Glengarry Glen Ross (film): Wikis

  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For the play, see Glengarry Glen Ross
Glengarry Glen Ross

Theatrical poster
Directed by James Foley
Produced by Jerry Tokofsky
Stanley R. Zupnik
Written by David Mamet
Starring Jack Lemmon
Al Pacino
Ed Harris
Alan Arkin
Kevin Spacey
Alec Baldwin
Jonathan Pryce
Music by James Newton Howard
Cinematography Juan Ruiz Anchía
Editing by Howard E. Smith
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release date(s) October 2, 1992
Running time 100 min.
Country United States
Language English
Budget $12,500,000
Gross revenue $10,725,228

Glengarry Glen Ross is a 1992 independent dramedy film, adapted by David Mamet from his acclaimed 1984 Pulitzer Prize- and Tony-winning play of the same name. The film depicts two days in the lives of four real estate agents and how they become desperate when the corporate office sends a representative to "motivate" them by announcing that, in one week, all except the top two salesmen will be fired. The film, like the play, is notorious for its use of profanity, leading the cast to jokingly refer to the film as "Death of a Fuckin' Salesman".[1] The actual title of the film comes from the names of two of the real estate developments being peddled by the salesmen characters (Glengarry Highlands and Glen Ross Farms).

Glengarry Glen Ross had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival where Jack Lemmon won the Volpi Cup for Best Actor. The film was not a commercial success, only making $10.7 million in North America, just below its $12.5 million budget. It was critically well-received with highly positive reviews by most of the major critics. Al Pacino was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor for his work in the film.

Contents

Plot summary

The film depicts two days in the lives of four real estate agents, who are supplied with names and phone numbers of potential clients (leads) and regularly use underhanded and dishonest tactics to make sales. Many of the leads rationed out by the office manager are impoverished individuals lacking either the money or the desire to actually invest in land.

Blake (Alec Baldwin) is sent by Mitch and Murray (the faceless owners of the real estate office in which the main characters work) to motivate the agents. Blake unleashes a torrent of verbal abuse on the men and announces that only the top two sellers will be allowed access to the more promising Glengarry leads and the rest of them will be fired. Shelley Levene (Jack Lemmon), a salesman in a long running slump with a sick daughter, knows that he will lose his job soon if he cannot generate sales. He tries to convince office manager John Williamson (Kevin Spacey) to give him some of the Glengarry leads, but Williamson refuses. Levene tries first to charm Williamson, then to threaten him, and finally to bribe him. Williamson is willing to sell some of the prime leads, but demands cash in advance. Levene cannot come up with the cash and leaves without any good leads.

Dave Moss (Ed Harris) and George Aaronow (Alan Arkin) complain about Mitch and Murray, and Moss proposes that they strike back at the two by stealing all the Glengarry leads and selling them to a competing real estate agency. Moss's plan requires Aaronow to break into the office, stage a burglary and steal all of the prime leads. Aaronow wants no part of the plan, but Moss tries to coerce him, saying that Aaronow is already an accomplice simply because he knows about the proposed robbery. Ricky Roma (Al Pacino), the office's top "closer," delivers a long, disjointed but compelling monologue to a meek, middle-aged man named James Lingk (Jonathan Pryce). Roma does not broach the subject of a real estate deal until he has completely won Lingk over with his speech. Framing it as being an opportunity rather than a purchase, Roma plays upon Lingk's feelings of insecurity.

As the salesmen come into work the following day they find the office has been burglarized and the Glengarry leads have been stolen. Williamson and the police question each of the salesmen in private. After his interrogation, Moss leaves in disgust, only after having one explosive last shouting match with Roma. During the cycle of interrogations, Lingk arrives to tell Roma that his wife has told him to cancel the deal. Scrambling to salvage the deal, Roma tries to deceive Lingk by telling him that the check he wrote the night before has yet to be cashed, and that accordingly he has time to reason with his wife and reconsider.

Levene abets Roma by pretending to be a wealthy investor and friend of Roma's who just happens to be on his way to the airport. Williamson, unaware of Roma and Levene's stalling tactic, lies to Lingk, claiming that he already deposited his check in the bank. Upset, Lingk rushes out of the office, threatening to contact the State's Attorney, and Roma berates Williamson for what he has done. Roma then enters Williamson's office to take his turn being interrogated by the police.

Levene, proud of an unlikely sale he made that morning, takes the opportunity to mock Williamson in private. In his zeal to get back at Williamson, Levene carelessly reveals that he knows Williamson left Lingk's check on his desk and did not make the bank run the previous night – something only the man who broke into the office would know. Williamson catches Levene's slip-of-the-tongue quickly and compels Levene to admit that he broke into the office. Levene eventually breaks down and admits that he and Moss conspired to steal the leads to give to a competitor. Levene attempts to bribe Williamson with a large portion of all his future sales in exchange for keeping quiet about the robbery. Williamson scoffs at the suggestion and tells Levene that the buyers to whom he made his sale earlier that day, Bruce & Harriet Nyborg, are in fact impoverished and deluded and just enjoy talking to salesman. Levene, crushed by this revelation, asks Williamson why he seeks to ruin him. Williamson coldly responds "because I don't like you."

