Glengarry Glen Ross
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What's it About
As a "cold" real-estate market dampens prospects, motivation consultant Blake (Baldwin) challenges the sales staff at Premiere Properties to a pointedly competitive contest: find buyers or lose your position. Shelley "The Machine" Levine (Lemmon), once a star huckster, can't seem to cut a break, and with a daughter in the hospital, becomes increasingly frantic. Meanwhile, egotistical Ricky Roma (Pacino) appears to be thriving amid the gloom, while beleaguered colleagues Dave Moss (Harris) and George Aaronow (Arkin) resort to a criminal scheme to get ahead. But who really wins and loses in this cutthroat set-up?
Why we love it
Director Foley's lacerating, foul-mouthed drama, adapted from David Mamet's Pulitzer Prize-winning play, is equal parts Arthur Miller and bald critique of Reaganomics-gone-bad. The terse dialogue, dreary office setting, and fist-gnawing sense of competition all push this stylish film into dramatic overdrive. Yet the heart and soul of "Glengarry" belongs to the tremendous ensemble cast: Arkin, Harris, Baldwin, and Pacino deliver stellar work, and Lemmon is brilliant as the achingly pathetic Levine, who may also be sufficiently panic-stricken to break the law. Edgy and dark, "Glengarry" endures as a potent film about white-collar desperation and the instinct for survival.