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David Mamet is a man very famous for his films and stage plays, which notably have an array of witty dialogue, and more famously, are filled with more profanity than a few episodes of the Sopranos! Glengarry Glen Ross is an adaptation of Mamet's own prize winning stage play of the same name, and is a stunning film that stands on its own as one of the few films that is a triumph in direction, writing and performances - this is one of the best films of all time, and deserved so much more Oscar glory than it got.
The film revolves around a number of estate agents who are struggling to meet the targets set by their bosses. Alec Baldwin shows up in a fantastic cameo as he berates the ageing agents, insisting that they make the grade or "hit the bricks". He says that whoever wins a contest of making the most sales will win a Cadillac, whoever finishes second gets some steak knives, and everyone else loses their jobs.
From here we meet the estate agents themselves and see what's in their heads. Ricky Roma (Al Pacino) is a slick philosopher who likes to simply experience things, and his casual charm pays off, as he is one of the more successful salesmen with his persuasiveness and cheeky smile. Shelley "The Machine" Levene (Jack Lemon, in his best late performance) plays an ageing man whose talents are not what they used to be, and with his daughter ill needing treatment, he desperately needs money for her treatment. Kevin Spacey also makes an early appearance as a pesky and uptight office supervisor, whilst Ed Harris and Alan Arkin play two men planning to steal the new "Glengarry" leads and make a mint.
A superbly written, expertly acted film that intrigues throughout whilst remaining devilishly funny, Glengarry Glen Ross is a clever and extremely pessimistic and cynical film about the nature of man and our natural greed. This is worth watching if only for the tour de force of performances and writing.
This film is all about the speeches. A top notch cast who give an oustanding performance. I only had the chance to see this film last week even though it has been out for around fifteen years, but it has been worth the wait.
The great cast consists of Al Pacino, Ed Harris, Alec Baldwin, Kevin Spacey, Jack Lemmon, Alan Arkin, Jonathon Pryce. I doubt if many people can think of a better cast for a film then this. The standout performances come from Al Pacino(of course a legendary actor) and a bit more suprisingly Alec Baldwin who gives a great pep talk. Easily the best performance of his career and I am guessing the other acts must have pushed him to another level.
The plot consists of a bunch of men who work in a real estate agents and have to close deals. Some of them are good at closing and others are not. As mentioned above the best scene is where Alec Baldwin gives a pep talk to the others which is mindblowing. He yells "you see this watch, it costs more than your car". He just beats them to the ground in order to get a strategy. It takes place just in an office and a chinese restaurant.
Apparantly this film only close twelve million dollars to make and I am guessing that half of those went to the wages, which six million for an all star cast like that is peanutes. Overall the film did not make much profit and barely broke even, but it was never meant to. Just a great display of acting from Pacino and co. However it is not a film for everyone and you need to have a taste for drama or even appreciate great acting to really enjoy this film.
Being in sales myself, i'd heard about this film for quite some time, especially the A.B.C ( always be closing ) line, I finally got the chance to sit down and watch it to see what all the fuss is about.
The film is set over 2 days in the life of a Real Estate office, at the beginning we see Alec Baldwin's character sent to the office to give a speech from the corporate office saying that in a week the bottom two salesmen will be fired. This sets in motion a series of events that culminate in the office being robbed and the important "glengarry" leads being stolen.
The main cast of characters are so well acted by the ensemble cast as expected. Jack Lemmon is excellent as the once great but now down on his luck Shelley Levene who is lagging behind the rest of the salespeople and in desperate need for money as his daughter is sick, we also see the always excellent Kevin Spacey as out of his depth Office Manager John Williamson, Moss and Aaronow ( Alan Arkin and Ed Harris ) respectively make up the middle of the road salespeople in the store who are constantly bitching about being given poor leads and hatch a plan to improve things for themselves, finally we have Ricky Roma ( Al Pacino ) who is the offices top closer and spends the first part of the movie in a bar with a meek man subtly trying to close him on a real estate deal by praying on his insecurities.
