Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)

Glengarry Glen Ross (1992), directed by James Foley.

I did technical support for salesmen in two different jobs. They loved this film, even more than Tin Men (1987). Why?

The places I worked were not as sleazy as scam real estate and the behavior not that vicious, but it is a recognizable world. You haven't seen how business is done until you've been in Sales. At a general company meeting it's all pep talks and moronic Mission Statements, but when the Sales staff are alone it becomes "make your numbers this quarter or you're fired." And they were, en masse. (The salesmen, that is. Tech staff like me were retained, absent gross incompetence).

The cruelest moment: when Jack Lemmon's big sale falls through because of the "Nyborgs", long known to be insane. Why were they even still leads? Kevin Spacey: "Because I don't like you".


I meant to include an aside on the good aspects of the sales life. At their best the salesmen are advocates for the customer and they seem constantly at war with their own employers, just to get the client what he needs.

I have also seen business organizations so confused and disorganized that they are kept running by outsiders, including salesmen who are doing the customer's work just to keep the doors open so they have someone to sell to.

This can generate considerable customer-salesman loyalty, and if the salesman leaves for a new job, the client will switch to the new vendor just to stick with him.

Stellar cast, all working for less than normal just to be in the film. Screenplay by David Mamet, adapted from his play. Legendary dialogue. Alec Baldwin's part was added for the film.

Set in Chicago but filmed in New York. James Newton Howard score, sounding like Mark Isham in spots.

My thumbnails are from an all-region Italian Blu-ray. No subtitles, although subtitles from the North American DVD sync up perfectly. Good detail and color, maybe scrubbed of grain?

The DVD also has a commentary track by the director. Many long silent stretches and when speaking he tends to gush. Some good info: