Directed by Tom Cohen • Documentary • 1982 • 90 minutes
Part of the acclaimed Middletown series.
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.
"Marvelous... as close to a genuine slice of life as television can muster."—Los Angeles Times
"Remarkably intimate... There are scenes that will stick with you for life."—Chicago Tribune