Glengarry Glen Ross

Like moths to a flame, great actors gravitate to the singular genius of playwright-screenwriter David Mamet, who updated his Pulitzer Prize-winning play for this all-star screen adaptation. The material is not inherently cinematic, so the movie's greatest asset is Mamet's peerless dialogue and the assembly of a once-in-a-lifetime cast led by Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, and Alec Baldwin (the last in a role Mamet created especially for the film). Often regarded as a critique of the Reagan administration's impact on the American economy, the play and film focus on a competitive group of real estate salesmen who've gone from feast to famine in a market gone cold. When an executive "motivator" (Alec Baldwin) demands a sales contest among the agents in the cramped office, the stakes are critically high: any agent who fails to meet his quota of sales "leads" (i.e., potential buyers) will lose his job. This intense ultimatum is a boon for the office superstar (Pacino), but a once-successful salesman (Lemmon) now finds himself clinging nervously to faded glory. Political and personal rivalries erupt under pressure when the other agents (Alan Arkin, Ed Harris) suspect the office manager (Kevin Spacey) of foul play. This cauldron of anxiety, tension, and sheer desperation provides fertile soil for Mamet's scathingly rich dialogue, which is like rocket fuel for some of the greatest actors of our time. Pacino won an Oscar nomination for his volatile performance, but it's Lemmon who's the standout, doing some of the best work of his distinguished career. Director James Foley shapes Mamet's play into a stylish, intensely focused film that will stand for decades as a testament to its brilliant writer and cast. --Jeff Shannon

Genre: Drama
Production: Artisan Home Entertainment
  Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 8 wins & 12 nominations.
 
IMDB:
7.8
Metacritic:
80
Rotten Tomatoes:
94%
R
Year:
1992
100
Website
4,040 Views

Blake:
Let me have your attention for a moment! 'Cause you're talking about what? You're talking about...[puts out his cigarette]...bitching about that sale you shot, some son of a bitch don't wanna buy land, somebody don't want what you're selling, some broad you're trying to screw, so forth. Let's talk about something important. [to John Williamson] Are they all here?

John:
All but one.

Blake:
Well, I'm going anyway. Let's talk about something important. [to Shelley] Put that coffee down! Coffee is for closers only. [Shelley scoffs] You think I'm fucking with you? I am not fucking with you. I'm here from downtown. I'm here from Mitch and Murray. And I'm here on a mission of mercy. Your name's Levene?

Shelley:
Yeah.

Blake:
You call yourself a salesman, you son of a bitch?

Dave:
I don't gotta listen to this shit. [stands up to leave]

Blake:
You certainly don't, pal, 'cause the good news is you're fired. The bad news is you've got -- all you've got -- just one week to regain your jobs, starting with tonight. Starting with tonight's sit. [sardonically] Oh, have I got your attention now? [Dave Moss sits back down] Good. 'Cause we're adding a little something to this month's sales contest. As you all know, first prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Anybody wanna see second prize? Second prize's a set of steak knives. Third prize is you're fired. [Dave, George, and Shelley glance uncomfortably at each other] Do you get the picture? Are you laughing now? You got leads. Mitch and 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:
The leads are weak.

Blake:
The leads are weak. Fuckin' leads are weak? You're weak. I've been in this business 15 years.

Dave:
What's your name?

Blake:
FUCK! YOU! That's my name! You know why, mister? 'Cause you drove a Hyundai to get here tonight, I drove an $80,000 BMW. That's my name! [to Shelley] And your name is "you're wanting". And you can't play in a man's game. You can't close them. [at a near whisper] Then go home and tell your wife your troubles. [to everyone again] Because only one thing counts in this life! Get them to sign on the line which is dotted! You hear me, you fuckin' faggots? [Blake flips over a blackboard which has two sets of letters on it: ABC, and AIDA.] A-B-C. A-Always, B-Be, C-Closing. Always be closing. Always be closing! A-I-D-A. Attention, Interest, Decision, Action. Attention -- do I have your attention? Interest -- are you interested? I know you are, 'cause it's fuck or walk. You close, or you hit the bricks! Decision -- have you made your decision for Christ?! And action. A-I-D-A. Get out there! You got the prospects coming in; you think they came in to get outta the rain? A guy don't walk on the lot lest he wants to buy. They're sitting out there waiting to give you their money! Are you gonna take it? Are you man enough to take it? [Shelley glares.]

