A brief history of McDonald’s at the movies
The Weinstein Company‘s has officially hit limited release and, like its basis, will be available everywhere in January. The film tells the controversial story of the “founding” of McDonald’s restaurants, but it’s not the first time that the fast food joint has been featured on the big screen. Through our meticulous research, we’ve gone through the reels of footage to document the history of McDonald’s at the movies and the surprising places that it and its products show up. Check it out below! The Founder
Directed by John Lee Hancock (
The Blind Side, Saving Mr. Banks), The Founder features the true story of how Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton), a struggling salesman from Illinois, met Mac and Dick McDonald, who were running a burger operation in 1950s Southern California. Kroc was impressed by the brothers’ speedy system of making the food and saw franchise potential. Writer Robert Siegel ( The Wrestler) details how Kroc maneuvered himself into a position to be able to pull the company from the brothers and create a billion-dollar empire.
The film also stars Laura Dern, Linda Cardellini, John Carroll Lynch, and Nick Offerman.
The Founder will open in wide release on January 20, 2017.
McDonald's at the movies
Near as we can tell, the first instance of McDonald's appearing in a feature film was this 1973 Woody Allen comedy. In the film, Allen finds himself awoken in the far future of 2173 and after assimilating into society passes by a McDonald's with a slightly upgraded sign.
All the President's Men (1976)
In the film about the breaking of the Watergate scandal, journalists Bob Woodward (Robert Redford) and Carl Bernstein (Dustin Hoffman) talk about the story they're working on while dining at McDonald's.
Time After Time (1979)
Based on the Karl Alexander novel, the film sees science fiction author H.G. Wells (Malcolm McDowell) venturing to the future in pursuit of legendary killed Jack the Ripper (David Warner). When he arrives in the present, he treats himself to a bit of McDonald's.
Ordinary People (1980)
Another Robert Redford entry, this time his directorial debut, "Ordinary People" sees Timothy Hutton's Conrad and Elizabeth McGovern's Jeannine having a discussion about the existence of God and his attempt at a suicide while seated in a McDonald's, as you do.
Mac and Me (1988)
Perhaps the most infamous entry you'll find on this list, "Mac and Me" is the prime example of product placement in a movie featuring a number of scenes dedicated to McDonald's.
The Flintstones (1994)
In the live-action version of the classic cartoon, the titular family run past a “RockDonald's” featuring a sign saying “dozens and dozens sold!” Some McDonald's even briefly became a RockDonald's in reality to promote the film.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Another famous entry as lead characters Jules Winfield and Vincent Vega have a conversation early on in the film about what a Quarter Pounder with cheese is called in Paris.
Richie Rich (1994)
As part of his family's mansion, the title character has his own private McDonald's in his home.
The Fifth Element (1997)
The futuristic film from Luc Besson sees a pair of cops in the drive thru at a McDonald's, and later crashing into a delivery truck branded “65 Trillion Served.”
Big Daddy (1999)
This Adam Sandler movie made the argument that we'd all been making (and would continue to make) for years - why does breakfast as McDonald's stop being served at 10:30? Also, can we have a Happy Meal?
Super Size Me (2004)
Another of the most popular entries and just about the only film on this list that doesn't paint McDonald's in a positive light. The film that put filmmaker Morgan Spurlock on the map and actually forced the restaurant chain to make changes to their menu as a result of its findings.
The Pink Panther (2006)
In the comedy remake, Steve Martin's Clouseau eats a hamburger for the first time in front of the golden arches in New York City.
The Australian drama depicts some incredibly depressing moments in the life of its characters, played by Heath Ledger and Abbie Cornish, one of them being when they proclaim themselves the coolest people in a McDonald's.
As a cartoon character come to life, James Marsden's Prince Edward runs past the McDonald's in Time's Square in the film. He sadly does not eat there.
The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)
In this remake, Keanu Reeves as Klaatu meets with a member of his alien race who has hidden among the humans in the most human of places, McDonald's.
The Back-up Plan (2010)
In one of the film's attempted scenes at comedic relief, Jennifer Lopez's character reads about symptoms of pregnant women while satisfying a McDonald's craving.
127 Hours (2010)
In the start of the film when James Franco's Aron Ralston is driving to his destination, he passes a number of fast food restaurants including McDonald's.
The Darkest Hour (2011)
As Emile Hirsch and Max Minghella's characters arrive in Russia for this horror-thriller, their characters pass Russian versions of American businesses, including the Golden Arches.
Dark Shadows (2012)
In the big-screen remake of the classic soap opera, Johnny Depp's Barnabas Collins awakens in modern day to find a McDonald's above him, though he assumes that it means “Mephistopheles.”
Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014)
When Colin Firth's Harry Hart has dinner with Samuel L. Jackson's Richmond Valentine, Valentine serves the finest food that an American can.
13 Hours (2016)
Throughout Michael Bay's film about the tragedy in Benghazi sometimes he pauses to show the soldiers speaking with their families back home, and one of them happens to be in the drive thru at McDonald's.