Levene makes a last ditch attempt at gaining sympathy from Williamson by mentioning his sick daughter. But Williamson cruelly rebuffs him and leaves to inform the detective about Levene's part in the burglary. Unaware of Levene's guilt, Roma walks out of the office for lunch and talks to Levene about forming a business partnership before the detective starts calling for Levene. The film ends as Levene walks, defeated, into Williamson's office where the police are waiting.

Cast and characters

  • Jack Lemmon as Shelley "The Machine" Levene: An old, once-successful and respected salesman who has recently fallen on hard times and has not been able to close a lucrative deal in a worryingly long while. He has a sick daughter in the hospital and desperately needs the commission from a big sale in order to continue paying her medical expenses. However, Shelley's frantic, garrulous wheedling of the office manager and prospective clients get him nowhere. His desperation eventually compels him to break into the office late at night and steal the premium sales leads. Lemmon said of his character, "Shelley's actions question where the morals and ethics are in America and how they have eroded in the quest for success."[2]
  • Al Pacino as Ricky Roma: The most successful salesman in the office who is predicted to win the monthly sales contest. Roma is cocky, charismatic and charming, but also ruthless, dishonest and amoral. His success is mainly due to his talent for figuring out a client's weaknesses and crafting a pitch that will exploit those weaknesses.
  • Ed Harris as Dave Moss: A loudmouth salesman with big dreams and ambitions, but little work ethic. Harris described his character as "the kind of guy who, when anything's wrong, it's not him. Blames everybody else."[2]
  • Kevin Spacey as John Williamson: The bland, petty, mealy-mouthed office manager. The salesmen resent and despise Williamson and spare no opportunity to ridicule and belittle him. But they know they need him because he is responsible for administering the sales leads. Williamson knows this too and uses his position as a passive-aggressive method of control. Spacey saw his character as "the catalyst for events, since people are either struggling for or against him."[2]
  • Alan Arkin as George Aaronow: An aging and nervous salesman with low self-esteem. He lacks the confidence and cunning necessary to be a successful salesman.
  • Jonathan Pryce as James Lingk: A timid, depressed, middle-aged man who becomes Roma's latest client. Because Lingk is lonely and unhappy in his marriage, he is easily manipulated and falls for Roma's sales pitch.
  • Alec Baldwin as Blake: A hot-shot sales strategist who is brought in by Mitch and Murray to "motivate" the discouraged salesmen. Haughty, vulgar, small-minded, bullying and abusive, he flaunts his wealth while crudely taunting and demeaning the others for their own lack of success. This character was created for the film specifically for Baldwin to play and did not appear in the stage version.

Production

David Mamet's play was first performed in 1983 at the National Theatre of London and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1984. That same year, the play made its American debut in Chicago before moving to Broadway. Producer Jerry Tokofsky read David Mamet’s play on a trip to New York City in 1985 at the suggestion of director Irvin Kershner who wanted to make it into a movie.[3] Tokofsky saw the play on Broadway and contacted Mamet. Stanley R. Zupnik was a Washington D.C.-based producer of B-movies that was looking for a more profitable project. Tokofsky had co-produced two previous Zupnik films. In 1986, he told Zupnik about Mamet’s play and he saw it on Broadway but found the plot confusing. Mamet wanted $500,000 for the movie rights and another $500,000 to write the screenplay. Zupnik agreed to pay Mamet’s $1 million asking price, figuring that they could cut a deal with a cable company to bankroll the movie. Because of the uncompromising subject matter and abrasive language, no major studio wanted to finance it, even with movie stars attached. Financing came from cable and video companies, a German television station, an Australian movie theater chain, several banks, and New Line Cinema over the course of four years.[3]

Al Pacino originally wanted to do the play on Broadway but was doing another Mamet production, American Buffalo, in London at the time. He expressed interest in appearing in the film adaptation. In 1989, Tokofsky asked Jack Lemmon to act in the movie.[2] During this time, Kershner dropped out to make another movie as did Pacino. Alec Baldwin, who also attached, left the project over a contract disagreement. James Foley’s agent sent the film director Mamet’s screenplay in early 1991 but he was hesitant to direct because he “wanted great actors, people with movie charisma, to give it watchability, especially since the locations were so restricted”.[4] Foley took the screenplay to Pacino with whom he had been trying to work on a film for years.[5] Foley was hired to direct only to leave the production as well. By March 1991, Tokofsky contacted Baldwin and begged him to reconsider doing the film. The producer remembers, “Alec said: ‘I’ve read 25 scripts and nothing is as good as this. O.K. If you make it, I’ll do it”.[3] The two men arranged an informal reading with Lemmon in Los Angeles. Subsequently, the three men organized readings with several other actors as Lemmon remembers, "Some of the best damn actors you're ever going to see came in and read and I'm talking about names".[5] Tokofsky’s lawyer, Jake Bloom, called a meeting at the Creative Artists Agency who represented many of the actors involved and asked for their help. CAA showed little interest, but two of their clients – Ed Harris and Kevin Spacey – soon joined the cast.

