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Sika’s 100 Greatest Movies of All Time! 93. Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)

July 2, 2011

93. Glengarry Glen Ross [DVD] (1992)

Plot: Times are tough at Premier Properties. Four real estate salesmen are supplied with names and phone numbers of leads (potential clients) and regularly use dishonest tactics to make sales.

Many of the leads rationed out by the office manager (Kevin Spacey) are impoverished individuals lacking either the money or the desire to actually invest in land.

Shelley “The Machine” Levene (Jack Lemmon), George Aaronow (Alan Arkin) and Dave Moss (Ed Harris) are veteran salesman but only Ricky Roma (Al Pacino) is on a hot streak.

The new Glengarry sales leads could turn everything around, but the front office is holding them back until these “losers” prove themselves worthy of them. Then somebody decides to steal the leads, leaving everyone wondering who did it.

Also Starring: Alec Baldwin, Jonathan Pryce, Jude Ciccolella
Directed by: James Foley
Written By: David Mamet (based on his Pulitzer Prize and Tony-award winning play.
Length: 100 min
Budget: $12.5 million
Gross Revenue: $10,725,228
Revenue/Minute: $107,252

Lie. Cheat. Steal. All In A Day’s Work. (tagline)

Review: I realize the plot makes it sounds like this is a really boring movie. But it’s NOT.

Sure, since it’s based on a play, it does have that play-feel, but in this case in a good way.

And sure it’s a sausage fest, but it’s not just any sausages. Before he passed away in 2001, Jack Lemmon said the cast was the greatest acting ensemble he had ever been part of. And he has acted in.. hang on let me check.. 59 movies since 1954. Really, only 59 movies? Somehow I thought there’d be more.. Anyway, this movie has a great cast. And their acting’s great.

Nowadays the cast are all well known actors, but when I saw it when it came to Sweden in 1993 Kevin Spacey was still new to me, I had only seen him as a bad guy in See no Evil, Hear no Evil. And in Glengarry Glen Ross he’s magnificent too.

Favorite Quote:
Ricky Roma: How was her crumbcake?
Shelley Levene: Hmm? Oh… from the store.
Ricky Roma: Fuck her.

On top of the cast heap is Al Pacino. What an actor! And 1992 was a good year for Al Pacino, he was nominated for two Academy Awards. He won Best Actor for Scent of a Woman but lost to Gene Hackman (Unforgiven) in the Best Supporting Actor category.

And as an Al Pacino worshipper I think he deserved to win for his portrayal of slick salesman Ricky Roma. I just love the scene where he tries to weasel himself out of having to deal with reneging buyer James Lingk (Jonathan Pryce in an amazing performance).

Nerdiest Movie Trivia: The word “lead” or “leads” occurs 83 times in the script. The word “fuck” and its derivatives are uttered 138 times.

So if you haven’t seen it, see it for the cast, the great performances, the great script and for the Alec Baldwin cameo. Oh, AND for the scolding.

Mmmm, the scoulding… This movie could have been renamed “How to yell at Kevin Spacey”. His character gets it hard. And I love every second of it.

Previous on the list: 94. The Great Escape (1963)

3 Comments leave one →
  1. July 5, 2011 10:59

    Good selection, and one of the rare “based on a play” movies that doesn’t FEEL like it was based on a play. Too many top 100 lists feature the same old same old. Which is why I so liked this:

  2. July 5, 2011 10:59

    Then you should try this:

    Why? TONS of reasons! It’s for free and… No, that’s actually the only reason I can come up with.

  3. July 5, 2011 10:59

    When I woke up this morning, the phrase “And sure it’s a sausage fest, but it’s not just any sausages” was high on the list of phrases I never thought I’d hear. But it’s hilarious.

    This movie was recommended to me for years but nobody would ever tell me why. Finally I watched it and realized why they’d been recommending it. They knew that my general annoyance with sales people would make me like seeing all of these horrible sales people prove all of my horrible theories about sales people.

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