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Glengarry Glen Ross (film)

Glengarry Glen Ross (film)

Overview
Glengarry Glen Ross is a 1992 American drama film
Drama film
A drama film is a film genre that depends mostly on in-depth development of realistic characters dealing with emotional themes. Dramatic themes such as alcoholism, drug addiction, infidelity, moral dilemmas, racial prejudice, religious intolerance, poverty, class divisions, violence against women...

, adapted by David Mamet
David Mamet
David Alan Mamet is an American playwright, essayist, screenwriter and film director.Best known as a playwright, Mamet won a Pulitzer Prize and received a Tony nomination for Glengarry Glen Ross . He also received a Tony nomination for Speed-the-Plow . As a screenwriter, he received Oscar...

 from his acclaimed 1984 Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize for Drama
The Pulitzer Prize for Drama was first awarded in 1918.From 1918 to 2006, the Drama Prize was unlike the majority of the other Pulitzer Prizes: during these years, the eligibility period for the drama prize ran from March 2 to March 1, to reflect the Broadway 'season' rather than the calendar year...

- and Tony
Tony Award
The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre, more commonly known as a Tony Award, recognizes achievement in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in New York City. The awards are given for Broadway...

-winning play of the same name
Glengarry Glen Ross
Glengarry Glen Ross is a 1984 play written by David Mamet. The play shows parts of two days in the lives of four desperate Chicago real estate agents who are prepared to engage in any number of unethical, illegal acts—from lies and flattery to bribery, threats, intimidation and burglary—to sell...

. The film depicts two days in the lives of four real estate salesmen and how they become desperate when the corporate office sends a representative to "motivate" them by announcing that, in one week, all except the top two salesmen will be fired. The film, like the play, is notorious for its use of profanity, leading the cast to jokingly refer to the film as "Death of a Fuckin' Salesman
Death of a Salesman
Death of a Salesman is a 1949 play written by American playwright Arthur Miller. It was the recipient of the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play. Premiered at the Morosco Theatre in February 1949, the original production ran for a total of 742 performances.-Plot :Willy Loman...

".
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Quotations

Your name is "You're Wanting", and you can't play the man's game, you can't close them, and then tell your wife your troubles. 'Cause only one thing counts in this world: get them to sign on the line which is dotted. You hear me you fuckin' faggots?

A-B-C. A-Always, B-Be, C-Closing. Always be closing, always be closing.

Lie. Cheat. Steal. All In A Day's Work.

Encyclopedia
Glengarry Glen Ross is a 1992 American drama film
Drama film
A drama film is a film genre that depends mostly on in-depth development of realistic characters dealing with emotional themes. Dramatic themes such as alcoholism, drug addiction, infidelity, moral dilemmas, racial prejudice, religious intolerance, poverty, class divisions, violence against women...

, adapted by David Mamet
David Mamet
David Alan Mamet is an American playwright, essayist, screenwriter and film director.Best known as a playwright, Mamet won a Pulitzer Prize and received a Tony nomination for Glengarry Glen Ross . He also received a Tony nomination for Speed-the-Plow . As a screenwriter, he received Oscar...

 from his acclaimed 1984 Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize for Drama
The Pulitzer Prize for Drama was first awarded in 1918.From 1918 to 2006, the Drama Prize was unlike the majority of the other Pulitzer Prizes: during these years, the eligibility period for the drama prize ran from March 2 to March 1, to reflect the Broadway 'season' rather than the calendar year...

- and Tony
Tony Award
The Antoinette Perry Award for Excellence in Theatre, more commonly known as a Tony Award, recognizes achievement in live Broadway theatre. The awards are presented by the American Theatre Wing and The Broadway League at an annual ceremony in New York City. The awards are given for Broadway...

-winning play of the same name
Glengarry Glen Ross
Glengarry Glen Ross is a 1984 play written by David Mamet. The play shows parts of two days in the lives of four desperate Chicago real estate agents who are prepared to engage in any number of unethical, illegal acts—from lies and flattery to bribery, threats, intimidation and burglary—to sell...