Because of the film’s modest budget, many of the actors took significant pay cuts. For example, Pacino cut his per-movie price from $6 million to $1.5 million, Lemmon was paid $1 million, Baldwin received $250,000, and so on.[3] This did not stop other actors, like Robert De Niro, Bruce Willis,[3] Joe Mantegna and Richard Gere[2] from expressing interest in the film. Once the cast was assembled, they spent three weeks in rehearsals. With a budget set at $12.5 million, filming began in August 1991 at the Kaufman Astoria Soundstage in Queens, New York and on location in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn over 39 days. Harris remembers, "There were five and six-page scenes we would shoot all at once. It was more like doing a play at times [when] you'd get the continuity going".[5] Alan Arkin said of the script, "What made it [challenging] was the language and the rhythms, which are enormously difficult to absorb".[5] During filming, members of the cast who were not required to be on the set certain days would show up anyway to watch the other actors' performances.[6]

The film's director of photography, Juan Ruiz Anchía relied on low lighting and shadows with a blues, greens and reds color scheme for the first part of the film. For the second half, he adhered to a monochromatic blue-grey color scheme. During the production, Tokofsky and 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.[7] Zupnik claimed that he personally put up $2 million of the film’s budget and countersued, claiming that Tokofsky was fired for embezzlement.[7]

Reception

Glengarry Glen Ross had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival where Jack Lemmon won the Volpi Cup for Best Actor.[8] In addition, it was originally slated to be shown at the Montreal Film Festival but it was necessary to show it out of competition because it was entered into competition at the Venice Film Festival at the same time. Instead, it was given its North American premiere at the Toronto Film Festival.[9] The film opened in regular release on October 2, 1992 in 416 theaters, grossing $2.1 million on its opening weekend. It went on to make $10.7 million in North America, just below its $12.5 million budget. Despite being a box-office flop during its original release the film has garnered some moderate praise from fans and has been praised for its performances. [10]

Reviews were highly positive. The film currently has a rating of 98% on Rotten Tomatoes and a metascore of 80 on Metacritic. Owen Gleiberman gave the film an "A" rating in his review for Entertainment Weekly magazine, praising Lemmon's performance as "a revelation", and describing his character as "the weaselly soul of Glengarry Glen Ross-Willy Loman turned into a one-liner".[11] Peter Travers gave the film his highest rating in Rolling Stone magazine and wrote, "The pleasure of this unique film comes in watching superb actors dine on Mamet's pungent language like the feast it is".[12] Roger Ebert's review in the Chicago Sun-Times wrote, "Mamet's dialogue has a kind of logic, a cadence, that allows people to arrive in triumph at the ends of sentences we could not possibly have imagined. There is great energy in it. You can see the joy with which these actors get their teeth into these great lines, after living through movies in which flat dialogue serves only to advance the story".[13]

Vincent Canby praised, "the utterly demonic skill with which these foulmouthed characters carve one another up in futile attempts to stave off disaster. It's also because of the breathtaking wizardry with which Mr. Mamet and Mr. Foley have made a vivid, living film that preserves the claustrophobic nature of the original stage work", in his review for the New York Times.[14] In his review for Time, Richard Corliss wrote, "A peerless ensemble of actors fills Glengarry Glen Ross with audible glares and shudders. The play was zippy black comedy about predators in twilight; the film is a photo-essay, shot in morgue closeup, about the difficulty most people have convincing themselves that what they do matters".[15] Desson Howe's review in the Washington Post criticized Foley's direction, writing that it "doesn't add much more than the street between. If his intention is to create a sense of claustrophobia, he also creates the (presumably) unwanted effect of a soundstage. There is no evidence of life outside the immediate world of the movie".[16] Jack Lemmon was voted Best Actor by the National Board of Review.[16] Al Pacino was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor but did not win.[17] He was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role but failed to win; the same year he was nominated and won the Best Actor Oscar for Scent of a Woman.[18] Empire magazine voted the film the 470th greatest film in their "500 Greatest Movies of All Time" list.[19] Not a box office hit, Glengarry Glen Ross is considered to be a cult film.[20]

