bill Lynn ... Himself - Wal-Mart Global Services Operations Manager
Mona Williams ... Herself - Wal-Mart VP of Corporate Communications
James Lawson ... Himself - Pastor Emeritus of Holman United Methodist Church
Steven Jacobs ... Himself - Temple Kol Tikvah (as Rabbi Steven Jacobs)

Jami Floyd ... Herself (archive footage)
Laura Tanaka ... Herself - Wal-Mart Shopper (as Laura L. Tanaka)
Gary Dordick ... Himself - Attorney
Sharolyn Wood ... Herself (as Judge Sharolyn Wood)
Salenea Turner ... Herself - Megan Holden's Best Friend
Leslie Gray Thomas ... Herself - Megan Holden's Former Employer
Crisa Kirkpatrick ... Herself - Megan Holden's Sister
Jeremy Kirkpatrick ... Himself - Megan Holden's Brother-in-law
Sandra Laney ... Herself - Chandler, Arizona Resident
Altagracia Perez ... Herself - Reverend of Holy Faith Episcopal Church (as Rev. Altagracia Perez)
Madeline Janis-Aparicio ... Herself - Executive Director of LA Alliance for a New Economy
Harold Kidd ... Himself - Firsr Presbyterian Church (archive footage)
Jan Chatten-Brown ... Herself - Laane Legal Consultant (archive footage)
Tracy Gray-Barkan ... Herself - Laane Senior Research Analyst (archive footage)
Daniel Tabor ... Himself - Former Inglewood City Councilman
Maxine Waters ... Herself - Democrat from California (archive footage) (as Rep. Maxine Waters)
Earl Ofari Hutchinson ... Himself

Lou Dobbs ... Himself (archive footage)

Susie Geiser ... 'Betty Johnson' in Comedy Spot
Noah Levit Ades ... 'Wal-Mart Executive' in Comedy Spot
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

James Cromwell ... Bob Whitebread (uncredited)

Frances Fisher ... Wendy Whitebread (uncredited)

Matt Lauer ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Julie R. Lee ... Walmart Employee (uncredited)
Dane Ritter ... Employee (uncredited)

Eric J. Stein ... Evil Smiley (uncredited)

Jon Stewart ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)

