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USA 1992
Directed by
James Foley
96 minutes
Rated M

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
4 stars

Glengarry Glen Ross

With a script by David Mamet based on his own Tony and Pulitzer Prize winning play, a tip-top cast and dynamic direction by James Foley, Glengarry GlenRoss is an coruscating portrait of the tawdry world of sales.

Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Ed Harris, and Alan Arkin, play a close to desperate group of low rent salesmen who would stoop to any deception to close a deal whilst Kevin Spacey, and Alec Baldwin play their hectoring bosses. Although I found the Ed Harris and Alan Arkin characters a little two-dimensional and underdeveloped and confined by Mamet's signature call-and-response dialogue, the rest of the cast more than make up for them with Jack Lemmon giving an absolutely on-the-money performance as Sheldon Levine, an over-the-hill Willy Loman-style salesman struggling against time and the tide and Al Pacino, who received a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination, chewing up the scenery as the cut-throat hustler, Ricky Roma.

Mamet’s play is a modern classic and stands with Arthur Millers' 'Death Of A Salesman' (filmed in 1885 as a telemovie by Volker Schlorndorff and starring Dustin Hoffman and John Malkovich in 1985) as the definitive theatre works on the subject. Mamet has changed his original text somewhat for this screen adaptation, notably adding the Alec Baldwin part and Foley gives it a more naturalistic treatment than Mamet’s own directorial style is known for. The result is gripping.




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