References

  1. ^ According to Ed Harris, while being interviewed on "". Inside the Actors Studio. 2000-12-17. No. 6, season 7.
  2. ^ a b c d e Blanchard, Jayne M (September 27, 1992). "Glengarry Hits the Screen with the Joys of Male Angst". Washington Times. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Weinraub, Bernard (October 12, 1992). "The Glengarry Math: Add Money and Stars, then Subtract Ego". New York Times. 
  4. ^ Hartl, John (September 28, 1992). "Director is Happy to put Big Stars in Film Version of Mamet Play". Seattle Times. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Glengarry Glen Ross Production Notes". New Line Cinema Press Kit. 1992. 
  6. ^ Berardinelli, James (2006). "Glengarry Glen Ross". ReelViews. http://www.reelviews.net/movies/g/glengarry_glen.html. Retrieved 2007-09-23. 
  7. ^ a b Powers, William F (October 4, 1992). "Pacino, Mamet and . . . Zupnik; Who? The Local Real Estate Mogul Behind Glengarry". Washington Post. 
  8. ^ Clark, Jennifer (July 31, 1992). "Three U.S. entries sign on at 49th Venice Fest". Variety. 
  9. ^ Adilman, Sid (September 1, 1992). "Festivals scrap over movie". Toronto Star. 
  10. ^ "Glengarry Glen Ross". Box Office Mojo. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=glengarryglenross.htm. Retrieved 2007-04-17. 
  11. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (October 9, 1992). "Pros and Cons". Entertainment Weekly. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,312081,00.html. Retrieved 2007-04-17. 
  12. ^ Travers, Peter (December 8, 2000). "Glengarry Glen Ross". Rolling Stone. http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/movie/5948297/glengarry_glen_ross. Retrieved 2007-04-17. 
  13. ^ Ebert, Roger (October 2, 1992). "Glengarry Glen Ross". Chicago Sun-Times. http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19921002/REVIEWS/210020302/1023. Retrieved 2007-04-17. 
  14. ^ Canby, Vincent (September 30, 1992). "Mamet's Real Estate Sharks and Their Prey". New York Times. http://movies2.nytimes.com/gst/movies/review.html?_r=1&title1=&title2=GLENGARRY%20GLEN%20ROSS%20%28MOVIE%29&reviewer=Vincent%20Canby&v_id=19953&oref=slogin. Retrieved 2007-04-17. 
  15. ^ Corliss, Richard (October 12, 1992). "Sweating Out Loud". Time. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,976707,00.html. Retrieved 2008-08-21. 
  16. ^ a b Howe, Desson (October 2, 1992). "Glengarry Glen Ross". Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/movies/videos/glengarryglenrossrhowe_a0af12.htm. Retrieved 2007-04-17. 
  17. ^ Benson, Jim (December 30, 1992). "Globes Nod to Men, Aladdin". Variety. 
  18. ^ Spillman, Susan (February 18, 1993). "Oscar's independent streak". USA Today. 
  19. ^ "500 Greatest Movies of All Time". Empire. http://www.empireonline.com/500/6.asp. Retrieved 2008-09-29. 
  20. ^ Tobias, Scott (March 18, 2010). "Glengarry Glen Ross". The Onion A.V. Club. http://www.avclub.com/articles/glengarry-glen-ross,39294/. Retrieved 2010-03-18. 

External links


Glengarry Glen Ross
Directed by James Foley
Produced by Jerry Tokofsky
Stanley R. Zupnik
Written by David Mamet
Starring Jack Lemmon
Al Pacino
Ed Harris
Alan Arkin
Kevin Spacey
Alec Baldwin
Jonathan Pryce
Music by James Newton Howard
Cinematography Juan Ruiz Anchía
Editing by Howard E. Smith
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release date(s) October 2, 1992 (1992-10-02)
Running time 100 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $12.5 million
Gross revenue $10,725,228

Glengarry Glen Ross is a 1992 independent dramatic film, adapted by David Mamet from his acclaimed 1984 Pulitzer Prize- and Tony-winning play of the same name. The film depicts two days in the lives of four real estate salesmen and how they become desperate when the corporate office sends a representative to "motivate" them by announcing that, in one week, all except the top two salesmen will be fired. The film, like the play, is notorious for its use of profanity, leading the cast to jokingly refer to the film as "Death of a Fuckin' Salesman".[1] The actual title of the film comes from the names of two of the real estate developments being peddled by the salesmen characters (Glengarry Highlands and Glen Ross Farms).

Glengarry Glen Ross had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival where Jack Lemmon won the Volpi Cup for Best Actor. The film was not a commercial success, only making $10.7 million in North America, just below its $12.5 million budget. It was critically well-received with highly positive reviews by most of the major critics. Al Pacino was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor for his work in the film.

Contents

Plot summary

The film depicts two days in the lives of four real estate salesmen who are supplied with names and phone numbers of leads (potential clients) and regularly use underhanded and dishonest tactics to make sales. Many of the leads rationed out by the office manager are impoverished individuals lacking either the money or the desire to actually invest in land.

Blake (Alec Baldwin) is sent by Mitch and Murray (the faceless owners of the real estate office in which the main characters work) to motivate the salesmen. Blake unleashes a torrent of verbal abuse on the men and announces that only the top two sellers will be allowed access to the more promising Glengarry leads and the rest of them will be fired.

Shelley Levene (Jack Lemmon), a salesman in a long running slump with a sick daughter, knows that he will lose his job soon if he cannot generate sales. He tries to convince office manager John Williamson (Kevin Spacey) to give him some of the Glengarry leads, but Williamson refuses. Levene tries first to charm Williamson, then to threaten him, and finally to bribe him. Williamson is willing to sell some of the prime leads, but demands cash in advance. Levene cannot come up with the cash and leaves without any good leads.

Dave Moss (Ed Harris) and George Aaronow (Alan Arkin) complain about Mitch and Murray, and Moss proposes that they strike back at the two by stealing all the Glengarry leads and selling them to a competing real estate agency. Moss's plan requires Aaronow to break into the office, stage a burglary and steal all of the prime leads. Aaronow wants no part of the plan, but Moss tries to coerce him, saying that Aaronow is already an accomplice simply because he knows about the proposed burglary.

Ricky Roma (Al Pacino), the office's top "closer," delivers a long, disjointed but compelling monologue to a meek, middle-aged man named James Lingk (Jonathan Pryce). Roma does not broach the subject of a real estate deal until he has completely won Lingk over with his speech. Framing it as being an opportunity rather than a purchase, Roma plays upon Lingk's feelings of insecurity.