Directed by
Robert Greenwald 
Produced by
Brian M. Beirau .... field producer (as Brian Beirau)
John Blair .... field producer
Tom Boese .... field producer
Caty Borum .... co-producer
Margaret Breslau .... field producer
Alexander Burke .... field producer
Steve Cagan .... field producer
Kerry Candaele .... co-producer
Joey Caputo .... field producer
Pete Carsey .... associate producer: comedy spot
Song Chen .... field producer: second unit
Glenn Cisco .... field producer
M.A. Clements .... field producer
Linda Coleman .... field producer
Ryan Conway .... field producer
Ryan Daily .... field producer
Luisa Dantas .... co-producer
Jeff Daverman .... field producer
Karen Derrick-Davis .... field producer
Sarah Feeley .... co-producer
Stephen P. Gault .... field producer
Jim Gilliam .... producer
Robert Greenwald .... producer
Scott Happel .... field producer
Samantha Hayes .... field producer
Kim Kinoshita .... field producer
Scott Kramer .... line producer: comedy spot
Laurie Levit .... producer: comedy spot
Janie MacKenzie-Cohen .... field producer
Cynthia MacLeod .... field producer
Buzz Malone .... field producer
Kathie McConnell .... field producer
Melanie McMillan .... field producer
Felicia D. Moore .... field producer: second unit (as Felicia Moore)
Sean Quinn .... field producer
Darden Rice .... field producer
Karen Robertson .... field producer
Heather Ryan .... field producer
Wilbur E. Selbrede .... field producer
Devin Smith .... producer
Lisa Smithline .... outreach producer
Charles Stay .... field producer
Charlotte Tournay .... field producer
Susan Vyverman .... field producer
Eric Wagner .... field producer
Tom Wambolt .... field producer
David Wright .... field producer
Eric J. Stein .... segment producer (uncredited)
Original Music by
John Frizzell 
Cinematography by
Kristy Tully (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Jonathan Brock 
Douglas Cheek 
Robert Florio 
Chris M. Gordon  (as Chris Gordon)
Art Department
Daniel Morduchowicz .... key art artist
Bill Rude .... graphic artist: second unit
Christine Veres .... pre-visualization artist
Sound Department
Jeff Anderson .... audio editor
Sara Bencivenga .... sound: comedy spot
Tim Hayes .... foley & adr
Brian Stewart .... foley & adr
Brian Stewart .... sound supervisor
Scott Wildfong .... sound: second unit
Visual Effects by
Dacarla Kilpatrick .... title artist (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Chris Ahern .... gaffer: comedy spot
Christopher Bottoms .... additional photographer (as Chris Bottoms)
Christopher Bottoms .... camera: comedy spot (as Chris Bottoms)
Sarah Cabiya .... photography: second unit
Sarah Cawley .... photography: second unit
Patricia Govani .... photography: second unit
Wil Kazary .... photography: second unit
Lawrence Lerew .... photography: second unit
Paris Marron .... photography: second unit
Randy Murray .... photography: second unit
Mobolaji Olambiwonnu .... photography: second unit
Liz Rubin .... camera operator: second unit
Jamie Salvatori .... photography: second unit
Michael Schiller .... camera operator: second unit
Eric J. Stein .... photography: second unit
Ryan Voisine .... assistant camera: comedy spot
Nirant Vora .... gaffer: comedy spot
Editorial Department
Everette Andal .... on-line assistant
Derek Ellingson .... on-line assistant editor
Noah Goldsmith .... additional assistant editor
Brian Hayashi .... post-production assistant
Jaffar Mahmood .... post-production coordinator
Michael Menczer .... on-line editor
Tigran Nazaryan .... editing intern
Mobolaji Olambiwonnu .... assistant editor
Chris Roberts .... colorist
Lissette Roldan .... assistant editor
Lissette Roldan .... editor: comedy spot
Matt Scott .... post-production: comedy spot
Eric J. Stein .... additional assistant editor
Lee Zamastil .... post-production: comedy spot
Music Department
Johnny Caruso .... music consultant
G. Marq Roswell .... music supervisor
Steven A. Saltzman .... additional music consultant (as Steven Saltzman)
Adam Swart .... music coordinator
Frederik Wiedmann .... composer: additional music
Sam Zeines .... music editor
Other crew
Joshua Ades .... intern
Joshua Ades .... production assistant: comedy spot
Chris Anderson .... transcriber
Frances Anderson .... researcher
Winnie Anderson .... transcriber
Fabienne Antonin .... transcriber
Krystle Arias .... intern
Naomi Boas .... intern
Kevin Boney .... intern
Cheech Bradford .... production insurance: AON/Albert G. Ruben Insurance (as Cynthia 'Cheech' Bradford)
Jaime Burke .... transcriber (as Jaime Ipson Burke)
Chris Callister .... intern
Julie Carpineto .... researcher
Genaro Carpio .... intern
Pete Carsey .... intern
Greg Castillo .... production assistant
Jared Chilstrom .... intern