. The film depicts two days in the lives of four real estate salesmen and how they become desperate when the corporate office sends a representative to "motivate" them by announcing that, in one week, all except the top two salesmen will be fired. The film, like the play, is notorious for its use of profanity, leading the cast to jokingly refer to the film as "Death of a Fuckin' Salesman
Death of a Salesman
Death of a Salesman is a 1949 play written by American playwright Arthur Miller. It was the recipient of the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play. Premiered at the Morosco Theatre in February 1949, the original production ran for a total of 742 performances.-Plot :Willy Loman...

". The actual title of the film comes from the names of two of the real estate developments being peddled by the salesmen characters (Glengarry Highlands and Glen Ross Farms).

Glengarry Glen Ross had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival
Venice Film Festival
The Venice International Film Festival is the oldest international film festival in the world. Founded by Count Giuseppe Volpi in 1932 as the "Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica", the festival has since taken place every year in late August or early September on the island of the...

 where Jack Lemmon
Jack Lemmon
John Uhler "Jack" Lemmon III was an American actor and musician. He starred in more than 60 films including Some Like It Hot, The Apartment, Mister Roberts , Days of Wine and Roses, The Great Race, Irma la Douce, The Odd Couple, Save the Tiger John Uhler "Jack" Lemmon III (February 8, 1925June...

 won the Volpi Cup
Volpi Cup
The Volpi Cups are the principal awards given to actors at the Venice Film Festival. Formal acting awards were introduced in the second festival . Initially they were called Great Gold Medals of the National Fascist Association for Entertainment. The name Volpi Cup was introduced the following year...

 for Best Actor. The film was not a commercial success, making only $10.7 million in North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

, just below its $12.5 million budget. It was critically well-received with highly positive reviews by most of the major critics. Al Pacino
Al Pacino
Alfredo James "Al" Pacino is an American film and stage actor and director. He is famous for playing mobsters, including Michael Corleone in The Godfather trilogy, Tony Montana in Scarface, Alphonse "Big Boy" Caprice in Dick Tracy and Carlito Brigante in Carlito's Way, though he has also appeared...

 was nominated for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor for his work in the film.

Plot


The film depicts two days in the lives of four real estate salesmen who are supplied with names and phone numbers of leads
Sales lead
A sales lead, or Sales Lead, is the identification of a person or entity that has the interest and authority to purchase a product or service. This step represents the first stage of a sales process. The lead may have a corporation or business associated with the person. Sales leads are generic...

 (potential clients) and regularly use underhanded and dishonest tactics to make sales. Many of the leads rationed out by the office manager are impoverished individuals lacking either the money or the desire to actually invest in land.

Blake (Alec Baldwin
Alec Baldwin
Alexander Rae "Alec" Baldwin III is an American actor who has appeared on film, stage, and television.Baldwin first gained recognition through television for his work in the soap opera Knots Landing in the role of Joshua Rush. He was a cast member for two seasons before his character was killed off...

) is sent by Mitch and Murray (the faceless owners of the real estate office in which the main characters work) to motivate the salesmen. Blake unleashes a torrent of verbal abuse on the men and announces that only the top two sellers will be allowed access to the more promising Glengarry leads and the rest of them will be fired.

Shelley Levene (Jack Lemmon
Jack Lemmon
John Uhler "Jack" Lemmon III was an American actor and musician. He starred in more than 60 films including Some Like It Hot, The Apartment, Mister Roberts , Days of Wine and Roses, The Great Race, Irma la Douce, The Odd Couple, Save the Tiger John Uhler "Jack" Lemmon III (February 8, 1925June...

), a salesman in a long running slump with a sick daughter, knows that he will lose his job soon if he cannot generate sales. He tries to convince office manager John Williamson (Kevin Spacey
Kevin Spacey
Kevin Spacey, CBE is an American actor, director, screenwriter, producer, and crooner. He grew up in California, and began his career as a stage actor during the 1980s, before being cast in supporting roles in film and television...

) to give him some of the Glengarry leads, but Williamson refuses. Levene tries first to charm Williamson, then to threaten him, and finally to bribe him. Williamson is willing to sell some of the prime leads, but demands cash in advance. Levene cannot come up with the cash and leaves without any good leads.