As the salesmen come into work the following day they find the office has been burgled and the Glengarry leads have been stolen. Williamson and the police question each of the salesmen in private. After his interrogation, Moss leaves in disgust, only after having one explosive last shouting match with Roma. During the cycle of interrogations, Lingk arrives to tell Roma that his wife has told him to cancel the deal. Scrambling to salvage the deal, Roma tries to deceive Lingk by telling him that the check he wrote the night before has yet to be cashed, and that accordingly he has time to reason with his wife and reconsider.

Levene abets Roma by pretending to be a wealthy investor and friend of Roma's who just happens to be on his way to the airport. Williamson, unaware of Roma and Levene's stalling tactic, lies to Lingk, claiming that he already deposited his check in the bank. Upset, Lingk rushes out of the office, threatening to contact the State's Attorney, and Roma berates Williamson for what he has done. Roma then enters Williamson's office to take his turn being interrogated by the police.

Levene, proud of an unlikely sale he made that morning, takes the opportunity to mock Williamson in private. In his zeal to get back at Williamson, Levene carelessly reveals that he knows Williamson left Lingk's check on his desk and did not make the bank run the previous night – something only the man who broke into the office would know. Williamson catches Levene's slip-of-the-tongue quickly and compels Levene to admit that he broke into the office. Levene eventually breaks down and admits that he and Moss conspired to steal the leads to give to a competitor. Levene attempts to bribe Williamson with a large portion of all his future sales in exchange for keeping quiet about the burglary. Williamson scoffs at the suggestion and tells Levene that the buyers to whom he made his sale earlier that day, Bruce & Harriet Nyborg, are in fact impoverished and deluded and just enjoy talking to salesmen. Levene, crushed by this revelation, asks Williamson why he seeks to ruin him. Williamson coldly responds "Because I don't like you."

Levene makes a last ditch attempt at gaining sympathy from Williamson by mentioning his sick daughter, but Williamson cruelly rebuffs him and leaves to inform the detective about Levene's part in the burglary. Unaware of Levene's guilt, Roma walks out of the office for lunch and talks to Levene about forming a business partnership before the detective starts calling for Levene. The film ends as Levene walks, defeated, into Williamson's office where the police are waiting.

Cast and characters

  • Jack Lemmon as Shelley "The Machine" Levene: An aging, once-successful and respected salesman who has recently fallen on hard times and has not been able to close a lucrative deal in a worryingly long while. He has a sick daughter in the hospital and desperately needs the commission from a big sale in order to continue paying her medical expenses. However, Shelley's frantic, garrulous wheedling of the office manager and prospective clients get him nowhere. Levene's decline is due to the old-fashioned nature of his methods: his presentation as a grinning, successful, confident salesman with a casual swagger immediately telegraphs to modern clients his identity as a smooth-talking shyster looking to disarm them with reassurance; Levene has been unable to replace his obsolete tactics with new ones and suffers financially as a result. His desperation eventually compels him to break into the office late at night and steal the premium sales leads. However, Shelley's garrulousness at the office the next day proves to be his downfall. Lemmon said of his character, "Shelley's actions question where the morals and ethics are in America and how they have eroded in the quest for success."[2]
  • Al Pacino as Ricky Roma: The most successful salesman in the office who is predicted to win the monthly sales contest. Roma is cocky, charismatic and charming, but also ruthless, dishonest and amoral. His success is mainly due to his talent for spotting a client's vulnerability and then crafting a pitch that will exploit that particular personal weakness; unlike his mentor Levene, Roma adopts a more laconic, sage-like presentation and withholds the sales pitch until the client is successfully endeared to him.
  • Ed Harris as Dave Moss: A loudmouth salesman with big dreams and ambitions, but little work ethic. Harris described his character as "the kind of guy who, when anything's wrong, it's not him. Blames everybody else."[2]
  • Kevin Spacey as John Williamson: The bland, petty, mealy-mouthed office manager. The salesmen resent and despise Williamson and spare no opportunity to ridicule and belittle him, but they know they need him because he is responsible for administering the sales leads. Williamson knows this too and uses his position as a passive-aggressive method of control. Williamson is under great stress due to the stringent policies dictated by Mitch and Murray and the constant complaints by the salesmen regarding his mandated lack of support; all he wants to do is keep his job and he dislikes having to routinely deflect their ceaseless attempts to manipulate him. Spacey saw his character as "the catalyst for events, since people are either struggling for or against him."[2]
  • Alan Arkin as George Aaronow: An aging and nervous salesman with low self-esteem and an extremely dependent nature; he lacks the ruthless cunning of his co-workers to successfully work for the agency. He frequently shadows the others to prompt them into asking about his status so he can vent his anxieties and has recently taken to following Moss in the hopes learning how to be more aggressive. Arkin originally disliked the character, citing his extreme passivity and incompetence as reason to decline the role; he eventually decided that Aaronow was a former school teacher who became a salesman to support his family after his school was closed down by its district.
  • Jonathan Pryce as James Lingk: A timid, depressed middle-aged man who becomes Roma's latest client. Because Lingk is lonely and unhappy in his marriage, he is easily manipulated and falls for Roma's sales pitch disguised as an overture of friendly intimacy.
  • Alec Baldwin as Blake: A hot-shot sales strategist who is brought in by Mitch and Murray to "motivate" the discouraged salesmen. A vulgar, arrogant bully, he flaunts his wealth while crudely taunting and demeaning the others for their own lack of success. This character was created for the film specifically for Baldwin to play and did not appear in the stage version.