Adair Cole .... intern
Mike Curran .... production assistant
Jesse Derris .... media consultant
Alexandra Dorris .... transcriber
Karen Drohan .... researcher
Dwight Durham .... intern
Melieza Figueroa .... lead researcher (as Meleiza Figueroa)
Tracy Fleischman .... executive assistant
Jesse Frank .... production assistant
Zachary Freer .... production coordinator (as Zachary L. Freer)
Christina Frenzel .... research intern
Jesse Haff .... website producer
Maryam Henein .... transcriber
Mashona Hobbs .... executive assistant (as MaShona Hobbs)
Yi-Sen Huang .... transcriber
Rick Jacobs .... production consultant
Philip K. Kleinbart .... production consultant (as Phil Kleinbart)
Philippe Kouame .... intern
Judy Landis .... research consultant
Lawrence Lessig .... legal advisor
Heather Longerbeam .... executive assistant
Vanessa Marin .... intern
Paris Marron .... intern
Nick Martin .... transcriber
Katie McGrath .... researcher
Sharaf Mowjood .... assistant outreach coordinator
Ari Nave .... transcriber
Stanley Ottenstein .... clearances
Michelle Oznowicz .... production assistant
Julia Ransom .... intern
Tamsin Rawady .... transcriber
Erica Sardi .... intern
Erica Sardi .... production assistant: comedy spot
Lin Shi .... transcriber
Sam Spadina .... intern
Sam Spadino .... production assistant: comedy spot
Kabira Stokes .... outreach coordinator
Jennifer L. Stone .... production accountant: Media Services (as Jennifer Stone)
Ken Sunshine .... media consultant
Lily Takanashi .... production consultant
Jia Tan .... transcriber
Bryan Torres .... production assistant
Tom Wieder .... research consultant
Ben Winston .... intern (as Benjamin Winston)
Steve Ades .... special thanks
Jacquelyn Arsenuk .... special thanks
Dave Ash .... special thanks
Gregory Aubin .... special thanks
Laura Beatty .... special thanks
Brad Berling .... special thanks
Charles Bernstein .... special thanks
Peter Broderick .... special thanks
Jackson Browne .... very special thanks
Jody Calemine .... special thanks
Jill Cashen .... special thanks
Gerry Cohen .... special thanks
Barbara Corday .... special thanks
Rachel Currans-Sheehan .... special thanks
Ulrich Dalibor .... special thanks
Murielle Desjardins .... special thanks
Bill Diamond .... special thanks
Arindrajit Dube .... special thanks
Kelly Duda .... special thanks
Liza Featherstone .... special thanks
Jeff Fiedler .... special thanks
Michael Forman .... special thanks
Simone Frobrose .... special thanks
Jan Furstenburg .... special thanks
Seth Godin .... special thanks
Tracy Gray-Barkan .... special thanks
Seth Greenland .... special thanks
Andy Grossman .... special thanks
Joey Hipolito .... special thanks
Karsten Hubner .... special thanks
Rebecca Hutman .... special thanks
Sam Hutman .... special thanks
Jason Todd Ipson .... special thanks
Ken Jacobs .... special thanks
Tim Johnson .... special thanks
Terri Kauffman .... special thanks
Shaykh Saddullah Khan .... special thanks
Dacarla Kilpatrick .... special thanks (as DaCarla Kilpatrick)
Sergeo Kirby .... special thanks
Bill Klokow .... special thanks
Sabastian Lange .... special thanks
Willie Legaspi .... special thanks
Greg LeRoy .... special thanks
Chris Lundberg .... special thanks
Fred Martin .... special thanks
Mike Martineau .... special thanks
Phil Mattera .... special thanks
Tim McKeon .... special thanks
Aaron McNally .... special thanks
Luke Meyer .... special thanks
Broderick Miller .... special thanks
Tezira Nabongo .... special thanks
Jerry Nagin .... special thanks
Kelsey Namara .... special thanks
Sandy Nasseri .... special thanks
Al Norman .... special thanks
John Phillip Nybe .... special thanks
Morgan Page .... special thanks
Keith Pattington .... special thanks
Adam Pava .... special thanks
Becky Pearcey .... special thanks
Chris Rogers .... special thanks
Branch Rothschild .... special thanks
Keith Roush .... special thanks
Will Samson .... special thanks
Phil Shapiro .... special thanks
Korby Siamis .... special thanks
Sheldon Sims .... special thanks
Alec Sokolow .... special thanks
Greg Spotts .... special thanks
Bruce Springsteen .... very special thanks
Jeffry E. Stein .... special thanks (as Jeffry Stein)
Stich .... special thanks
Kenneth Stone .... special thanks (as Dr. Kenneth Stone)
Carlo Tarini .... special thanks
Tanya Tolchin .... special thanks
Brett Walkow .... special thanks
Joseph B. Wallenstein .... special thanks (as Joe Wallenstein)
Hugh Warwick .... special thanks
Randy Weiss .... special thanks
David Welker .... special thanks
Goetz Wolff .... special thanks
Russ Woody .... special thanks
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
USA:98 min | 20 min (shortened version)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »

