When I first saw Glengarry Glen Ross, it totally blew me away. This captivating thriller with an ensemble cast caught me completely off guard. At that time, I was into zombies and zany comedies, so dramas like this one were simply out of my sight. I don’t know what possessed me to check out this story about real estate agents, but I did it and ever since then I’ve been bugging people to check out this movie. At first, I praised the fantastic script and unbelievably good performances, but as time passed I slowly realized why I liked it so much. It deconstructed capitalism and subsequently the entire American Dream with dignity and class, showing what’s really going on with this system.
Written by David Mamet, this play won the Pulitzer Prize in 1984 and after all these years it is still relevant. The movie came out eight years later and was just as good as the play was. Glengarry Glen Ross used the salesman as a focal lens to highlight issues that have plagued our society for many decades, with government and citizens taking no responsibility or reasonable action to deal with them. Reading all this, I don’t want you to think that this is some boring-ass drama about some salesman and capitalism. This is an intense and very entertaining (in a strange way) thriller. If you’ve got characters written as well as these ones were, you got everything, from empathy to hate.
Premiere Properties is one of many companies that sell real estate. They are successful, but one of their teams is not making the money. Comprised of experienced salesmen who were once on top of their game, they must do something to turn the tide. Fucking leads! Leads are names and phone numbers of potential customers and they are worth a fortune. We follow two days of their frenzied attempts to remain profitable. And human…
There are so many iconic scenes in this movie that I must leave them to you to revel in them. This will be especially interesting after a second or third viewing because then you will start to notice those little things that make the difference. Of course, we all remember Alec Baldwin’s speech but scenes with Jack Lemmon on the phone are also very striking. That fucking speech. Each time I see it, I can’t stop thinking about how good the writing is. How Mamet nailed the character of that douchy corporate slavedriver and the rest of the employees. Just pure fucking gold.
Characters feel extremely real and they are not these cardboard cut-outs that are just there to advance the story. They are real people with hopes, dreams, and a whole lot of problems. To watch their system of values clash and crash is truly a delight. And the vocabulary is also perfectly realistic with a lot of swearing, as a salesmen are venting their frustrations. Each shit or fuck comes with this strange feeling of release. So, I think you should wait no more and check this awesome movie. And remember always be closing!
Director: James Foley
Writer: David Mamet
Cast: Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin, Alan Arkin, Ed Harris, Kevin Spacey, Jonathan Pryce
Fun Facts: Co-star Jack Lemmon said the cast was the greatest acting ensemble he had ever been part of. This is also both director James Foley’s and Alec Baldwin’s favorite film of their own.