Friday, March 25, 2016

847. Glengarry Glen Ross

Glengarry Glen Ross
Directed by James Foley

I feel a lot of pressure to adore this film, as I don't think I ever seen a negative review about it.  I would just like to read one review slamming this movie, so I am certain human beings aren't programmed to adore this and I have some sort of mechanical error.  I didn't think it was terrible by any means, but I am still not sure that I saw a masterpiece.

The owners of Premier Properties send Blake to motivate their salesmen.  Blake takes his job pretty serious, and after a rather frightening monologue, he informs the salesmen that only the top two salesmen will receive the Glengarry leads, while the rest of them will be fired. Understandably, the salesmen get a little...desperate.

Everybody raves about the performances in this film and cites the acting as the main reason they like it. The cast is, undoubtedly, extremely talented.  While Pacino never impresses me that much (or, at the very least, never seems to live up to the associated hype), I thought Spacey and Baldwin were incredible.  Still, did anyone else find this rather dull?  I get that it was a stage play, so we aren't going to move around a lot.  But with no women and no change of scenery, I felt very trapped.  Of course, I am sure this was the intention, to make us feel as claustrophobic as the salesmen.  Still, I didn't enjoy the sensation, since I was mostly uninterested in the story.

Apparently, the cast called this "Death of A Fucking Salesman."  Honestly, the title is a lot better than "Glengarry Glen Ross."  Worth watching for the performances, but still rather boring.

RATING: ***--

Interesting Facts:

Alec Baldwin based the performance of his monologue on the speech in Patton.

This film is still used to train salesmen.


  1. I thought this was pretty good. You can usually tell when something was adapted from a stage play but in this case it seemed like very little adaptation took place and they just filmed it as was (although I understand that the Alec Baldwin scene was added just for him). So possibly less expansive than we normally expect from movies, but I'm fine with that. And there wasn't that sense of the world having been turned on its head in the past two hours as you might get in other tightly-staged films like, say, Rope.

    I found it was one of those films that lasted in the memory for a long time afterwards and serves as a reference point for looking at life (or how not to look at it, depending upon your point of view).

    A good friend didn't get it at all and dismissed it as "just people shouting at each other" whilst we were arguing about films. I got quite wound up by that and found myself trying to defend Ben Hurr as a result, which was silly.

  2. Did you not like Rope? haha I think it is a fair point about it just being people shouting at each other. I guess if you care about what they are saying, you can still enjoy it. I didn't care, so I didn't enjoy it.

  3. No, no, no, I love Rope. I was using it as an example of a film with a tiny setting, not to mention a short time frame, can take you on a journey in which everything changes and nothing will ever be the same again.

    That didn't necessarily apply to this film, not in proportion to the shouting anyway. It was more of an observation on life's philosophy rather than an Earth-shattering event in someone else's.

  4. I understand the feeling, Amanda. Yes, I could appreciate the ambience and the interpretations but all the time I felt like the film was setting up the scenario for a big pay-off that never happens. I thought they would make a bigger deal of the stealing, like some kind of whodunnit, but in the end, this is purely annecdotical.

    I'v got the feeling that all the story ammounts to nothing. They are stressed salesmen at the start and they are stressed salesmen at the end. We have learned very little from them along the way.

  5. Agreed Ashley. And as they were characters I had a hard time relating to in the first place, it was not an entertaining movie for me.