8. Roger & Me (1989)
And how would Sir like to pay?
Before he created TV Nation, Michael Moore focused his efforts on bringing General Motors CEO Roger Smith to Flint, Michigan, to show him the effect of plant closures on the director’s hometown.
Moore was on $98-a-week benefits when he shot the movie, so how did he fund it? With $35,000 from Channel 4 and his weekly winnings from Flint’s bingo halls.
The reward for Moore’s ambition was a distribution deal with Warner Bros that made Roger & Me the highest-ever grossing non-fiction film and Moore so famous, he appeared as an answer on Jeopardy.
Money well spent?
The emergence of the amiable Moore, the rebirth of documentary and – that rarest of things – genuinely amusing satire.
We’d have been happy to stump up the cash ourselves.