The film comes across as just one big play on screen, which is perfect as it is a faithful reproduction of the original play.
Excellently acted and well put together with a seamless story with some good twists and turns to keep you hooked.
If you're looking for a full on addrenaline packed action movie then move along, you won't find many elaborate sets here, just solid acting and a solid story and a very intelligent movie..
Glengarry Glen Ross is a drama written by David Mamet and adapted for the screen from his prize winning stage play of the same name. The film is directed by James Foley. It features Mamet's trademark dialogue which is heavy in terse repetition of a stylized version of everyday vernacular. For example, the characters make reference to "leads" on eighty-six occasions, and I defy you to find another script of which this is true.
The plot concerns the real estate agents at a struggling land development company. The acting is outstanding, as you would expect from such an unusually strong ensemble cast. Alec Baldwin steals his cameo scene as the regional manager who sets events in motion with a bullying evisceration of the spirits of his sales force. They are to have a competition. Whoever closes the most deals and sells the most property will win a Cadillac. Whoever finishes second will win a set of steak knives. Everybody else will be fired.
Al Pacino is the slick and aloof Ricky Roma who is permanently ahead of the curve. Jack Lemmon is the ageing Shelley "The Machine" Levene whose verbal gifts are failing him as his world starts to collapse. Kevin Spacey is the local office manager. There are supporting roles for Ed Harris, Alan Arkin and Jonathan Pryce.
The salesmen are depicted as nothing more than confidence tricksters who are themselves being hustled by the likes of Baldwin, and will stab each other in the back to get ahead. There are some very nice reversals as the story unfolds. Soon there is a break-in at the office, and the customer leads are all stolen. The police arrive to investigate...
David Mamet wrote the play version of glengarry glen ross in 1984,and he turned it into a screen play in 1992.The play won him the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1984 and got great reviews all over the world.Mamet himself used to work in a real estate office,and of course this experience was very helpful for the writing of this play,since its main set is a real estate office and its characters are corrupt salesmen caught up in the rituals of their business. GGR is a "male" film.All the characters are men and its concern is male pressure.The film has quite a lot of differences from the play.Its structure is not theatrical anymore,its more a cinematic structure.Mamet adapted his play,making some significant changes in the plot,the most important of which is,of course,the addition of another character,who is not even mentioned in the play.That character is Blake,and he is played in the film by Alec Baldwin,in (in my opinion) his best performance ever. The cast includes big names like Al Pacino(as Roma),Jack Lemmon (as Levene),Ed Harris(Moss) and Kevin Spacey(Williamson).All of them are great and make the film a unique cinematic experience.
Glengarry Glen Ross was originally a stage play written by David Mamet. He also wrote the screenplay for the film version and attracted a lot of great acting talent. The material and cast is what makes this film one of the best and most under-rated of the nineties. The film is about a group of property salesman who hassle, lie and force their way into making that all important sale and making their commision that they need to live off. It's a ruthless world and the men in this office aren't doing too well. One rainy night they recieve a visit from the powers above in the shape of Alec Baldwin who has one of the best scenes in the movie where he puts down the likes of Ed Harris with conviction and malice. he delivers a sales target. 1st prize-a cadillac, 2nd prize-set of steak knives, 3rd prize-pick up your cards and go. There is no room for losers in the world of property sales. Baldwin leaves them with a bundle of excellent leads that are locked up only to be stolen the next day. And it goes on, the story unravels and we see the lengths these guys go to make that deal. Ed Harris, Alan Arkin, Jack Lemmon, Al Pacino, Kevin Spacey. These are just some of the names in this film, primarily its all about Lemmons charcater and he shows why he is one of the most respected actors out there. Pacino also is very electric as always. It's a gripping film with humour and a ruthless streak running through it. It demands your attention more than once. So what about the dvd ? Well that's another story. This is a budget title in the UK and as a result is a poor effort. The film is presented in 4:3 (Pan & Scan) and the transfer is very dull and lifeless. It just doesn't sparkle and looks like a VHS copy. Sound wise it's a basic Dolby Surround mix that is mainly limited to left and right channels. Although i have to say this film is dialougue driven so a full on Dolby Digital remix wouldn
39;t really make things better. Extras wise there is nothing what so ever unless you count scene selection as an extra. We don't even get a trailer. I would have loved to have seen some sort of info on how the cas was pulled together. Still this dvd can be yours for under a tenner so you're getting a great film for little over the price of a VHS copy. As far as i'm aware this isn't available in the USA so it's the best you can buy-for now. I'm giving it 3 stars as a reflection on the dvd and not the film as it's a 5 star in it's own right.
