glengarry glen ross - dumb question

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by andrew markworthy, Dec 4, 2002.

  1. andrew markworthy

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    Sorry if this sounds really dumb, but am I right in assuming that the guys in Glengarry Glenn Ross are trying to sell plots of land in Florida, and that basically these plots of land are worthless pieces of swamp? Is this a widespread scam in the USA? Sorry to sound so stupid, but the practice of cold-calling to sell a person land is unknown in the UK.
     
  2. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    Hi Andrew,
    Remember, there are no stupid questions, but many flippant answers.
    It's been a while since I've seen the movie (will watch the new DVD with my roommate soon) but if I remember correctly, your summary is basically correct. Yes, we are greedy scum. [​IMG]
     
  3. Alex Spindler

    Alex Spindler Producer

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    I don't know if they are worthless per se, but they are certainly selling them as though they were priceless opportunities.

    They are likely uninteresting plots of land that don't look as enticing as the brochure.
     
  4. Peter Kim

    Peter Kim Screenwriter

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    The movie strikes me as a brutal yet honest portrayal of cold sales. I attempted this back in my college years and bailed after one day.

    Some people may believe GGR is another example of David Mamet's 'pornographic', overbloated writing style, but he really hit the head on the nail with this one.

    After so many years laboring in this industry, I can only imagine how the toil might warp away the psyche of a salesman.
     
  5. andrew markworthy

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  6. DonMac

    DonMac Stunt Coordinator

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    The fact that these salesmen are selling something that's basically worthless leaves viewers really conflicted. On one hand, there's a lot of sympathy built up in the movie for these men under enormous pressure to sale. But, on the other hand, it's very easy to identify with any potential buyers in the movie and not want them to throw their money away on this worthless property. The way the movie is able to pull the viewer's sympathies in both directions is remarkable and the main reason I think it's a great film.
     
  7. Lew Crippen

    Lew Crippen Executive Producer

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    Andrew, you might be interested in watching Salesman, a documentary made in the mid-60s and released in 1968 by the Mayseles Brothers (same guys who made the documentary on the Stones, Gimmie Shelter).

    This is a brilliant film about selling Bibles, door-to-door. But more about those individuals selling the bibles and one in particular, Paul, who is often viewed as a real-life Willy Loman. This film goes to the core of what we all do to survive and the compromises that we make in our lives.
     
  8. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    Remember, these aren't "cold calls", but rather follow-up calls on leads. Those leads in this case appear to have come from people coming to browse at some showplace, booth, etc. At least I inferred that from one of the comments Baldwin made. These are people that showed a passing interest (which was a big mistake it would seem [​IMG] ).
     
  9. andrew markworthy

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    Lew, I've seen the movie 'Salesmen' and I agree, it's superb.

    Seth, apologies - I was using 'cold call' as shorthand.
    I must admit I'm rather confused as to why anyone in their right mind would want to buy a patch of land in Florida (or anywhere else for that matter) just from looking at a brochure. I'd love to know what constituted the 'good leads' in the movie - were these people who were certified simpletons as opposed to merely half-witted?

    Incidentally, I do have some sympathy for sales people (especially when they're saddled with selling junk) but I couldn't sympathise with the guys in Glengarry, simply because they were selling something morally dubious and they knew it. Nonetheless, a great movie. I love David Mamet's work. His feeling for the nuances and tempos of speech is remarkable. Folks who think the language is stilted are, IMHO, missing the point.
     
  10. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    I think "good leads" simply meant people from a better demographic. For example, people that have already bought land, people with a certain income, people with a certain lifestyle, etc. (though I guess you understand this and are just having some fun with it).
    Mamet doesn't write real dialog, he writes entertaining dialog. And of course that is exactly his job. [​IMG]
    Andrew, I agree on sympathy, but I don't think we are supposed to anyway. I especially found Lemon's house call to be uncomfortable just knowing how full of shit he was, trying to BS them into anything.
     
  11. Paul_D

    Paul_D Cinematographer

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