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 The Founder is a 2016 American biographical drama film directed by John Lee Hancock and written by Robert Siegel. The film stars Michael Keaton as businessman Ray Kroc, and portrays the story of his creation of theMcDonald's fast food chain. Nick Offerman and John Carroll Lynch co-star as McDonald's founders Richard and Maurice McDonald.

The film premiered at Arclight Hollywood on December 7, 2016 and was released in the United States on January 20, 2017, by The Weinstein Company. It grossed $24 million worldwide and received generally positive reviews from critics, with praise for Keaton's performance.

Ray Kroc is a traveling salesman selling Prince Castle brand milkshake mixers in 1954 without much success. While he has a supportive wife, Ethel, and has saved enough to live a simple and comfortable life in Arlington Heights, Illinois, he craves more. Kroc also observes that many places he tries to sell to are inefficiently run, with wrong orders and carhops more concerned with avoiding the groping from greasers than getting the orders right. After learning that a drive-in in San Bernardino is ordering an unusually large number of milkshake mixers, Ray drives to California to see it. What he finds is McDonald's—a highly popular walk-up restaurant with fast service, high-quality food, disposable packaging, and a family-friendly atmosphere.

Ray meets with the two McDonald brothers, Maurice "Mac" and Richard "Dick" McDonald. Ray tours the kitchens and notes the employees' strong work ethic. Dick explains the high-quality food and lightning-fast service are the backbones of their diner. Ray takes the brothers to dinner and is told the origin story of McDonald's. The next day, Ray suggests that the brothers franchise the restaurant, but they hesitate; pointing out they already tried that and encountered absentee franchisees who were lackadaisical in upholding their system. Ray persists and eventually convinces the brothers to allow him to lead their franchising efforts on the condition that he agree to a contract which requires all changes to receive the McDonald brothers' approval in writing.

Initially, Ray begins building a McDonald's restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois while attempting to entice wealthy investors (specifically fellow members at the country club) to open franchises, but encounters the same poor management ethic which doomed the original franchise efforts. After encountering a dedicated Bible salesman who is Jewish, Ray hits on the idea of franchising to middle-class investors, who have more incentive to be hands-on and are willing to follow the McDonald's formula. This proves successful, and new franchises begin opening across the Midwest, with Ray representing himself as the creator of McDonald's. During this time, Ray meets Rollie Smith, an upscale restaurant owner in Minnesota who wishes to invest, and his wife Joan, to whom Ray is immediately attracted.

Despite his success, Ray begins to encounter financial difficulties as his share of franchise profits is limited due to his contract. Owners are encountering higher than expected costs, particularly for refrigeration of large quantities of ice cream for milkshakes. Joan suggests a powdered milkshake to Ray as a way to avoid these costs, but the McDonald brothers consider it degrading to their food quality. Ray is called to the bank as his mortgage is past due, but this is overheard byHarry Sonneborn, a financial consultant for Tastee-Freez, who requests to review Ray's books. Sonneborn realizes that the real profit opportunity is in providing real estate to the franchisees, which will not only provide a revenue stream, but give Ray leverage over his franchisees and the McDonald brothers. Ray incorporates a new company, Franchise Realty Corporation, and attracts new investors. This move upsets the brothers and emboldens Ray: He increasingly defies them by circumventing their authority and providing powdered milkshakes to all franchisees. Ray also divorces Ethel, she gets all his assets except any shares in his business.

Ray renames his company to The McDonald's Corporation and demands to be released from his contract and buy the brothers out, the news of which sends Mac into diabetic shock. Ray visits him in the hospital and offers a blank check to settle their business. The brothers agree to a $2.7 million lump sum payment, ownership of their original restaurant in San Bernardino, and a 1% annual royalty, but when the time comes to finalize the agreement, Ray refuses to include the royalty in the settlement and instead offers it as a handshake deal. Afterwards, in the men's room, Dick asks Ray why he had to take over their business, when he could have easily stolen their idea and recreated it. Ray reveals that the true value of McDonald's is the name itself, which expresses all the attributes of Americana (vs his Czech Slavic-sounding name of Kroc).

The McDonald brothers are forced to take their own name off the original restaurant and Ray opens a new McDonald's franchise directly across the street from the original restaurant to finally put the McDonald brothers out of business. The film closes in 1970 with him preparing a speech where he praises himself for his success in his elaborate mansion with his new wife, Joan. An epilogue reveals that the McDonald brothers were never paid their royalties, which could have been in the area of $100 million a year.


The Founder is an inspiring story of how one can start with nothing and build an ultra-successful business. Use this movie guide to encourage your students to think about what they can learn from the characters and how it can help them achieve their goals. It also can serve as warning of how people may have different and conflicting visions and goals. 


傳統幼兒教材裡,普遍會收錄一首叫《王老先生有塊地》(依呀依呀喲)的童謠,相信很多小朋友都聽過、甚至唱過。這是一首翻譯歌曲,美國原曲叫Old MacDonald Had a Farm。所以我想:如果「王老先生」有英文名字,大概就是Old MacDonald吧?

姓氏Mac開頭 祖先源自蘇格蘭

先來了解這個字源。MacDonald源自「蘇格蘭蓋爾語」(Scottish Gaelic)及「愛爾蘭蓋爾語」(Irish Gaelic)裡的姓氏。它被「英語化」(Anglicised)後有好幾種寫法,包括MacDonaldMacdonald以及McDonald。今天,外國人姓氏裡以MacMc開頭的,幾乎可以百分之百肯定他(她)的祖先是來自蘇格蘭或愛爾蘭,例如二戰時「美國遠東軍總司令」麥克阿瑟(Douglas MacArthur)。Mac(或Mc)原意指「某某人之子」。所以,MacArthur原意就是Son of ArutherMcDonald就是Son of Donald了。

《速食遊戲》 麥當勞暗黑發跡史

「麥當勞」關於它的發跡歷史,多數人還是「霧煞煞」。最近在台灣上映的一部電影《速食遊戲》(The Founder),說的正是關於這個橫跨全球119國、擁有超過3萬家分店速食連鎖王國的暗黑發跡史。

這個王國的歷史,最早可回溯到1940年,當年迪克麥當勞(Dick McDonald)與麥克麥當勞(Mac McDonald)兄弟創立了Dick and Mac McDonald餐廳,即是今天「麥當勞」的前身。後來,他們引起了當時已經52歲、還是奶昔機業務推銷員的雷克洛克(Ray Kroc)的注意。雷克洛克透過認識這對兄弟,竊走他們的創業心血,卻開創自己龐大的事業版圖。 從某個角度來說,這是個暗黑版的「美國夢」故事。

《速食遊戲》這個中文片名聽起來相當無感。它的靈感顯然來自動作片《飢餓遊戲》(The Hunger Games)。但《速食遊戲》並非動作片,而把這個暗黑故事名之為「遊戲」,也削弱了它的沉重力道。至於它的英文片名The Founder,則頗具深意。

The Founder 奠基?倒閉?

稍為學過英文的人都曉得,Found 是動詞Find的過去式,意指「發現」,名詞「發現者」是Finder。但可能有人不知道的是,Found這個字本身也可以作為原型動詞的(過去式是Founded),意指「創建」、「奠基」。所以,基礎、基金會的英文是Foundation 。科幻小大師艾西莫夫(Isaac Asimov)最著名代表作系列,即是《基地三部曲》(The Foundation Trilogy)。


詭異的是,Founder 亦可作動詞用,意指「倒下」或「(事業)失敗」