Past Movie Review: Glengarry Glen Ross


“Glengarry Glen Ross” is perhaps the best example of ensemble acting in movie history. Alec Baldwin, Al Pacino, Ed Harris, Jack Lemmon, Kevin Spacey, Jonathan Pryce and Alan Arkin star in this production that represents some of the best acting of their entire careers. The story is very simple. Desperate salesman who would do almost anything to rip people off by selling them bad or non existent real estate properties. All that matters is the sale, not the lives ruined, money stolen from decent hard working people. People like this are always able to rationalize and justify stealing money from people, with lies, misdirection and trickery. “Well, they fell for it”, and they all sleep well at night. What this amazing film does better than anything is remind us that people like this really exist. The acting in this film is some of the finest ever filmed, including a speech by Alec Baldwin at the start of the film (see below), that is arguably the greatest single performance in his entire career.

This movie is one pathetic scene after another, of desperate salesman cold calling sales lead after lead. They lie to their customers, promising them something that is either not true or does not even exist. They desperately try to close real estate deals in order to win a Cadillac Eldorado with no regard with the crimes they are committing. The central story stars Al Pacino who lies his way into the trust of one of his main leads, played by Jonathan Pryce – who later has a bad case of buyers remorse after talking to his wife. The end of this movie with Al Pacino desperately trying to lie his way out of losing a deal and Jack Lemmon, trying to hang onto his life is some of the best acting in this entire movie.

David Mamet wrote the screenplay for this great film based on his play. The dialogue is loaded with epithets and complex rapid fire back and forth which is how people like this talk in real life. The best part of this movie is the dialogue, that is some of the best I have ever seen.

Glengarry Glen Ross was released in 1992 and is one of the best films of its kind ever produced. I agree with the 95% ratings on Rotten Tomatoes and I give this movie my highest recommendation.

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