Distributor:  Icarus Films
Length:  90 minutes
Date:  1982
Genre:  Expository
Language:  English
Grade level: 10-12, College, Adult
Color/BW:  Color
Closed captioning available
Interactive transcript available
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Family Business

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An American entrepreneur struggles to make his pizza business succeed.

Family Business

Howie Snyder is an archetype: a retired Marine colonel in his mid 40s, he is an American entrepreneur struggling to make his business succeed.

Howie's Shakey's Pizza franchise in Muncie, Indiana employs his whole family: wife, nine children, and Howie himself. He's the representative of the American Dream: the chance to invest long hours and hard work in exchange for financial security for oneself and family. To watch Howie Snyder as he dickers for better treatment by the Shakey's chain, as he seeks additional financing to stave off looming bankruptcy, and as he sits morosely counting an evening's disappointing receipts is to watch America at work. And to see Howie's family rally around him in the hour of his greatest need is a heartwarming experience.

FAMILY BUSINESS will appeal to business groups as well as small business owners. Franchising organizations will find it valuable as a case study. Schools will find it appealing as a study of a family in challenge. And everyone will find the drama of daily life compelling.

Part of the acclaimed Middletown series.

'Marvelous... as close to a genuine slice of life as televisioncan muster.'-Los Angeles Times

'Remarkably intimate... There are scenes that will stick with you for life.'-Chicago Tribune


Main credits

Davis, Peter (film producer)
Cohen, Tom (film director)
Cohen, Tom (film producer)

Other credits

Photographer, Tom Hurwitz; film editor, Bob Brady.

Distributor credits

Peter Davis

Peter Davis
Tom Cohen

Docuseek2 subjects

American Studies
Economic Anthropology
Family Issues
The Industrial Heartland

Distributor subjects

American Studies
Economic Sociology
Family Relations
North America


Muncie; Shakey's Pizza; pizza; Middletown; Muncie; Indiana; social significance of work in a small family-run business; management; restaurant; video; documentary; film; video; DVD; "Family Business"; Icarus Films

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