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The Big One (1997)

On his book tour, Michael Moore exposes more wrongdoing by greedy big businesses and callous politicians around America.

Director:

Michael Moore

Writer:

Michael Moore
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6 wins. See more awards »

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A 30-minute follow-up piece for Roger & Me, this was first shown when that film was broadcast as part of the PBS series P.O.V. Moore briefly re-examines the economic collapse of Flint and ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Michael Moore ... Himself
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Elaine Bly Elaine Bly ... Herself - Random House Media Escort
Dan Burns Dan Burns ... Himself - Radio Personality
Chip Carter Chip Carter ... Himself - Forbes Campaign
Bill Clinton ... Himself - Presidential Candidate (archive footage)
Jim Czarnecki Jim Czarnecki ... Himself (as Jim)
Brian Danitz Brian Danitz ... Himself (as Brian)
Robert Dornan Robert Dornan ... Himself - Congressman (archive footage)
Joel Feick Joel Feick ... Himself - Radio Commentator
Steve Forbes ... Himself - Presidential Candidate (archive footage)
Doug France Doug France ... Himself - Random House Representative
Mary Gielow Mary Gielow ... Herself - Media Escort in Milwaukee
Bev Jacowski Bev Jacowski ... Herself, Johnson Controls representative
Richard Jewell ... Himself - Innocent Guy
Kevin Keane Kevin Keane ... Himself - Governor Thompson's Press Secretary
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Storyline

Our intrepid defender of the working man, Michael Moore, documents his 1996 "Downsize This!" book tour across the USA. Shot on-the-cheap with a video camera, we once again watch our hero interview the working man at yet another plant closing, while also trying to get past corporate security guards to interview the millionaire CEOs. Written by Tim G. <kas@interlog.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

I WANT YOU to help me kick corporate America's &*%! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some strong language | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA | UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 April 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cortando Custos See more »

Filming Locations:

Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$146,909, 12 April 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$720,074
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie's title refers to renaming America as part of Michael's belief that America needs PR makeover. See more »

Quotes

Audience Member: You should run for President! It would send a message!
Michael Moore: What message? Eat out more often?
See more »

Crazy Credits

To make a reservation on TWA call 1-800-221-2000 See more »

Connections

Featured in Zomergasten: Episode #14.2 (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

On The Road Again
(1963)
Written by Willie Nelson
By kind permission of Full Nelson Music
Administered by Longitude Music
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Disappointing: failing on two levels
12 April 2006 | by FlorisVSee all my reviews

The Big One fails on the two levels it aims at: political consciousness and entertainment.

First the entertainment level. Michael Moore's "documentaries" are meant as half entertaining, half political much like his show "TV-nation" (BBC). The entertainment often takes the shape of embarrassing his enemies in front of the camera by confronting them with suggestive questions for which they are usually unprepared. This can be funny but a lot of times I just felt sorry for the people who were confronted by his blunt questions. Often it was like the Charlton Heston visit in Bowling for Columbine which was the weakest part of that documentary. I thought the majority of the DVD was boring and lacked structure. The first half I was wondering, what is this about? The Big One was all centered around Michael Moore's book tour, promoting his latest book. Who even cares about that stuff? I wanted to see him confront high-level executives from large corporations or government officials, with sharp questions, but I got to see none of what I had hoped for.

The other level The Big One fails at is political consciousness. It lacks depth. The corporate management people he visits are always lower management (except for the Nike official), who don't have any authority on strategic decisions that force their plants to shut down locally and move to cheaper countries. Despite that, these people show themselves quite capable of defending their company's policies with rational arguments: they need to stay competitive in their market to survive, they are not charity after all. But Moore never really listened to them or even thought about their arguments. He just tried to keep waltzing over them repeating cheap suggestive questions like "how do you live with yourself" etcetera.

Moore did have a point criticizing the government paying welfare to companies but failed to focus on one simple subject. He could have focused on just that one issue, or the Nike factories in Asia, or the factories that were shut down. That way he might have been able to put the finger on the REAL problems in all those cases, but I doubt it. I'll give it my two cents:

-The main problem with companies that downsize is that they don't hurt the people that can take the biggest blows because they make the most money in those companies: the UPPER MANAGEMENT.

-The other problem with companies that fire their people despite profits is they usually communicate badly and don't give enough time and compensation to the people that are sacked. The "right to have a job" is an outdated communist notion. Let these people look for a new job, just help them finding it!

-Having factories in third world countries, even when they have a dictatorial regime, is NOT "unethical". These people would be off much worse without those factories. In fact in those countries most people are jealous of the people that do work in Nike factories because they can help support entire families. The people that have to get by with their own farms and other "native" means of making money have far more miserable lives and have to work even harder. The only thing that I would agree on is that Nike should hire more people and let them work less hours (keeping their costs the same), while improving working conditions.

If you like Michael Moore: Fahrenheit 911 and particularly Bowling for Columbine are far superior. Despite their flaws (often presenting fiction as fact) they are entertaining and serve a purpose in broadening people's perspectives by displaying a different view on the subjects of terrorism and violence than most of the media.


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