Dave Moss (Ed Harris
Ed Harris
Edward Allen "Ed" Harris is an American actor, writer, and director, known for his performances in Appaloosa, Radio, The Rock, The Abyss, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, A History of Violence, and The Truman Show. Harris has also narrated commercials for The Home Depot and other companies...

) and George Aaronow (Alan Arkin
Alan Arkin
Alan Wolf Arkin is an American actor, director, musician and singer. He is known for starring in such films as Wait Until Dark, The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Catch-22, The In-Laws, Edward Scissorhands, Glengarry Glen Ross, Marley & Me, and...

) complain about Mitch and Murray, and Moss proposes that they strike back at the two by stealing all the Glengarry leads and selling them to a competing real estate agency. Moss's plan requires Aaronow to break into the office, stage a burglary and steal all of the prime leads. Aaronow wants no part of the plan, but Moss tries to coerce him, saying that Aaronow is already an accessory before the fact simply because he knows about the proposed burglary.

Ricky Roma (Al Pacino
Al Pacino
Alfredo James "Al" Pacino is an American film and stage actor and director. He is famous for playing mobsters, including Michael Corleone in The Godfather trilogy, Tony Montana in Scarface, Alphonse "Big Boy" Caprice in Dick Tracy and Carlito Brigante in Carlito's Way, though he has also appeared...

), the office's top "closer," delivers a long, disjointed but compelling monologue to a meek, middle-aged man named James Lingk (Jonathan Pryce
Jonathan Pryce
Jonathan Pryce, CBE is a Welsh stage and film actor and singer. After studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and meeting his longtime partner English actress Kate Fahy in 1974, he began his career as a stage actor in the 1970s...

). Roma does not broach the subject of a real estate deal until he has completely won Lingk over with his speech. Framing it as being an opportunity rather than a purchase, Roma plays upon Lingk's feelings of insecurity.

As the salesmen come into work the following day they find the office has been burglarized and the Glengarry leads have been stolen. Williamson and the police question each of the salesmen in private. After his interrogation, Moss leaves in disgust, only after having one last shouting match with Roma. During the cycle of interrogations, Lingk arrives to tell Roma that his wife has told him to cancel the deal. Scrambling to salvage the deal, Roma tries to deceive Lingk by telling him that the check he wrote the night before has yet to be cashed, and that accordingly he has time to reason with his wife and reconsider.

Levene abets Roma by pretending to be a wealthy investor and friend of Roma's who just happens to be on his way to the airport. Williamson, unaware of Roma and Levene's stalling tactic, lies to Lingk, claiming that he already deposited his check in the bank. Upset, Lingk rushes out of the office, threatening to contact the State's Attorney
State's Attorney
In the United States, the State's Attorney is, most commonly, an elected official who represents the State in criminal prosecutions and is often the chief law enforcement officer of their respective county, circuit...

, and Roma berates Williamson for what he has done. Roma then enters Williamson's office to take his turn being interrogated by the police.

Levene, proud of an unlikely sale he made that morning, takes the opportunity to mock Williamson in private. In his zeal to get back at Williamson, Levene carelessly reveals that he knows Williamson left Lingk's check on his desk and did not make the bank run the previous nightsomething only the man who broke into the office would know. Williamson catches Levene's slip-of-the-tongue quickly and compels Levene to admit that he broke into the office. Levene eventually breaks down and admits that he and Moss conspired to steal the leads to sell to a competitor. Levene attempts to bribe Williamson with a large portion of all his future sales in exchange for keeping quiet about the burglary. Williamson scoffs at the suggestion and tells Levene that the buyers to whom he made his sale earlier that day, Bruce & Harriet Nyborg, are in fact bankrupt and delusional and just enjoy talking to salesmen. Levene, crushed by this revelation, asks Williamson why he seeks to ruin him. Williamson coldly responds "Because I don't like you."