Production

David Mamet's play was first performed in 1983 at the Royal National Theatre, London, and won the Pulitzer Prize in 1984. That same year, the play made its American debut in Chicago before moving to Broadway. Producer Jerry Tokofsky read David Mamet’s play on a trip to New York City in 1985 at the suggestion of director Irvin Kershner who wanted to make it into a movie.[3] Tokofsky saw the play on Broadway and contacted Mamet. Stanley R. Zupnik was a Washington D.C.-based producer of B-movies that was looking for a more profitable project. Tokofsky had co-produced two previous Zupnik films. In 1986, he told Zupnik about Mamet’s play and he saw it on Broadway but found the plot confusing. Mamet wanted $500,000 for the movie rights and another $500,000 to write the screenplay. Zupnik agreed to pay Mamet’s $1 million asking price, figuring that they could cut a deal with a cable company to bankroll the movie. Because of the uncompromising subject matter and abrasive language, no major studio wanted to finance it, even with movie stars attached. Financing came from cable and video companies, a German television station, an Australian movie theater chain, several banks, and New Line Cinema over the course of four years.[3]

Al Pacino originally wanted to do the play on Broadway but was doing another Mamet production, American Buffalo, in London at the time. He expressed interest in appearing in the film adaptation. In 1989, Tokofsky asked Jack Lemmon to act in the movie.[2] During this time, Kershner dropped out to make another movie as did Pacino. Alec Baldwin, who also attached, left the project over a contract disagreement. James Foley’s agent sent the film director Mamet’s screenplay in early 1991 but he was hesitant to direct because he “wanted great actors, people with movie charisma, to give it watchability, especially since the locations were so restricted”.[4] Foley took the screenplay to Pacino with whom he had been trying to work on a film for years.[5] Foley was hired to direct only to leave the production as well. By March 1991, Tokofsky contacted Baldwin and begged him to reconsider doing the film. The producer remembers, “Alec said: ‘I’ve read 25 scripts and nothing is as good as this. O.K. If you make it, I’ll do it”.[3] The two men arranged an informal reading with Lemmon in Los Angeles. Subsequently, the three men organized readings with several other actors as Lemmon remembers, "Some of the best damn actors you're ever going to see came in and read and I'm talking about names".[5] Tokofsky’s lawyer, Jake Bloom, called a meeting at the Creative Artists Agency who represented many of the actors involved and asked for their help. CAA showed little interest, but two of their clients – Ed Harris and Kevin Spacey – soon joined the cast.

Because of the film’s modest budget, many of the actors took significant pay cuts. For example, Pacino cut his per-movie price from $6 million to $1.5 million, Lemmon was paid $1 million, Baldwin received $250,000, and so on.[3] This did not stop other actors, like Robert De Niro, Bruce Willis,[3] Joe Mantegna and Richard Gere[2] from expressing interest in the film. Once the cast was assembled, they spent three weeks in rehearsals. With a budget set at $12.5 million, filming began in August 1991 at the Kaufman Astoria Soundstage in Queens, New York and on location in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn over 39 days. Harris remembers, "There were five and six-page scenes we would shoot all at once. It was more like doing a play at times [when] you'd get the continuity going".[5] Alan Arkin said of the script, "What made it [challenging] was the language and the rhythms, which are enormously difficult to absorb".[5] During filming, members of the cast who were not required to be on the set certain days would show up anyway to watch the other actors' performances.[6]

The film's director of photography, Juan Ruiz Anchía relied on low lighting and shadows with a blues, greens and reds color scheme for the first part of the film. For the second half, he adhered to a monochromatic blue-grey color scheme. During the production, Tokofsky and 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.[7] Zupnik claimed that he personally put up $2 million of the film’s budget and countersued, claiming that Tokofsky was fired for embezzlement.[7]

Reception

Glengarry Glen Ross had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival where Jack Lemmon won the Volpi Cup for Best Actor.[8] In addition, it was originally slated to be shown at the Montreal Film Festival but it was necessary to show it out of competition because it was entered into competition at the Venice Film Festival at the same time. Instead, it was given its North American premiere at the Toronto Film Festival.[9] The film opened in regular release on October 2, 1992 in 416 theaters, grossing $2.1 million on its opening weekend. It went on to make $10.7 million in North America, just below its $12.5 million budget. Despite being a box-office flop during its original release the film has garnered some moderate praise from fans and has been praised for its performances. [10]

