“Roger & Me” Hitting Blu-Ray for 25th Anniversary

“Roger & Me” Hitting Blu-Ray for 25th Anniversary

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment will release Michael Moore’s acclaimed documentary Roger & Me on Blu-Ray October 7, to commemorate its 25th anniversary.

Originally released in 1989, Roger & Me established Moore as a documentarian. The film details Moore’s attempts to track down General Motors chairman Roger Smith to ask about plant closings and the elimination of 30,000 jobs in his hometown of Flint, Michigan. The closings came at a time when GM was posting record profits.

Known for mixing a hard-hitting advocacy approach with a satiric sense of humor, Roger & Me is one of the most acclaimed documentaries in film history. It is among the very few films to have a 100% “fresh” critical rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Additionally, the movie was inducted into the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress and the National Film Preservation Board in 2013.

Also as part of its anniversary, the Toronto International Film Festival will host a special screening of Roger & Me, which premiered there 25 years ago and went on to win the fest’s top prize, the People’s Choice Award.

“I’m proud of the impact of Roger & Me over the years – both in terms of public awareness of the behavior of Corporate America, and in helping to ignite a now-thriving documentary movement,” Moore said in a statement. “I’m also honored that Warner Bros. is celebrating the film’s 25th anniversary with the same kind of unflinching support they gave me back in 1989.”

Moore added that he hopes the upcoming Blu-Ray release will cause people to “not only see their own struggles but also be inspired to do something about it.”

Warner Bros. Home Entertainment has re-mastered the film for Blu-Ray, thus ensuring that it looks pristine. It will include a brand-new audio commentary from Moore, in addition to the original theatrical trailer. The film will be made available on DVD and Digital HD on October 7, as well.

Roger & Me was a box office hit when it was released in December of 1989, grossing over $6.7 million at the box office – an exceptionally high figure for a documentary at the time. It also spawned a national conversation about corporations downsizing workers in order to maximize profits for shareholders.

Michael Moore went on to direct a string of popular, controversial documentaries, including Sicko, which took on American health care companies, the Oscar-winning Bowling for Columbine, which looked at the issue of gun control, and Fahrenheit 9/11, which criticized the administration of President George W. Bush following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11. Fahrenheit 9/11 remains the highest-grossing documentary of all time.

Have you seen Roger & Me? Do you plan on buying the Blu-Ray? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Mike McGranaghan is the film critic for The Aisle Seat. His film writing can also be found at Film Racket and Daily Grindhouse, and his reviews are heard weekly on the radio stations of Sunbury Broadcasting Corporation. He is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association and the Online Film Critics Society, as well as the author of two books, "Straight-Up Blatant" and "My Year of Chevy."