Levene makes a last ditch attempt at gaining sympathy from Williamson by mentioning his sick daughter, but Williamson cruelly rebuffs him and leaves to inform the detective about Levene's part in the burglary. Unaware of Levene's guilt, Roma walks out of the office for lunch and talks to Levene about forming a business partnership before the detective starts calling for Levene. The film ends as Levene walks, defeated, into Williamson's office where the police are waiting.

Cast and characters

  • Al Pacino
    Al Pacino
    Alfredo James "Al" Pacino is an American film and stage actor and director. He is famous for playing mobsters, including Michael Corleone in The Godfather trilogy, Tony Montana in Scarface, Alphonse "Big Boy" Caprice in Dick Tracy and Carlito Brigante in Carlito's Way, though he has also appeared...

     as Ricky Roma
  • Jack Lemmon
    Jack Lemmon
    John Uhler "Jack" Lemmon III was an American actor and musician. He starred in more than 60 films including Some Like It Hot, The Apartment, Mister Roberts , Days of Wine and Roses, The Great Race, Irma la Douce, The Odd Couple, Save the Tiger John Uhler "Jack" Lemmon III (February 8, 1925June...

     as Shelley "The Machine" Levene
  • Alec Baldwin
    Alec Baldwin
    Alexander Rae "Alec" Baldwin III is an American actor who has appeared on film, stage, and television.Baldwin first gained recognition through television for his work in the soap opera Knots Landing in the role of Joshua Rush. He was a cast member for two seasons before his character was killed off...

     as Blake
  • Ed Harris
    Ed Harris
    Edward Allen "Ed" Harris is an American actor, writer, and director, known for his performances in Appaloosa, Radio, The Rock, The Abyss, Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind, A History of Violence, and The Truman Show. Harris has also narrated commercials for The Home Depot and other companies...

     as Dave Moss
  • Alan Arkin
    Alan Arkin
    Alan Wolf Arkin is an American actor, director, musician and singer. He is known for starring in such films as Wait Until Dark, The Russians Are Coming, the Russians Are Coming, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Catch-22, The In-Laws, Edward Scissorhands, Glengarry Glen Ross, Marley & Me, and...

     as George Aaronow
  • Kevin Spacey
    Kevin Spacey
    Kevin Spacey, CBE is an American actor, director, screenwriter, producer, and crooner. He grew up in California, and began his career as a stage actor during the 1980s, before being cast in supporting roles in film and television...

     as John Williamson
  • Jonathan Pryce
    Jonathan Pryce
    Jonathan Pryce, CBE is a Welsh stage and film actor and singer. After studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and meeting his longtime partner English actress Kate Fahy in 1974, he began his career as a stage actor in the 1970s...

     as James Lingk

Production


David Mamet
David Mamet
David Alan Mamet is an American playwright, essayist, screenwriter and film director.Best known as a playwright, Mamet won a Pulitzer Prize and received a Tony nomination for Glengarry Glen Ross . He also received a Tony nomination for Speed-the-Plow . As a screenwriter, he received Oscar...

's play was first performed in 1983 at the Royal National Theatre
Royal National Theatre
The Royal National Theatre in London is one of the United Kingdom's two most prominent publicly funded theatre companies, alongside the Royal Shakespeare Company...

, London, and won the Pulitzer Prize
Pulitzer Prize for Drama
The Pulitzer Prize for Drama was first awarded in 1918.From 1918 to 2006, the Drama Prize was unlike the majority of the other Pulitzer Prizes: during these years, the eligibility period for the drama prize ran from March 2 to March 1, to reflect the Broadway 'season' rather than the calendar year...

 in 1984. That same year, the play made its American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 debut in Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

 before moving to Broadway
Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

. Producer Jerry Tokofsky read David Mamet’s play on a trip to New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

 in 1985 at the suggestion of director Irvin Kershner
Irvin Kershner
Irvin Kershner was an American film director and occasional actor, best known for directing quirky, independent films early in his career, and then Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back. -Background:...

 who wanted to make it into a film. Tokofsky saw the play on Broadway and contacted Mamet. Stanley R. Zupnik was a Washington D.C.-based producer of B-movies
B movie
A B movie is a low-budget commercial motion picture that is not definitively an arthouse or pornographic film. In its original usage, during the Golden Age of Hollywood, the term more precisely identified a film intended for distribution as the less-publicized, bottom half of a double feature....

