The real story behind the world of sales. This is a realistic portrayal of what it is to try making a life in high pressure sales with all its highs and lows; promises of fortunes and deliveries of dross. Red-leads and dead-leads are to blame for life's outcomes. Living with "Objection, Rebuttal, Close" and fake automobiles from the mobbed-up corporate owners. Written by
This film is perfect. I give out 10s about as often as Stanley Kubrick made films, and Glengarry Glen Ross is one of them.
There is so much more in this film than just a bunch of guys in a real estate office. I'm puzzled, as an aside, why the language is considered such a big deal. There is less of it in GGR than in the average DeNiro film I watch. Maybe it's because the film is composed of almost nothing but dialogue.
Back to the content. GGR contains at least two, maybe three of my favorite performances by anyone. Baldwin, who I really don't like, is perfect. Lemmon is excruciatingly good, and Pacino actually makes me forget who I'm watching. He really sinks into his character. Pryce also gives a commendable performance.
For those who didn't get this film, who think it's just dark and pointless, here's the point. The title is Glengarry Glen Ross. If you listen to the conversations you will notice that the Glengarry leads are the new leads, the ones given to closers, the leads given to those who go out and squeeze as much money out of people as they can so they don't lose their jobs.
Glen Ross farms are talked about in a brilliantly written conversation between Ed Harris and Alan Arkin, the one when Harris orders donuts and Arkin keeps repeating back to him what he said. "..Boots, yes." In that conversation, Harris talks about what he learned when he first got into the sales racket. You don't sell one car to a guy, you sell him 5 cars over fifteen years. But, he says, those guys who come in and burn everyone for as much money as they can get and then go to Argentina ruined a good thing. The drive to win the Cadillac had ruined the ideal of maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship between customer and salesman. Sharks like Baldwin came in, made their millions, and left a wasteland for the "losers" to work in.
The film is about how business in America is war, and about how the drive for capital has ultimately dehumanized us. The strongest contrast is between Baldwin and Lemmon. Baldwin is a machine. Everything in his life, his very identity, is defined by the fact that his watch cost more than a "loser's" car. "Family man? Go home and play with your kids." "A loser is always a loser." His name is that he drives a BMW.
With Lemmon, pay attention to the brief references to his daughter. The man is desperate to make money, not only to keep his job, but to pay for his daughter's medical treatment. A very human thing.
Eventually, these men prey not only on customers, but on each other. It's vicious. If you don't understand why, all you'll see is the viciousness, and you probably won't enjoy the film.
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