Excellent acting & writing showcase
That we see Kevin Spacey, Alec Baldwin, & Jonathan Pryce in supporting rolls gives you an idea of the acting chops on display here: Jack Lemmon, Al Pacino, Ed Harris, & Alan Arkin carry this finely detailed character study of four salesmen under brutal pressure to sell junky real estate plots to barely interested "customers".
Bottom line: Exquisite, hard-edged dialog fantastically acted by an all-star cast.
GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS is based on David Mamet's 1984 Pulitzer Prize-winning play of the same name, so it's very talky. This is conversation written for mens' taste: lots of swearing & cynicism about competition & life; a harsh, bleak look at American workingmen that is surprisingly not gloomy or depressing to watch. If you like characterization & great (unsentimental) dialog you'll love this film, which carries elements of film noir in its moody lighting, moral failures, and dark themes.
Basically we follow the salesmen over one night of selling & grumbling about their fate. Returning to the office the next morning, they find a mystery awaits them - and ratchets up the tension to the climax that shifts your perspectives on what you've seen.
We begin with the group being told they have to make a sale of worthless plots in scam developments or lose their jobs. Alec Baldwin chews the scenery in his only scene, specially written for the film version, playing a hilariously toxic ramrod sent by "downtown" to spit blistering contempt at them for being "losers".
"My watch cost more than your car" he sneers at Ed Harris' character, a bitter salesman who vacillates between aggression & cowardice. Jack Lemmon's tired, glad-handing hack glares through a storm of four-letter insults with hate that must be seen to be believed. This scene has become a tough-guy classic: "first prize is a Cadillac. Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is - you're FIRED."
From there the salesmen try to sell worthless land to stale "leads" (a lead is the name & phone number of someone who has expressed interest in buying some real estate). Three of the four have been on a losing streak, so their employers have stopped "wasting" good leads on them; they are in a make or break struggle only allowed to work uninterested buyers. Al Pacino plays the lone success, spending the night selling a "good" lead with a philosophical line of nihilistic nonsense. Jonathan Pryce plays the meek client dazzled by his charismatic salesman's arrogant bravado.
Mamet worked briefly in a real estate office and has a scalding view of the sales industry & the corporate America in general. Here is a brutal jungle of people competing to step on each other. This isn't gloomy as you would think; the characterization draws you in & you begin analyzing & comparing the different personalities as who they are begins to determine where things go.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Get it if you like great acting and memorable dialogue
I decided to buy this movie because I couldn't find it at my local rental place. I had seen it once before, many years ago. This isn't the type of movie that I would normally be into, a drama about a bunch of real estate salesmen, but the cast and the writing are so excellent that it is one of my favorite films. Jack Lemmon's performance is outstanding as a once-great salesman who is past his prime and struggling to keep his job. Ed Harris, Alan Arkin, and Kevin Spacey are all perfect in their roles as well. And Al Pacino is at the top of his game in this one, delivering some fantastic memorable lines of dialogue as only he could. But it is Alec Baldwin's short appearance as a hard-edged salesman with "brass balls" who is called in to whip the sales crew into shape which is the most memorable scene in the film. Baldwin steals the show in the greatest performance of his career.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
A play that works as a movie
The cast of this movie is spectacular-many, like Jack Lemon, did the play on Broadway and are part of the movie cast. Alec Baldwin plays a role written for him by Mamet-for which he embraces his inner a-hole. Just as Gordon Gecko becomes the bizarre hero of Wall Street, Baldwin's character (who is never really identified) is quoted by the budding wall street wanna be sociopaths in the movie "Boiler Room." Pacino's zen sales pitches are cryptic and hypnotic, Kevin Spacy's unloveable office manager is pitch perfect. If Death of a Salesman captured one generation GlenGary GlenRoss captures the next.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Coffee Is For Closers!
This is a classic sales movie about salespeople and for salespeople. If I wasn't in sales, this would be a little boring as I wouldn't be able to relate to the dialogue. Even if you aren't involved in the sales realm, though, you may still find the story to be intriguing. There is a great cast including: Alec Baldwin, Kevin Spacey, Al Pacino, Ed Harris and Jack Lemmon. You love to hate most of the characters and even pity them at times. If you're curious about what its like to live a day in the life of a commissioned employee, then this will provide some insight. It can be very cutthroat, deceptive, manipulative, tense and most-of-all stressful. This cast portrays all of these emotions beautifully. I'll watch this until it wears out.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Glengary glenross dvd
Great movie. High quality Dvd. Excellent character study.An example of real life struggle to survive in the field of sales with little or no support. Top name actors all give excellent performances. Alec Baldwin is stellar in his 5 minute cameo. Pacino ? Hey do I even have to say anything ? Pacino is a master. Alan Arkin ? Great. Jacl Lemmon absolutely kills in his role. Kevein Spacey Phenominal. The guy who plays "Moss" can't recall his name but a great great job as well.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.