7.9/10
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40 user 43 critic

Salesman (1969)

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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>

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Genres:

Documentary | Drama

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Maysles Films

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Language:

Release Date:

17 April 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Caixeiro-Viajante  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$105,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

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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

References Casablanca (1942) 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

 
Moving Tribute to Door to Door Salesmen from the Past
2 June 2006 | by See all my reviews

This interesting documentary is like a time capsule. Bringing to life the late 1960's, in a sometimes unsettling manner. It tells the story of a group of door to door Irish/American salesmen, selling Bibles in Boston and Florida. It is fascinating to watch the actual sales pitch, the manners and way we were at that time. (Smoking was certainly the order of the day) The growing desperation of one of the older salesmen as his sales figures slump, is quite as moving as in the play "Death of a Salesman". Anyone who has ever been involved is selling direct to the public should make this compulsive viewing. The documentary technique is also exceptional. There is not a word of commentary, introduction, or the usual "talking head" interviews that slow so many of todays TV documentaries. The characters themselves, and clever editing clearly tell the story and create the a raw drama. Camera work is remarkable for the time too, the subjects never seem to be aware of the filming process, unlike much Reality TV. This is a true American Tragedy, reflecting the loneliness of old time salesmen, and indeed that of many people with whom they deal. It is a credit to the Maysles.


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