It's a hot summer day in 1933 in South Philly, where 12-year old Gennaro lives with his widowed mom and his ailing grandpa, who sits outside holding tight to his last quarter, which he's ... See full summary »
Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio,
Times are tough in a Chicago real-estate office; the salesmen (Shelley Levene, Ricky Roma, Dave Moss, and George Aaronow) are given a strong incentive by Blake to succeed in a sales contest. The prizes? First prize is a Cadillac El Dorado, second prize is a set of steak knives, third prize is the sack! There is no room for losers in this dramatically masculine world; only "closers" will get the good sales leads. There is a lot of pressure to succeed, so a robbery is committed which has unforeseen consequences for all the characters. Written by
Patrick Dominick <email@example.com>
I love movies like this. Theatre-styled motion pictures driven by dialog versus action. Get a few guys together in a room, watch them talk -- I have a soft spot for this stuff. I have ever since I can remember. Some of my favorite films are character-driven ones: "The Hustler," "The Big Kahuna," "Midnight Run," "Planes, Trains & Automobiles." At first glance this list seems skeptical -- but basically all these films follow the same central theme: clever dialog, character interaction and evolution, and depth.
"Glengarry Glen Ross" is one of the best of the genre. Scripted by David Mamet, the dialog never hits and weak patches -- it is realistic, extremely fun to listen to, and the actors all deliver flawless performances.
Al Pacino finally finds the perfect role to let himself vent (as he started to do in "Scent of a Woman" the same year, and won an Oscar for -- he deserved it more for this). Pacino has some great one-liners and quips, but he never seems too broad to find believable.
Jack Lemmon is similarly impressive, in what he called one of his favorite films of his entire career. Lemmon abandoned his comedic roots for this drama and it paid off -- he's not only an excellent funnyman, but a great actor.
Kevin Spacey, Ed Harris, and Alec Baldwin fill out the rest of the cast and all do very well; especially Baldwin in a brief cameo. I've never had much consideration for Baldwin as an actor, but his five minutes' worth of screen time here reminded me that when he's good, he really IS good! Overall "Glengarry Glen Ross" is not only one of my favorite films of the genre but also a solid movie by any means. If you aren't bored by movies in which people talk instead of running around defusing bombs, you'll probably really get a kick out of this.
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