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The Founders (2016)

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They were not supposed to be athletes. They were not supposed to get paid to play. They were not supposed call the shots. But, they did.
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Credited cast:
Ella Marie Cyr ... Young Shirley Spork (as Ella Cyr)
Bella Lotz ... Young Marlene
Caleb Messer Caleb Messer ... Boy #2
Christian E. Mims Christian E. Mims ... Adult Louise Suggs
Parker Sack ... Boy #1
Marilynn Smith Marilynn Smith ... Herself
Shirley Spork Shirley Spork ... Herself
Louise Suggs Louise Suggs ... Herself
Bryn Vale ... Young Louise
Marlene Bauer Vossler Marlene Bauer Vossler ... Herself


The Founders chronicles stories of the founding 13 members of the Ladies Professional Golf Association as they fought overcome incredible odds in order to form the longest running women's sports organization in the world in the late 1940's. Although fierce competitors in an intensely individual sport, The Founders worked as a team to shift the public's perception of what it meant to be a lady on the links. While their male counterparts drew adoring crowds and handsome purses for their athletic achievements, The Founders used money from their own pockets to stage tournaments in small, far-flung towns that questioned whether female golfers were even worth watching. Together, they logged thousands of miles a week-marketing equipment and themselves with hit parades, clown cars and boxing rings-just for the opportunity to tee off from courses that they also had to groom. Love of the game and the ardent belief that, as much as the men, they deserved to be paid for playing fueled the ...

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They were not supposed to be athletes. They were not supposed to get paid to play. They were not supposed call the shots. But they did.




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Release Date:

4 April 2016 (USA) See more »

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Box Office


$350,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Mighty Fine Pictures See more »
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User Reviews

A Riveting and Educational Documentary
6 July 2017 | by tperkins-73197See all my reviews

The Founders is an amazing documentary that does a deep dive into the intricate and fascinating history of the LPGA's founding. Being the first professional women's sports league ever, there was a lot of pushback and it was not an easy journey. Personally, I found it very inspiring to hear firsthand from some of the founders including their point of view and experiences. Juxtaposed with those incredible interviews, are some very high-quality archival footage that was just fantastic. Very few documents have been able to immerse me in a time period like this one due to what must have been a long hard search for the perfect shots. Equality for women has come a long way since the LPGA and although it's not perfect yet, I think the modern feminist movement has a lot to thank these brave trailblazers for. And as audience members, we have a lot to thank these filmmakers for because their film is not only a great learning experience but also a riveting story from start to finish, therefore, I recommend seeing it for yourself.

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