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“Put that coffee down! Coffee’s for closers only.”
Money Night Extravaganza continues to roll on. “They’re sitting out there waiting to give you their money. Are you gonna take it?”
Forrest MillerConan NeutronJ. Andrew World and Kristina Oakes are joined by one of our regulars, actress Kt Baldassaro of MovieRunTime and What If I Don’t Like it? to talk about this absolute master class of performance that is Glengarry Glen Ross.

It’s rare you get a movie where literally everyone feels at the top of their game like this.. with pacing, dialogue, pathos that has to be sustained to this level. 

David Mamet is definitely a big reason why. He was allowed to adapt his stage play into a screenplay, rather than getting a new set of eyes and hands involved. 

Mamet wrote Glengarry Glen Ross and it premiered in 1983 first in London then Broadway, ran for 378 shows before closing, and won the 1984 Pulitzer Prize. 

Allowing Mamet to have creative control over the screenplay, and to envision it as a film, made the staging work really well… most of the action in the Real Estate Office feels claustrophobic in all the right ways. It’s contained. 

Deliciously Vicious! Pound for pound might be one of the greatest performance/awesome monologue movie of all time. And one of the highest echelons of “dudes rock” energy.
Effectively outlines the destructive force of a corporate machine and the weaponization of a bunch of no hopers convinced they are temporarily embarrassed millionaires. The illusion of success that drives people to desperate measures.

How great is it how many characters get meaty and weighty monologues in this? *EVERYBODY* remembers the Alec Baldwin one (sometimes for the wrong reasons, it isn’t a template for being, folks), but there is so much great language here. Very often peppered with “F” bombs. 

All the main actors: Kevin Spacey (hard to watch, still.. at times), Ed Harris, Jack Lemmon, Alan Arkin, and of course Al Pacino.. even Alec Baldwin are all accomplished stage/broadway actors who started doing theater rather than film.. and then transitioned to film and they are doing some of their best work here. 

Al Pacino and David Mamet, especially, already had a working relationship.. as Al Pacino starred in American Buffalo AT the same time Glengarry Glen Ross premiered on Broadway.. which meant he couldn’t do the play but he had wanted to.

There is a specific pathos to Jack Lemmon’s performance in this movie as “Shelley the Machine” that is one of the most stunning desperate and often pathetic performances in a storied and fantastic career.

Al Pacino as Richard Roma is all over the place, in a good theatrical way, but just for the characters sake. His energy as the Office Closer has a facade of slick, seductive salesmanship so you don’t get emotionally tied up with his character the way you do with the pathetic Willy Loman like Shelley.

Glengarry Glen Ross being a play and then movie about salesmen, and the slick theatrical Real Estate Sales business.. lends itself really well to actors of different styles to give incredibly impressive performances. It also slots in nicely to our month dedicated to the development and pursuit of greed, in this case in a dying kind of sales. Where people that don’t buy the crappy land they are selling are all deadbeats. 

The first half is carried along nicely by the constant rain, and anybody that just dismisses this as a “just a play” are not paying attention to the excellent close up shots and camera work. Amazing dialogue and intriguing cinematography! Some era and character appropriate homophobic bits and the utterly lack of any female characters in this might be daunting for some people, but it is absolutely worth the time. 

One of the most quotable movies of all time? 

“The good news is… you’re fired. The bad news is… you’ve got, all of you’ve got just one week to regain your jobs starting with tonight.”

“They’re sitting out there WAITING to give you their money!”

“As you all know, first prize is a Cadillac El Dorado. Anyone wanna see second prize? Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you’re fired.”

“You never open your mouth until you know what the shot is.”

“Because I Don’t Like You.”

“The rich getting richer, that’s the law of the land.”