 that was looking for a more profitable project. Tokofsky had co-produced two previous Zupnik films. In 1986, he told Zupnik about Mamet’s play and he saw it on Broadway but found the plot confusing. Mamet wanted $500,000 for the film rights and another $500,000 to write the screenplay. Zupnik agreed to pay Mamet’s $1 million asking price, figuring that they could cut a deal with a cable company to bankroll the movie. Because of the uncompromising subject matter and abrasive language, no major studio wanted to finance it, even with movie stars attached. Financing came from cable and video companies, a German television station, an Australian movie theater chain, several banks, and New Line Cinema over the course of four years.

Al Pacino
Al Pacino
Alfredo James "Al" Pacino is an American film and stage actor and director. He is famous for playing mobsters, including Michael Corleone in The Godfather trilogy, Tony Montana in Scarface, Alphonse "Big Boy" Caprice in Dick Tracy and Carlito Brigante in Carlito's Way, though he has also appeared...

 originally wanted to do the play on Broadway but was doing another Mamet production, American Buffalo
American Buffalo (play)
American Buffalo is a 1975 play by American playwright David Mamet which had its premiere in a showcase production at the Goodman Theatre, Chicago. After two more showcase productions, it opened on Broadway on February 16, 1977...

, in London at the time. He expressed interest in appearing in the film adaptation. In 1989, Tokofsky asked Jack Lemmon to act in the movie. During this time, Kershner dropped out to make another movie as did Pacino. Alec Baldwin, who also attached, left the project over a contract disagreement. James Foley’s agent sent the film director Mamet’s screenplay in early 1991 but he was hesitant to direct because he “wanted great actors, people with movie charisma, to give it watchability, especially since the locations were so restricted”. Foley took the screenplay to Pacino with whom he had been trying to work on a film for years. Foley was hired to direct, only to leave the production as well. By March 1991, Tokofsky contacted Baldwin and begged him to reconsider doing the film. The producer remembers, “Alec said: ‘I’ve read 25 scripts and nothing is as good as this. OK. If you make it, I’ll do it”. The two men arranged an informal reading with Lemmon in Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

. Subsequently, the three men organized readings with several other actors as Lemmon remembers, "Some of the best damn actors you're ever going to see came in and read and I'm talking about names". Tokofsky's lawyer, Jake Bloom, called a meeting at the Creative Artists Agency who represented many of the actors involved and asked for their help. CAA showed little interest, but two of their clients – Ed Harris and Kevin Spacey – soon joined the cast.

Because of the film’s modest budget, many of the actors took significant pay cuts. For example, Pacino cut his per-movie price from $6 million to $1.5 million, Lemmon was paid $1 million, Baldwin received $250,000, and so on. This did not stop other actors, like Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro
Robert De Niro, Jr. is an American actor, director and producer. His first major film roles were in Bang the Drum Slowly and Mean Streets, both in 1973...

, Bruce Willis
Bruce Willis
Walter Bruce Willis , better known as Bruce Willis, is an American actor, producer, and musician. His career began in television in the 1980s and has continued both in television and film since, including comedic, dramatic, and action roles...

, Richard Gere
Richard Gere
Richard Tiffany Gere is an American actor. He began acting in the 1970s, playing a supporting role in Looking for Mr. Goodbar, and a starring role in Days of Heaven. He came to prominence in 1980 for his role in the film American Gigolo, which established him as a leading man and a sex symbol...

 and Joe Mantegna
Joe Mantegna
Joseph Anthony "Joe" Mantegna, Jr. is an American actor, producer, writer,director, and voice actor. He is best known for his roles in box office hits such as Three Amigos , The Godfather Part III , Forget Paris , and Up Close & Personal...

, from expressing interest in the film—Mantegna had been in the original Broadway cast and won a Tony Award in 1985 for his portrayal of Roma.

