Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) Poster


Co-star Jack Lemmon said the cast was the greatest acting ensemble he had ever been part of. This is also both director James Foley's and Alec Baldwin's favorite film of their own.
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During the production, the actors referred to this film as "Death of a Fuckin' Salesman".
Ever since its release, the film has been used to train real life salesmen how to sell and how not to sell.
During filming, members of the cast who weren't required to be on the set certain days would show up anyway to watch the other actors' performances.
After Al Pacino saw Kevin Spacey perform onstage on Broadway in "Lost in Yonkers", he brought director James Foley along to see the actor for himself. This led to Spacey landing his role in the film.
The single largest cost on the movie was for the rain effects throughout the first half of the film.
The film had three weeks of rehearsals and was shot over 39 days. Most scenes were shot in single takes and then cut up in editing to try to replicate the theatrical flow and cadence of the dialogue. The film was also shot almost entirely in sequence.
David Mamet's screenplay considerably expanded his script for the play, providing more context for the pressure placed on the salesmen. Notably, Alec Baldwin's introductory speech was added as well as Jack Lemmon's phone calls to clients and the hospital, plus his sales call to the man with the fishing rod. Many consider the screenplay to be superior to the text for his Pultizer-winning stage play.
None of the major roles in the film were auditioned - the actors playing the parts were all offered their roles, although Jack Lemmon has said he would have been glad to audition for such a good role.
When approached about the movie, David Mamet asked for $500,000 for the movie rights and another $500,000 to write the screenplay, which Zupnik agreed to pay, planning to cut a deal with a cable company to bankroll the movie. However, because of the uncompromising subject matter and abrasive language, no major company was interested in financing the project. Ultimately, financing came from multiple small cable and video companies, a German television station, an Australian movie theater chain, several banks, and New Line Cinema.
David Mamet based his original play on his own time working in a real estate office in the 1970s when he was a struggling playwright. His job was the same as that of John Williamson (Kevin Spacey), the office manager who gave out the sales leads and handled the paperwork.
Alec Baldwin based the tone and delivery of his famous monologue on George C. Scott's "Wars are won..." speech from Patton (1970).
Alan Arkin turned down the film twice because he didn't like the character he was being offered; he thought Aaronow was an inherently unlikable and stupid character. However, upon reconsideration, Arkin created a backstory for Aaronow - he hadn't been a sales man very long, he was a teacher by trade, but the school in which he worked had got shut down, and he needed a job to support his family. Arkin says that he played Aaronow as an innocent rather that the usual stage depiction of him as a weak willed bumbler.
James Foley, Jack Lemmon and Alec Baldwin got together in 1991 to do several informal read-throughs. The producers of the film contacted the Creative Artists Agency and asked for some help with actors to do readings. CAA showed little interest, but two of their clients; Ed Harris and Kevin Spacey attended the read-through, and ultimately joined the cast. Al Pacino joined the cast soon thereafter, and subsequently Robert De Niro, Bruce Willis, Joe Mantegna and Richard Gere all made inquiries into the film.
The word "fuck" and its derivatives are uttered 138 times.
Only a single female character (Coat Check Girl) appears throughout the entire movie.
Alec Baldwin, was initially hired to play Blake (a role which wasn't in the original play), but with the agreement that if Al Pacino was unable to play Roma, Baldwin would play him. Early in preproduction it looked as if Pacino was going to be unavailable, so Baldwin began working on Roma, only for Pacino to join the project and Baldwin went back to Blake.
Alec Baldwin appeared in a Saturday Night Live skit as a similar character but as an elf in Santa's workshop. He flubbed the line "Always Be Cobbling" as "Always Be Closing"
James Foley initially turned down the opportunity to direct the film, saying he didn't see how it could be anything but filmed theatre.
In the scene when Roma sits down at his desk to begin lying to James Lingk with Levine's help, he quickly takes his gum out of his mouth and tries to mash it under his desk. Al Pacino does this so quickly that the gum jumps from under the desk, across Pacino's/Roma's lap. In an example of great professionalism, Pacino keeps going with only a minor hesitation.
The title refers to Glengarry Highlands and Glen Ross Farms, two properties mentioned in the movie.
As of 2008, the cast includes four actors (Alan Arkin, Jack Lemmon, Kevin Spacey and Al Pacino) who have won Academy Awards and two others (Alec Baldwin and Ed Harris) who have been nominated for Academy Awards.
