This groundbreaking documentary features an up-close look at the day-to-day lives of four door-to-door bible salesmen, each with insider nicknames like "The Gipper," "The Rabbit" and "The Bull"; all of whom face varying levels of customer resistance and rejection in a tough market. The film focuses in particular on one Paul "The Badger" Brennan, who is sinking ever deeper into a professional slump, feeding a nagging disillusionment with his chosen calling and, by extension, his whole life.
The innovative, powerful "Salesman" put the Maysles Brothers on the map as filmmakers, and remains one of the finest documentaries ever made, as it shines a sobering light on the modern human condition. In Paul Brennan, we witness a man who has lost the will and ability to perform in his job, with his own self-respect and purpose receding before his eyes. Sadly, at the end of a once-promising career, he has precious little to show for his efforts. A wrenching tale of burnout, "Salesman" makes a pitch that's hard to ignore.