Did You Know?

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 »
Errors in geography: 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 »
Movie Connections:
Rainy NightSee more »


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26 out of 36 people found the following review useful.
"Store Wars" redux: A corporate cancer that feeds on America, 22 November 2005
Author: ( from Portland, Oregon, United States

Robert Greenwald, a hard-hitting political activist documentary filmmaker ("Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism," "Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the Iraq War"), comes out swinging in this incisive exploration of the retail marketing behemoth.

This film is the perfect sequel to Micha X. Peled's documentary, "Store Wars: When Wal-Mart Comes to Town," shown on PBS in 2001. That film focused on a single community, Ashland, Virginia, showing the strategies Wal-Mart used to buy its way in, essentially bribing the town council, strapped for cash for urgently needed civic projects, and the extensive though in the end ineffectual efforts of townspeople to stop the building of a W-M superstore in their town. Two of the worst blights caused by Wal-Mart, unfair labor practices and the killing off of long established small businesses that had been the backbone of the community, are highlighted.

Greenwald picks up where "Store Wars" left off, looking at other worrisome aspects of the Wal-Mart movement through a broader, nationwide lens. We learn that because staff wages and benefits are so pitifully meager, thousands upon thousands of Wal-Mart employees in numerous states qualify for and regularly receive benefits from public assistance programs, even as they work. What's worse, Wal-Mart capitalizes on this phenomenon in the most cynical possible manner. As a matter of company policy, stores offer detailed advice to employees on how to access government benefits! We taxpayers are shouldering the financial burden Wal-Mart shirks: like employees, we too are unwitting pawns in a master corporate strategy.

Meanwhile, we see proof that Wal-Mart - after exacting multi-year tax concessions as part of sweetheart deals some communities make to attract stores (the opposite of the situation that was described in Ashland, Virginia) - will actually relocate a store to land barely outside the town boundaries just before tax breaks are scheduled to end, leaving a useless hulking shell of a building and zero local tax obligations behind them forever.

We learn about Wal-Mart's approach to unionization efforts. There is a specialized managerial swat team based at W-M headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas. When news arrives that significant union organizing activity has begun at a particular store, the following day the union-busters are dispatched in a company Lear jet. The local store manager is reassigned and one of the team takes over. The others work to identify union activists and arrange for their swift dismissal. We also get more evidence, in case anybody needs it, about unfair labor practices. W-M defines full time employment as 28 hours/week, and often forces employees to work "off the clock" to get tasks achieved without providing any overtime pay.

We also learn about the cavalier stance W-M has on crime. Millions are spent on in-store video monitoring to prevent theft of goods. But it's a different story out in the vast and often poorly lit Wal-Mart parking lots. Here, nationwide, huge numbers of assaults, robberies, rapes and other crimes take place. Guess how much W-M spends for parking lot surveillance? You're right: nada, even when pushed and after agreeing to pay for regular patrols of lots, which make a huge positive difference, W-M often drags its feet in implementing reforms.

This film, like other Greenwald films, is skillfully crafted. He shows us a lot of talking heads, but not the usual suspects, i.e., the experts. Instead the heads are those of small business owners, their spouses, families and employees. And former Wal-Mart employees, including some who had held key managerial positions for nearly 20 years, real former insiders. We meet these people on their own turf. The wife of one businessman talks to us in her kitchen, ironing clothes all the while. It is a highly viewer-friendly approach to interviews.

We also get statistics, usually in small, digestible batches, but sometimes in large amounts presented too rapidly to fully take in. A problem with a number of the interviewees' assertions and other material presented as factual is the lack of corroboration or presentation of other viewpoints. But this is in the nature and tradition of propagandistic documentaries. Such films rarely tell "THE" truth; rather, they tell "A" truth, a particular slant on important matters, what filmmaker Werner Herzog has called "ecstatic truth," or essential truth.

Greenwald has taken a grass-roots approach to distributing this film. Rather than seek out conventional big screens, he arranged for an Internet approach to recruitment of individuals and groups to host DVD screenings in a huge variety of settings, all in the same week. Churches, NGOs, university campus venues, some theaters, you name it. My wife and I saw the film at a private home in our area along with 10 other people, all arranged via the film's website.

As long as consumers think only of their own bottom line – buying everything they want at the absolute lowest price every time, never connecting the dots between low price, lousy service, substandard employment conditions, financial drains on the public sector, and the loss of fondly recalled small businesses - Wal-Mart will continue to eat away at our culture, parasitically suck away on our national nutrient resources, all the while building up its corporate treasures into a war chest to combat any and all challenges to its destructive excesses. There's no end in sight. My rating: 7.5/10 (low B+). (Seen on 11/18/05). If you'd like to read more of my reviews, send me a message for directions to my websites.

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Turned the movie off 5 minutes into it reamstm
What exactly is the problem? ShawnD1
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Wal-Mart is good. Read on mpstyles54
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They Don't Care About Me When I Leave The Store?? golo_dog
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