Dave:
Incredible.

Blake:
[to Moss] What's the problem, pal? You, Moss. [Blake sits down.]

Dave:
You're such a hero, you’re so rich. How come you’re comin’ down here an’ waste your time with such a bunch of bums?

Blake:
[smiles condescendingly.] You see this watch? [Blake takes off his gold watch.] You see this watch?

Dave:
Yeah.

Blake:
That watch cost more than your 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. [to everyone] You wanna work here? Close! [to George Aaronow] 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?! You don't like it, leave. I can go out there tonight, the materials you got, make myself $15,000! Tonight! In two hours! Can you? Can you? Go and do likewise! A-I-D-A! Get mad, you son of a bitches! Get mad! You know what it takes to sell real estate? [He pulls something out of his brief case. He is holding two brass balls on string] It takes brass balls to sell real estate. [He puts them away after a pause.] Go and do likewise, gents. The money's out there. You pick it up, it's yours. You don't, I got no sympathy for you. You wanna go out on those sits tonight and close, close, it's yours. Not, you're gonna be shining my shoes. And you know what you'll be saying, bunch of losers, sitting around in a bar. [in a mocking weak voice] "Oh yeah, I used to be a salesman, it's a tough racket." [He takes out large stack of red index cards tied together with string from his briefcase.] These are the new leads. These are the Glengarry leads. And to you, they're gold. And you don't get them. Why? Because to give them to you is just throwing them away. [He hands the stack to John Williamson.] They're for closers. I'd wish you good luck, but you wouldn't know what to do with it if you got it. [to Moss as he puts on his watch again] And to answer your question, pal, why am I here? I came here because Mitch and Murray asked me to, they asked for a favor. I said, the real favor, follow my advice and fire your fuckin' ass because a loser is a loser.

Ricky:
[to James Lingk]: I'm going to tell you something. Your life is your own. You have a contract with your wife? You have certain things you do jointly? Bond there. And there are other things, and those things are yours. And you needn't feel ashamed, you needn't feel that you're being untrue. Or that she would abandon you if she knew. This is your life.

...

Ricky:
All train compartments smell vaguely of shit. It gets so you don't mind it. That's the worse thing that I can confess. You know how long it took me to get there? A long time. When you die, you're gonna regret the things you don't do. You think you're queer? I'm gonna tell you somethin': 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 cheat on your wife? You did it, live with it. Fuck little girls? So be it. There's an absolute morality? Maybe. And then what? If you think there is, go ahead, be that thing. Bad people go to hell? I don't think so. You think that? Act that way. A hell exists on Earth? Yes. I won't live in it. That's me. Did you ever take a dump - made you feel like you'd just slept for twelve hours?

James Lingk:
That I -

Ricky:
Yes? [James Lingk laughs.]

James Lingk:
I don't know.

Roma:
Or piss? Great meals fade in reflection. Everything else gains. You know why? 'Cause it's only food. This shit we put on us keeps us going. It's only food. The great fucks you may have had, what do you remember about 'em?

James Lingk:
What do I remember?

Ricky:
Yeah. I don't know. I'm sayin' what it is. It's-It's probably not the orgasm. Some broad's forearm on your neck, something her eyes did, there was this sound she made. Or it's me in the uh-I'm tellin' you, I'm in bed, the next day, she brought me café au lait, gives me a cigarette. My balls feel like concrete. Hey. [James Lingk laughs.] What I'm saying what is our life? Our life is lookin' forward, or it's lookin' back. That's it. That's our life. Where's the moment? And what is it we're so afraid of?

James Lingk:
Loss.

Ricky:
What else? The bank closes. You get sick. My wife died on a plane. The stock market collapsed. What if these things happen? None of 'em. We worry anyway. Why?

...