I studied this for A-level English, but I'm going to keep this review short and sweet and not write you an essay - I've had enough of them. Basically, David Mamet's play is a superb journey into the heart of a group of ruthless (and some not so) salesmen. We get into the characters of these 6 main men who work in the cutthroat business of the property market, and we soon learn how competitive it really is... Basically, the film consists of one of the greatest casts ever, all male: Pacino, Spacey, Lemmon, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin, Jonathan Pryce. Unbelievable! The film, although perhaps directed slightly boringly, is a must-see due to this fantastic ensemble cast. Unfortunately the DVD is very poor, poor transfer and extraless, even no menus. It only is just better than VHS, so is just about worth its bargain price. Now if only they brought out the laserdisc comentary on DVD...
In this astonishing piece of ensemble acting, it is David Mamet's acid etched dialogue that wins the show. To have the likes of Al Pacino, Kevin Spacey, Alan Arkin, Jack Lemmon, Ed Harris and Alec Baldwin to spout thsi dialogue is any casting dierector's wet dream. GlenGarry Glenross takes place in the claustrophobic confines of a salesmen's office and the nearby bar. It is tense, terse and emotionally draining. It is a film that was vastly underrated and achieved not too great a commercial success but it lends itself brilliantly for a quiet night's viewing from your VCR ( or DVD to those lucky punks who possess it). Devised as a stage play, the film does not stray form the original materila and may come across as too 'stagey'. But the caliber of the actors inhabiting these roles elevates the drama to a much higher plane. There are losers in this bunch of salesmen and then there are ones with apparent success. When offered a Cadillac for first for the one who closes the deal ( and the sack for the third!) these salesmen gamble, connive, cheat, whimper, cry. laugh, snivel and snarl through the script. David Mamet once again proves what a great script writer he is.
Like moths to a flame, great actors gravitate to the singular genius of playwright-screenwriter David Mamet, who updated his Pulitzer Prize-winning play for this all-star screen adaptation. The material is not inherently cinematic, so the Glengarry Glen Ross's greatest asset is Mamet's peerless dialogue and the assembly of the once-in-a-lifetime cast led by Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, and Alec Baldwin (the last in a role Mamet created especially for the film). Often regarded as a critique of the Reagan administration's impact on the American economy, the play and film focus on a competitive group of real estate salesmen who've gone from feast to famine in a market gone cold. When an executive "motivator" (Alec Baldwin) demands a sales contest among the agents in the cramped office, the stakes are critically high: any agent who fails to meet his quota of sales "leads" (ie, potential buyers) will lose their job. This intense ultimatum is a boon for the office superstar (Pacino), but a once-successful salesman (Lemmon) now finds himself clinging nervously to faded glory. Political and personal rivalries erupt under pressure when the other agents (Alan Arkin, Ed Harris) suspect the office manager (Kevin Spacey) of foul play. This cauldron of anxiety, tension and sheer desperation provides fertile soil for Mamet's scathingly rich dialogue, which is like rocket fuel for some of the greatest actors of our time. Pacino won an Oscar nomination for his volatile performance, but it's Lemmon who's the standout, doing some of the best work of his distinguished career. Director James Foley shapes Mamet's play into a stylish, intensely focused film that will stand for decades as a testament to its brilliant writer and cast. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com