Roger & Me

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Movie Info & Cast


Michael Moore's wickedly iconoclastic documentary was inspired by the decline and fall of Flint, Michigan. Once the site of a thriving General Motors plant, Flint went quickly to seed when GM decided to close down and move out. As Moore pokes around what has been described by one magazine as the worst place to live in America, he finds out how the local populace is coping with GM's betrayal of the American Dream. Among those visited are a family who is evicted just before Christmas, and an enterprising middle-aged woman who set up a thriving business slaughtering and skinning rabbits. Never feigning objectivity, Moore contrasts the impact of the shutdown on the average Joes and Janes with the diffident reaction of Flint's power elite. The latter's patronizing attitude towards the unemployed multitudes is succinctly captured in the scenes in which visiting celebrities Robert Schuller, Anita Bryant, Bobby Vinton and Pat Boone exhort the citizenry to grin and bear it. Even more out of synch is Miss Michigan Kaye Lani Rae Rafko, who in her morale-boosting speech to the disenfranchised GM employees begs them to pull for her in the upcoming Miss America pageant! The film's throughline is Moore's futile effort to locate GM chairman Roger Smith, so that he can show Moore first-hand the utter devastation of Flint. Roger & Me is very funny, but it is the gallows humor of soldiers about to embark on a suicide mission. In 1992, Michael Moore more or less updated Roger & Me with his half-hour short subject Pets or Meat: The Return to Flint.~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide


  • Michael Moore
  • Roger B. Smith
  • Rhonda Britton
  • Fred Ross
  • Kaye Lani Rae Rafko
  • James Blanchard
  • James Bond
  • Pat Boone
  • Anita Bryant
  • Karen Edgely

Did You Know?


  • The robot featured in the "My Buddy" segment from Autoworld is located in the Sloan Museum, 1221 E. Kearsley Street, Flint, MI. The Roger and Me premiere banner and original cardboard stand up sign are located just a few feet from the robot but no connection is mentioned.
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    • [voice-over]
    • Michael Moore: Well, the million tourists never came to Flint. The Hyatt went bankrupt and was put up for sale, Waterstreet Pavillion saw most of its stores go out of business, and only six months after opening, Autoworld closed due to a lack of visitors. I guess it was like expecting a million people a year to go to New Jersey to Chemicalworld, or a million people going to Valdez, Alaska for Exxonworld. Some people just don't like to celebrate human tragedy while on vacation.
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Moore documents both the doomed effort to turn Flint into a tourist center and the sorry leadership of the United Auto Workers, born in Flint, which appears co-opted by management. The film uses humor to make the point that in the rush to make money in the '80s we have forgotten the common man. [12 Jan 1990, p.A]

Metacritic review by Gene Siskel
Gene Siskel
Chicago Tribune

A movie in which TV show host Bob Eubanks tells a joke at once anti-semitic and homophobic, a movie in which a town turns into a vermin-ridden, crime- crazed black hole - this is the happiest surprise of the holiday season? What gives? [22 Dec 1989]

Metacritic review by Jay Scott
Jay Scott
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)