Ricky:
Stocks, bonds, objects of art, real estate. What are they? An opportunity. To what? To make money? Perhaps. To lose money? Perhaps. To 'indulge' and to 'learn' about ourselves? Perhaps. So fucking what? What isn't? They're an opportunity. That's all they are. They're an event. A guy comes to you, you make a call, you send in a card. 'I have these properties I would like for you to see.' What does it mean? What do you want it to mean. Do you see what I'm saying? Things happen to you. [pause] Glad I met you. I'm glad I met you, James. I want to show you something. It may mean something to you, it may not. I don't know. I don't know anymore. [He takes out a small brochure and puts it on the table] What is that? Florida. Glengarry Highlands. Florida. Bullshit. And maybe that's true, and that's what I said. But look at this. [He opens up the brochure, with the words: 'Make Your Dreams Come True'].

Dave:
You're fucked, Rick. Are you fucking nuts? You're hot, so you think you're the ruler of this place. You wanna--

Shelley:
Now, wait a minute, Dave.

Dave:
SHUT UP!

Shelley:
Okay …

Dave:
You want to decide who should be dealt with how, is that it? I come in the fucking office today, I get humiliated by some jag-off cop. I get accused of … I get the shit thrown in my face by you, you genuine shit, because you're top name on the board?

Ricky:
Is that what I did, Dave? I humiliated you? Oh my God, I'm sorry.

Dave:
Sitting on top of the world. Sitting on top of the world, everything's fuckin' peach fuzz.

Ricky:
And I don't get a moment to spare for some bust-out humanitarian down on his luck lately?

Dave:
Oh, fuck …

Ricky:
[cutting him off] Fuck you, Dave. You know you got a big mouth. You make a close, this whole place stinks with your farts for a week – how much you just ingested. Oh, what a big man you are! "Hey, let me buy you a pack of gum. I'll show you how to chew it." Whoof! Your pal closes, and all that comes out of your mouth is bile. Ooh, how fucked-up you are!

Dave:
Who's my pal, Ricky? Hm? What are you? And what are you, Ricky? Huh? Bishop Sheen? What the fuck are you, Mr. Slick? Who – what the fuck are you, "Friend to the working man"? Big deal! FUCK YOU! You got the memory of a fuckin' fly! I never liked you, anyway.

Ricky:
What is this, your farewell speech?

Dave:
I'm going home.

Ricky:
Your farewell to the troops?

Dave:
I'm not going home. I'm going to Wisconsin.

Ricky:
Have a good trip.

Dave:
AW, FUCK YOU! FUCK THE LOT OF YOU! FUCK YOU ALL! [exits]

Ricky:
[to Shelley] You were saying?

Shelley:
Huh?

John:
You said, "Don't make something up unless it's sure to help"....how do you know I made it up?

Shelley:
Wha…what are you talking about?

John:
I told the customer his contract went to the bank.

Shelley:
[picks teeth] Well, hadn't it?

John:
No, it hadn't.

Shelley:
Don't fuck with me … don't fuck with me! What are you saying?

John:
Well, I'm saying this, Shell; usually I take the contracts to the bank. Last night I didn't. Last night I stayed home with my kids. One night in a year I left the contracts sitting on my desk, no one knew that but you. How did you know that? Do you wanna tell me, or do you want to talk to someone else? Because this is my job. This is my job on the line, and you are gonna talk to me. Now how did you know that contract was on my desk?

Shelley:
You are so full of shit.

John Williamson:
You robbed the office.

Shelley:
Oh sure, I robbed the office! Sure!!

John Williamson:
What did you do with the leads? You wanna go in there? I go in there and tell him what I know, he's gonna dig up something. You got an alibi last night? You better have one....what did you do with the leads?...If you tell me what you did with the leads, we can talk....If you tell me where the leads are, I won't turn you in. If you don't, I'm going to tell the cop you stole them. Mitch & Murray will see that you go to jail. Believe me, they will. Now what did you do with the leads? I'm walking in that door, you have five seconds to tell me, or you're going to jail. I don't care, you understand?! Where are the leads?

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