High-Pressure Sales, Robbery and Profanity? It's Glengarry Glen Ross!
Always be closing!
What happens when an extraordinary cast gives its best with an extraordinary script? The answer is clear in "Glengarry Glen Ross."
You may not have heard of this movie. It was released in 1992. Also, it isn't full of violence and explosions like everything else Hollywood churns out every summer.
So what's going on? A team of salesmen must make their money by selling real estate investments to people who cannot afford them. They feel defeated and their efforts seem hopeless.
Suddenly, the office is put in a desperate situation. The salesmen are turned on each other in a competition to keep their jobs. Each salesman faces the pressure with sudden panic--they deal with it in different ways. How this plays out in the movie is amazing.
"Glengarry Glen Ross" has a lot of profanity and bad language. A lot. It made me sweat the first time I saw it. It took me back to my Army days. I went into "front-leaning-rest position" (push-up position) and fired off as many push ups as I could.
At first the profanity pops up here and there like any other movie. Then at times, especially towards the end, it rolls out of control. It's so insane that you have to laugh. Wow! Did he really say that?
If you ever decide to watch this movie, make sure the kids and pets are asleep. Actually, watch it on your laptop or desktop with headphones. Either way, you've been warned.
A mission of mercy
The video below shows the speech by Super Salesman Blake (played by Alec Baldwin) from HQ telling them about the competition. This is as intense as it will get at any sales office.
If you like this then you'll love "Glengarry Glen Ross." If not, you'll still love this movie and I'll tell you why.
No matter what industry he works in, every salesman I know loves Blake's speech in the beginning of "Glengarry Glen Ross." It wakes up the fire burning inside.
They know it by heart and that's understandable. Oddly enough, they haven't seen the movie or even know what the title is.
The first time I saw Blake shout "Put that coffee down!" it was my first job after the Army. As soon as I found out this was from a movie, I had to get it. Now the only question I have is what the best part of it is: the actors or the script.
AIDA: Attention! Interest! Decision! Action!
Watching that clip above you'll think this is about salesmen trying to sell land investments. That's because it is. But take a closer look and you'll see much more.
Throughout the movie you'll see how desperation affects the character of each man. What will he do to get the edge? What will he say to close the deal? What will he do to survive? And what will it cost them all?
A lot of this might seem confusing when you think of the number of characters involved and the short period of time that this movie takes place. Then you realize that this was written by David Mamet. Some of his works include the "Untouchables," "Wag the Dog" and "Heist." "Glengarry Glen Ross" was originally a play that brought home the Pulitzer Prize and a Tony.
As a movie who can pull this off? Only the best: Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin, Kevin Spacey and Jonathan Pryce. Watching them all work together makes this movie timeless.
"Glengarry Glen Ross" is the perfect storm.