Once the film's cast was assembled, they spent three weeks in rehearsals. With a budget set at $12.5 million, filming began in August 1991 at the Kaufman Astoria Soundstage in Queens, New York and on location in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn over 39 days. Harris remembers, "There were five and six-page scenes we would shoot all at once. It was more like doing a play at times [when] you'd get the continuity going". Alan Arkin said of the script, "What made it [challenging] was the language and the rhythms, which are enormously difficult to absorb". During filming, members of the cast who were not required to be on the set certain days would show up anyway to watch the other actors' performances.

The film's director of photography, Juan Ruiz Anchía
Juan Ruiz Anchia
Juan Ruiz Anchía is a Spanish cinematographer, perhaps most notable for James Foley's adaptation of David Mamet's Glengarry Glen Ross and At Close Range.-Early career:...

, relied on low lighting and shadows with a blues, greens and reds color scheme for the first part of the film. For the second half, he adhered to a monochromatic blue-grey color scheme. During the production, Tokofsky and Zupnik had a falling out over money and credit for the film. Tokofsky sued to strip Zupnik of his producer’s credit and share of the producer’s fee. Zupnik claimed that he personally put up $2 million of the film’s budget and countersued, claiming that Tokofsky was fired for embezzlement.

Reception


Glengarry Glen Ross had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival
Venice Film Festival
The Venice International Film Festival is the oldest international film festival in the world. Founded by Count Giuseppe Volpi in 1932 as the "Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte Cinematografica", the festival has since taken place every year in late August or early September on the island of the...

 where Jack Lemmon won the Volpi Cup for Best Actor. In addition, it was originally slated to be shown at the Montreal Film Festival but it was necessary to show it out of competition because it was entered into competition at the Venice Film Festival at the same time. Instead, it was given its North American premiere at the Toronto Film Festival. The film opened in wide release
Wide release
Wide release is a term in the American motion picture industry for a motion picture that is playing nationally . Specifically, a movie is considered to be in wide release when it is on 600 screens or more in the United States and Canada.In the US, films holding an NC-17 rating almost never have a...

 on October 2, 1992 in 416 theaters, grossing $2.1 million on its opening weekend. It went on to make $10.7 million in North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

, just below its $12.5 million budget. Despite being a box-office flop during its original release the film has garnered some moderate praise from fans and has been praised for its performances.

Reviews were highly positive. The film currently has a rating of 98% on Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes
Rotten Tomatoes is a website devoted to reviews, information, and news of films—widely known as a film review aggregator. Its name derives from the cliché of audiences throwing tomatoes and other vegetables at a poor stage performance...

 and a metascore of 80 on Metacritic
Metacritic
Metacritic.com is a website that collates reviews of music albums, games, movies, TV shows and DVDs. For each product, a numerical score from each review is obtained and the total is averaged. An excerpt of each review is provided along with a hyperlink to the source. Three colour codes of Green,...

. Owen Gleiberman
Owen Gleiberman
Owen Gleiberman is an American film critic for Entertainment Weekly, a position he has held since the magazine's launch in 1990. From 1981–89, he worked at the Boston Phoenix....

 gave the film an "A" rating in his review for Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly is an American magazine, published by the Time division of Time Warner, that covers film, television, music, broadway theatre, books and popular culture...

magazine, praising Lemmon's performance as "a revelation", and describing his character as "the weaselly soul of Glengarry Glen Ross–Willy Loman turned into a one-liner". Peter Travers
Peter Travers
Peter Travers is an American film critic, who has written for, in turn, People and Rolling Stone. Travers also hosts a celebrity interview show called Popcorn on ABC News Now and ABCNews.com.-Career:...

 gave the film his highest rating in Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone is a US-based magazine devoted to music, liberal politics, and popular culture that is published every two weeks. Rolling Stone was founded in San Francisco in 1967 by Jann Wenner and music critic Ralph J...

magazine and wrote, "The pleasure of this unique film comes in watching superb actors dine on Mamet's pungent language like the feast it is". Roger Ebert
Roger Ebert
Roger Joseph Ebert is an American film critic and screenwriter. He is the first film critic to win a Pulitzer Prize for Criticism.Ebert is known for his film review column and for the television programs Sneak Previews, At the Movies with Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert, and Siskel and Ebert and The...