Al Pacino had originally wanted to appear in the play on Broadway, but was doing another Mamet production, "American Buffalo", in London at the time.
The word "lead" or "leads" occurs 83 times in the script.
David Mamet's original play opened at the National Theatre of London in 1983 and then moved to Chicago before going on to Broadway, opening at the John Golden Theater in New York on 25 March, 1984 and running for 378 performances. The play won the 1984 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and was nominated for the 1984 Tony for Best Play, losing the latter award to Tom Stoppard's "The Real Thing."
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Jack Lemmon's portrayal of the character Shelley Levene is said to have influenced the voice and appearance of The Simpsons character Gil Gunderson more commonly known as "Old Gil."
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A few little known facts about the filming location, at 1515 Sheepshead Bay Road NY, the building is owned by Premiere Properties (an existing, real estate company based in New York), who had its main office on the second story there, but had been moved to another location in 1991. Its vacant main office was then used for filming in 1992 without removing the lettering on the building and on the office door as an agreement to lower the rent of that office for filming purposes, in exchange for visibility of the company name. Also, the China Bowl Restaurant (which really existed back in 1992), on the opposite side of the street, is now a Chinese food store.
The word "shit" and its derivatives are uttered 50 times.
Originally, director Irvin Kershner wanted to turn the play into a film in 1985, and he persuaded his friend, producer Jerry Tokofsky, to read it. Tokofsky loved it, and contacted his associate Stanley R. Zupnik with a view to making a movie of the play with Kershner directing and Tokofsky and Zupnik producing. Kershner ultimately left the project in 1989 after becoming disillusioned with the lack of progress, but Tokofsky and Zupnik remained on-board.
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The movie gained a newfound popularity in the punk community when Fat Mike of the band NOFX included the famous "the leads are weak" line at the beginning of the song "We Called it America", first track of the 2009 album "Coaster".
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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During the course of the movie, George Aaronow (Alan Arkin) and Dave Moss (Ed Harris) talk about selling the Glengarry leads to a man named "Jerry Graff". Jerry Graff is an actor who has starred in only four movies, all of which have been written and directed by David Mamet (Things Change (1988), Homicide (1991), The Spanish Prisoner (1997) and State and Main (2000)).
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During the production, producers Jerry Tokofsky and Stanley R. Zupnik had a falling out over money and credit for the film. Tokofsky sued to strip Zupnik of his producer's credit and share of the producer's fee, but Zupnik filed a countersuit, claiming that he personally had put up $2 million of the film's budget, and accused Tokofsky of embezzlement. The cases were ultimately settled out of court with both men credited as producers.
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Tom Berenger talked to director James Foley about the possibility of playing the role of David Moss, but Foley wanted Ed Harris.
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Roma introduces Levene as 'D. Ray Morton' in their staged conversation in front of Lingk. There is a writer named D. Ray Morton.
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Second movie for co-stars Jack Lemmon and Kevin Spacey, after Dad (1989).
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The screenwriter David Mamet and Jude Ciccolella were both born on November 30, 1947.
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The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

When one of the main characters is in a position of power, they chew gum (ex. Ricky (Al Pacino) when he's mocking Moss's (Ed Harris) attitude, Levene (Jack Lemmon) when he's insulting Williamson (Kevin Spacey) after Ricky is taken to the office, and Williamson when he's revealing to Levene that the Nyborg deal is no good).
During rehearsals, director James Foley would have the actors act out scenes that would happen off-camera; for example, he had Jack Lemmon and Ed Harris act a scene where Moss recruits Levene to rob the office, and Al Pacino and Jonathan Pryce act out the scene where Roma gets Lingk to invest in the land.
Though Alec Baldwin was really brought on the project for a chance to appear in a movie with Al Pacino, they don't share scenes in the movie.
Although he's credited, Alec Baldwin only appears in one scene; where he's giving the speech where he breaks down A-B-C (which stands for Always Be Closing) and A-I-D-A (which stands for Attention, Interest, Decision, Action).

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