Reviews were highly positive. The film currently has a rating of 98% on Rotten Tomatoes and a metascore of 80 on Metacritic. Owen Gleiberman gave the film an "A" rating in his review for Entertainment Weekly magazine, praising Lemmon's performance as "a revelation", and describing his character as "the weaselly soul of Glengarry Glen Ross–Willy Loman turned into a one-liner".[11] Peter Travers gave the film his highest rating in Rolling Stone magazine and wrote, "The pleasure of this unique film comes in watching superb actors dine on Mamet's pungent language like the feast it is".[12] Roger Ebert's review in the Chicago Sun-Times wrote, "Mamet's dialogue has a kind of logic, a cadence, that allows people to arrive in triumph at the ends of sentences we could not possibly have imagined. There is great energy in it. You can see the joy with which these actors get their teeth into these great lines, after living through movies in which flat dialogue serves only to advance the story".[13] Newsweek magazine's Jack Kroll praised Alec Baldwin's performance: "Baldwin is sleekly sinister in the role of Blake, a troubleshooter caned in to shake up the salesmen. He shakes them up, all right, but this character (not in the original play) also shakes up the movie's toned balance with his sheer noise and scatological fury".[14] In his review for The New York Times, Vincent Canby praised, "the utterly demonic skill with which these foulmouthed characters carve one another up in futile attempts to stave off disaster. It's also because of the breathtaking wizardry with which Mr. Mamet and Mr. Foley have made a vivid, living film that preserves the claustrophobic nature of the original stage work".[15] In his review for Time, Richard Corliss wrote, "A peerless ensemble of actors fills Glengarry Glen Ross with audible glares and shudders. The play was zippy black comedy about predators in twilight; the film is a photo-essay, shot in morgue closeup, about the difficulty most people have convincing themselves that what they do matters".[16] However, Desson Howe's review in the Washington Post criticized Foley's direction, writing that it "doesn't add much more than the street between. If his intention is to create a sense of claustrophobia, he also creates the (presumably) unwanted effect of a soundstage. There is no evidence of life outside the immediate world of the movie".[17]

Jack Lemmon was voted Best Actor by the National Board of Review.[17] Al Pacino was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor but did not win.[18] He was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role but failed to win; the same year he was nominated and won the Best Actor Oscar for Scent of a Woman.[19] Empire magazine voted the film the 470th greatest film in their "500 Greatest Movies of All Time" list.[20] Not a box office hit, Glengarry Glen Ross is considered to be a cult film.[21]

Jack Lemmon's character of Shelley Levene was a major source on inspiration in the creation of recurring The Simpsons character Gil Gunderson.[22] The character had a Simpsons' Christmas Special episode dedicated to him in Kill Gil, Volumes I & II. The character borrows many of the mannerisms of the Lemmon character, and is oft portrayed in a desperate situation attempting to scrape a living as (an unsuccessful) salesman.[23]

References

  1. ^ According to Ed Harris, while being interviewed on "". Inside the Actors Studio. 2000-12-17. No. 6, season 7.
  2. ^ a b c d e Blanchard, Jayne M (September 27, 1992). "Glengarry Hits the Screen with the Joys of Male Angst". Washington Times. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Weinraub, Bernard (October 12, 1992). "The Glengarry Math: Add Money and Stars, then Subtract Ego". The New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/1992/10/12/movies/the-talk-of-hollywood-the-glengarry-math-add-money-and-stars-then-subtract-ego.html?scp=176&sq=%22Glengarry+Glen+Ross%22&st=nyt. Retrieved 2010-03-31. 
  4. ^ Hartl, John (September 28, 1992). "Director is Happy to put Big Stars in Film Version of Mamet Play". Seattle Times. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Glengarry Glen Ross Production Notes". New Line Cinema Press Kit. 1992. 
  6. ^ Berardinelli, James (2006). "Glengarry Glen Ross". ReelViews. http://www.reelviews.net/movies/g/glengarry_glen.html. Retrieved 2007-09-23. 
  7. ^ a b Powers, William F (October 4, 1992). "Pacino, Mamet and . . . Zupnik; Who? The Local Real Estate Mogul Behind Glengarry". Washington Post. 
  8. ^ Clark, Jennifer (July 31, 1992). "Three U.S. entries sign on at 49th Venice Fest". Variety. 
  9. ^ Adilman, Sid (September 1, 1992). "Festivals scrap over movie". Toronto Star. 
  10. ^ "Glengarry Glen Ross". Box Office Mojo. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=glengarryglenross.htm. Retrieved 2007-04-17. 
  11. ^ Gleiberman, Owen (October 9, 1992). "Pros and Cons". Entertainment Weekly. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,312081,00.html. Retrieved 2007-04-17. 
  12. ^ Travers, Peter (December 8, 2000). "Glengarry Glen Ross". Rolling Stone. http://www.rollingstone.com/reviews/movie/5948297/glengarry_glen_ross. Retrieved 2007-04-17. 
  13. ^ Ebert, Roger (October 2, 1992). "Glengarry Glen Ross". Chicago Sun-Times. http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19921002/REVIEWS/210020302/1023. Retrieved 2007-04-17. 
  14. ^ Kroll, Jack (October 5, 1992). "Heels, Heroes and Hustlers". Newsweek. http://www.newsweek.com/id/147209/page/2. Retrieved 2010-03-31. 
  15. ^ Canby, Vincent (September 30, 1992). "Mamet's Real Estate Sharks and Their Prey". The New York Times. http://movies2.nytimes.com/gst/movies/review.html?_r=1&title1=&title2=GLENGARRY%20GLEN%20ROSS%20%28MOVIE%29&reviewer=Vincent%20Canby&v_id=19953&oref=slogin. Retrieved 2007-04-17. 
  16. ^ Corliss, Richard (October 12, 1992). "Sweating Out Loud". Time. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,976707,00.html. Retrieved 2008-08-21. 
  17. ^ a b Howe, Desson (October 2, 1992). "Glengarry Glen Ross". Washington Post. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/style/longterm/movies/videos/glengarryglenrossrhowe_a0af12.htm. Retrieved 2007-04-17. 
  18. ^ Benson, Jim (December 30, 1992). "Globes Nod to Men, Aladdin". Variety. 
  19. ^ Spillman, Susan (February 18, 1993). "Oscar's independent streak". USA Today. 
  20. ^ "500 Greatest Movies of All Time". Empire. http://www.empireonline.com/500/6.asp. Retrieved 2008-09-29. 
  21. ^ Tobias, Scott (March 18, 2010). "Glengarry Glen Ross". The Onion A.V. Club. http://www.avclub.com/articles/glengarry-glen-ross,39294/. Retrieved 2010-03-18. 
  22. ^ Scully, Mike (2006). Commentary for "Realty Bites", in The Simpsons: The Complete Ninth Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.
  23. ^ Greaney, Dan (2006). Commentary for "Realty Bites", in The Simpsons: The Complete Ninth Season [DVD]. 20th Century Fox.

