22 user 14 critic

McLibel (2005)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 20 May 2005 (USA)
McLibel is the story of two ordinary people who humiliated McDonald's in the biggest corporate PR disaster in history.
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Helen Steel Helen Steel ... Self
Dave Morris Dave Morris ... Self
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bruce Alexander ... Richard Rampton QC
Anita Anand Anita Anand ... Voiceover (voice)
Peter Armstrong Peter Armstrong ... Voiceover (voice)
Chris Brierley Chris Brierley ... Voiceover (voice)
Rhona Cameron ... Voiceover (voice)
T. Colin Campbell ... Self (as Professor Campbell)
Sue Dibb Sue Dibb ... Self - The Food Commission
Pip Donaghy Pip Donaghy ... David Walker
Ian Flintoff Ian Flintoff ... David Green
Oliver Ford Davies ... Dr. Arnott
Dan Gallin Dan Gallin ... Self - Intl Union of Food Workers
Stephen Gardner Stephen Gardner ... Self - Assistant Attorney General (as Stephen Gardener)
Geoffrey Giuliano ... Self (as Geoff Guiliano)


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

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The postman and the gardener who took on McDonald's




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


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


Journalist: What about the finding that McDonalds targets children?
Lawyer: I don't recall that.
See more »


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


The Ancient Mariner
Written, performed & produced by Johny Brown, Alfie Thomas (as Alf Thomas) and Chris Brierley
See more »

User Reviews

Let's try to use our brains, people.
13 March 2007 | by armadillo_smugglerSee all my reviews

To the previous poster, justsomeregularguy, who equivocates the producers of this film to multinational corporations, please explain to me how this documentary has made tens of billions of dollars per annum, like a multinational worth their salt does. Your whole argument, and your anger over a certain type of filmmaker or person fails with a fallacy of that caliber. Read Adorno's The Culture Industry and get over it.

I am SO sick and tired of people accusing any and all director or filmmaker of cashing-in by copying or riding on coattails of others just because they see the flood of remakes/ripoffs/plaigarisms bouncing between Hollywood, Bollywood and Asia (aka The 2006 Oscar winner) and apply that in all cases: Another baseless equivocation! Quite simply, a film like this will hardly make ANY money off direct sales. Most documentaries make their money back due to library acquisitions and television broadcast rights. I really have to question the mind that thinks that a documentary like this is made motivated by greed. Films like the Corporation and Super Size Me are exceptions, and frankly the whole "documentaries are the new blockbuster" paradigm is also way past its sell-by date, and to buy into that is to accept what amounted to hype in the first place. For every Incovenient Truth there are thousands of conventional narrative films. We notice those docs because of their exceptional nature in the film marketplace. Again, McLibel is not exactly Spider-man 3. Let's please keep things in perspective. If anything, you give this film you seem to be angry at way too much credit. You also indirectly insult filmgoers by assuming we're all suckers and wouldn't be able to see past a rip-off and you attempt to privilege yourself as if you know better, by proxy. If anything, it's whatever amount of attention the Palme D'Or has brought to Ken Loach's work that might get some more people to see this. Finally, films of the same subject and type have been made in close proximity to each other; it's called a zeitgeist, and more than one person can tap into it at the same time. The Illusionist/The Prestige for example. Superficially: Costume dramas with magic. On any other, non-reflexive level: Totally different narratives.

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Official Sites:

Spanner Films





Release Date:

20 May 2005 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Клевета МакДональдс See more »

Filming Locations:



Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,821, 12 June 2005

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

Spanner Films See more »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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