7.9/10
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40 user 39 critic

Salesman (1968)

G | | Documentary, Drama | 1968 (USA)
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Four relentless door-to-door salesmen deal with constant rejection, homesickness and inevitable burnout as they go across the country selling very expensive bibles to low-income Catholic families.
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Cast

Credited cast:
Paul Brennan ...
Himself - 'The Badger'
Charles McDevitt ...
Himself - 'The Gipper'
James Baker ...
Himself - 'The Rabbit'
Raymond Martos ...
Himself - 'The Bull'
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Melbourne I. Feltman
Margaret McCarron
Kennie Turner
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Storyline

Filmmakers (and brothers) Albert and David Maysles follow four employees of a company that makes expensive, ornate, illustrated bibles as they attempt to sell the items door-to-door to less-than-interested customers, who are mainly poor or lower-middle-class Catholics with little money to spend on pretty Bibles. Written by Gary Dickerson <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary | Drama

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

Release Date:

1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Caixeiro-Viajante  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$105,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente)

Sound Mix:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film was selected to the National Film Registry, Library of Congress, in 1992. See more »

Connections

Featured in Camera Three: The Maysles Brothers (1969) See more »

Soundtracks

Yesterday
(uncredited)
Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
Performed by Percy Faith
[Plays on stereo in customer's home]
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User Reviews

 
"Death of a salesman" without death but with real life.
7 February 2002 | by (Stockholm, Sweden) – See all my reviews

A tragic summary of a job that demands a very cynic and indoctrinated person. Brilliant fun at times, but what you, as a viewer, are laughing at, are indeed real people, with real emotions.

The "direct cinema" style of the film is very convincing, though not without leaving doubts about real truth in documentaries. The problem with the "missing body" is not there, but problems about representing people and reality still creeps up on you during the film. However, there is little evidence in the film that the filmmakers are interrupting anything, none of the people in the film ever react to the camera.

Certainly a worthwhile documentary film for those interested in the subject per se. Interesting also to notice that all the classic sales-tricks are in place as early as 1969.


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