's review in the Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
The Chicago Sun-Times is an American daily newspaper published in Chicago, Illinois. It is the flagship paper of the Sun-Times Media Group.-History:The Chicago Sun-Times is the oldest continuously published daily newspaper in the city...

wrote, "Mamet's dialogue has a kind of logic, a cadence, that allows people to arrive in triumph at the ends of sentences we could not possibly have imagined. There is great energy in it. You can see the joy with which these actors get their teeth into these great lines, after living through movies in which flat dialogue serves only to advance the story". Newsweek
Newsweek
Newsweek is an American weekly news magazine published in New York City. It is distributed throughout the United States and internationally. It is the second-largest news weekly magazine in the U.S., having trailed Time in circulation and advertising revenue for most of its existence...

magazine's Jack Kroll praised Alec Baldwin's performance: "Baldwin is sleekly sinister in the role of Blake, a troubleshooter caned in to shake up the salesmen. He shakes them up, all right, but this character (not in the original play) also shakes up the movie's toned balance with his sheer noise and scatological fury". In his review for The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

, Vincent Canby
Vincent Canby
Vincent Canby was an American film critic who became the chief film critic for The New York Times in 1969 and reviewed more than 1000 films during his tenure there.-Life and career:...

 praised, "the utterly demonic skill with which these foulmouthed characters carve one another up in futile attempts to stave off disaster. It's also because of the breathtaking wizardry with which Mr. Mamet and Mr. Foley have made a vivid, living film that preserves the claustrophobic nature of the original stage work". In his review for Time
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

, Richard Corliss wrote, "A peerless ensemble of actors fills Glengarry Glen Ross with audible glares and shudders. The play was zippy black comedy about predators in twilight; the film is a photo-essay, shot in morgue closeup, about the difficulty most people have convincing themselves that what they do matters". However, Desson Howe's review in the Washington Post criticized Foley's direction, writing that it "doesn't add much more than the street between. If his intention is to create a sense of claustrophobia, he also creates the (presumably) unwanted effect of a soundstage. There is no evidence of life outside the immediate world of the movie".

Jack Lemmon was voted Best Actor by the National Board of Review. Al Pacino was nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actor but did not win. He was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role but failed to win; the same year he was nominated and won the Best Actor Oscar for Scent of a Woman
Scent of a Woman
This article is about the American film. For the Korean drama, see Scent of a Woman .Scent of a Woman is a 1992 drama film directed by Martin Brest that tells the story of a preparatory school student who takes a job as an assistant to an irascible, blind, medically retired Army officer...

. Empire
Empire (magazine)
Empire is a British film magazine published monthly by Bauer Consumer Media. From the first issue in July 1989, the magazine was edited by Barry McIlheney and published by Emap. Bauer purchased Emap Consumer Media in early 2008...

magazine voted the film the 470th greatest film in their "500 Greatest Movies of All Time" list. Not a box office hit, Glengarry Glen Ross is considered to be a cult film
Cult film
A cult film, also commonly referred to as a cult classic, is a film that has acquired a highly devoted but specific group of fans. Often, cult movies have failed to achieve fame outside the small fanbases; however, there have been exceptions that have managed to gain fame among mainstream audiences...

.

Lemmon's character of Shelley Levene was a major source of inspiration in the creation of the recurring The Simpsons
The Simpsons
The Simpsons is an American animated sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The series is a satirical parody of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its family of the same name, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie...

character Gil Gunderson. The character had a Simpsons' Christmas Special episode dedicated to him in "Kill Gil, Volumes I & II
Kill Gil, Volumes I & II
"Kill Gil, Volumes I & II" is the ninth episode of The Simpsons eighteenth season which originally aired on December 17, 2006. This episode won a Writers Guild of America Award for best animation. The title of this episode is a reference to Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2. This episode aired exactly 17 years...

". The character borrows many of the mannerisms of the Lemmon character, and is oft portrayed in a desperate situation attempting to scrape a living as (an unsuccessful) salesman.

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