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Glengarry Glen Ross is a 1992 film that is an examination of the machinations behind the scenes at a real estate office.

Directed by James Foley and written by David Mamet, based on his play.
A Story For Everyone Who Works For A Living.Taglines

Contents

Ricky Roma

  • All train compartments smell vaguely of shit. It gets so you don't mind it. That's the worst thing that I can confess. You know how long it took me to get there? A long time. When you die you're going to regret the things you don't do. You think you're queer? I'm going to tell you something: we're all queer. You think you're a thief? So what? You get befuddled by a middle-class morality? Get shut of it. Shut it out. You cheated on your wife? You did it, live with it. You fuck little girls, so be it. There's an absolute morality? Maybe. And then what? If you think there is, then be that thing. Bad people go to hell? I don't think so. If you think that, act that way. A hell exists on earth? Yes. I won't live in it. That's me. You ever take a dump made you feel like you'd just slept for twelve hours?

Blake

  • Your name is "You're Wanting", and you can't play the man's game, you can't close them, and then tell your wife your troubles. 'Cause only one thing counts in this world: get them to sign on the line which is dotted. You hear me you fuckin' faggots?
  • A-B-C. A-Always, B-Be, C-Closing. Always be closing, always be closing.
  • We're adding a little something to this month's sales contest. As you all know, first prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Anybody want to see second prize? [Holds up prize] Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you're fired.

Dialogue

Dave Moss: You're such a hero, you're so rich, how come you're coming down here to waste your time with a bunch of bums?
Blake: You see this watch? You see this watch?
Dave Moss: Yeah.
Blake: That watch costs more than you car. I made $970,000 last year. How much you make? You see pal, that's who I am, and you're nothing. Nice guy, I don't give a shit. Good father, fuck you. Go home and play with your kids. You wanna work here, close. You think this is abuse? You think this is abuse, you cocksucker? You can't take this, how can you take the abuse you get on a sit?

Blake: You got leads. Mitch & Murray paid good money. Get their names to sell them. You can't close the leads you're given, you can't close shit, you are shit, hit the bricks pal, and beat it, 'cause you are going out.
Shelley Levene: The leads are weak.
Blake: "The leads are weak." The fucking leads are weak? You're weak. I've been in this business fifteen years...
Dave Moss: What's your name?
Blake: Fuck you. That's my name.
Dave Moss: [laughs]
Blake: You know why, mister? 'Cause you drove a Hyundai to get here tonight; I drove an eighty thousand dollar BMW. That's my name.

George Aaronow: When I talk to the police I get nervous.
Ricky Roma: Yes. You know who doesn't?
George Aaronow: Who?
Ricky Roma: Thieves. Always tell the truth, George; it's the easiest thing to remember.

John Williamson: The leads are coming!
Shelley Levene: Get 'em to me!
John Williamson: I talked to Mitch and Murray an hour ago. They're coming in, you understand. They're a bit upset about this morning's...
Shelley Levene: Did you tell 'em about my sale?
John Williamson: How could I tell them about your sale? I don't even have a teleph - I'll tell them about your sale when they bring in the leads, all right? Shelley, all right? You closed a deal. Fine. You made a good sale, fine.
Shelley Levene: It's better than a good sale. It's...
John Williamson: Look, I have a lot on my mind right now. They're coming in, all right? They're very upset, I'm trying to make some sense...
Shelley Levene: I'm telling you - the one thing you can tell them is that it's a remarkable sale.
John Williamson: The only thing 'remarkable' about it is who you made it to.
Shelley Levene: What the FUCK does that mean?
John Williamson: That if the sale sticks, it'll be a miracle.
Shelley Levene: What does that mean? Why would it not... Oh, fuck you. You do not know your job. That's what I'm saying. You do not know your job. That's what I'm saying. A man IS his job and you are fucked at yours.

Taglines

  • A Story For Everyone Who Works For A Living.
  • Lie. Cheat. Steal. All In A Day's Work.

Cast

External links

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has an article about:







Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message