Glengarry Glen Ross



Times are tough in a Chicago real-estate office; the salesmen (Shelley Levene, Ricky Roma, Dave Moss, and George Aaronow) are given a strong incentive by Blake to succeed in a sales contest. The prizes? First prize is a Cadillac Eldorado, second prize is a set of steak knives, third prize is the sack! There is no room for losers in this dramatically masculine world; only "closers" will get the good sales leads. There is a lot of pressure to succeed, so a robbery is committed which has unforseen consequences for all the characters.  Internet Movie Database    




Directed by
James Foley

Writing credits (WGA)
David Mamet (play)
David Mamet (screenplay)

Jack Lemmon .... Shelley Levene
Al Pacino .... Ricky Roma
Ed Harris .... Dave Moss
Alan Arkin .... George Aaronow
Kevin Spacey .... John Williamson
Alec Baldwin .... Blake
Jonathan Pryce .... James Lingk
Bruce Altman .... Mr. Spannel
Jude Ciccolella .... Detective
Paul Butler .... Policeman
Lori Tan Chinn .... Coat Check Girl
Neal Jones .... Man in Donut Shop
Barry Rossen .... Assistant Detective
Leigh French .... Additional Voices
George Cheung .... Additional Voices
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GGR To be Staged with Danny DeVito

    April 26, 2002 -- HERE'S a good lead: Danny DeVito closed the deal this week to star in a Broadway revival of David Mamet's "Glengarry Glen Ross" next season, sources close to the actor told The Post yesterday.
    DeVito will play Shelly Levene, a once great real estate salesman who has hit the skids and is desperately trying to avoid being packed off to Willy Loman land.
    DeVito will be making his Broadway debut in the revival, which will be directed by Daniel Sullivan ("Proof," "Morning's at Seven") and produced by Robert Cole.
    The budget will be $1.5 million.
    No other actor has been signed yet but Cole is said to have on his wish list Al Pacino and Alec Baldwin, both of whom gave memorable turns in the 1992 movie.    
    The original "Glengarry Glen Ross," a dog-devour-dog story about a corrupt real estate office, opened on Broadway in 1984 and starred Robert Prosky and Joe Mantegna.
    It won the Pulitzer Prize that year but lost the Tony to Tom Stoppard's "The Real Thing."
    The play grew out of Mamet's experiences as a typist in a Chicago real estate office. "The salesmen in the office were the most driven guys I've ever met," the playwright once said. "They were selling worthless land in Arizona and Florida to unsuspecting people, and they had to make the sale to eat."
    A little-known fact: Harold Pinter had a hand in the success of "Glengarry Glen Ross." Mamet was having trouble finishing the script, so he sent it to Pinter and asked him for guidance. "Just stage it," Pinter said, then sent the script on to Peter Hall, then director of the National Theatre in London.
    The National produced the play, to great acclaim. "Glengarry Glen Ross" is said to be the most lucrative of all of Mamet's plays, and is frequently staged in theaters throughout the world.



The word "fuck" and its derivatives are uttered 137 times. IMD

The word "shit" and its derivatives are uttered 50 times. IMD

Playwright David Mamet won the Pulitzer Prize for Glengarry Glen Ross


Boom mike visible when Shelley is describing his sales pitch to Ricky. IMD

Visible shadow of camera crew visible on the train in the closing shot. IMD

George's position when talking to Ricky about the break-in. IMD




16X9 (2.35:1 Matted Version)and 4X3 FF (Both versions are Digitally Remastered)
2.0 French Dolby Digital
English Closed Captioning
5.1 DTS Digital Surround Sound
5.1 English Dolby Digital Audio
2.0 English Dolby Digital Audio
English and Spanish Subtitles
Interactive Menus
    A.B.C (Always Be Closing)
    J. Roy: New and Used Furniture
    Magic Time: A Tribute to Jack Lemmon
    Alec Baldwin – “Blake”
    Alan Arkin – “George Aaronow”
    John Ruiz Anchia – Cinematographer
    Jane Musky – Production Designer

    Charlie Rose Show – Jack Lemmon
    Inside the Actors Studio – Kevin Spacey
New Audio Commentary by Director James Foley.
Cast and Crew Biographies
Production Notes

*Special Features Not Rated





    (about Jack Lemmon after his death)
    Jack was the most selfless actor I've ever worked with. He was the most considerate and the most generous. He cared a great deal about what he was doing. He was a complete actor who gave 150 percent. But the remarkable thing about Jack was that he kept growing. So his best work was his latest work.
    He achieved a simplicity and grace in his work that could only come from such devotion to his acting craft. It was because of Jack's inordinate attention to the role in connection with himself that he achieved a kind of glorious freedom in the end. A freedom that only comes after going through all the trials and ordeals that make it possible to survive in this world as an actor.
    In the end, he achieved the highest standard of acting: simplicity, utter simplicity and grace. I, for one, will miss looking forward to his next project. I will miss his ceaseless development, because you knew when you were going to see Jack's performance, especially in the later years, it was going to bring with it his consummate knowledge, gravity, depth, and wisdom that all the years of dedication had brought him to. I certainly will miss that.
    Jack was never an old actor. He was always fresh and new. That's   why it's always a bit of a shock when someone like him leaves us. He will always be remembered, of course. But what will be missed is the newness and originality he was bringing to his roles lately. What will be missed is the direction his art was taking. (ET Weekly, January 4, 2002 No. 633)


Empire Magazine, by Simon Braund
"What's my name? Fuck you, that's my name!" In the course of his stunning cameo appearance in Glengarry Glen Ross, Alec Baldwin breaks off from a company pep talk that has all the motivational subtlety of a cattle prod for a brief detour into personal belittlement. Moments later, he slips off his Rolex and dangles it in Ed Harris' face. "You see this watch?" he sneers. "It cost more than your car." It's with this kind of brutal, honed-to-perfection dialogue that screenwriter-playwright-director David Mamet is most closely associated. And in Glengarry Glen Ross, the James Foley-directed film he adapted from his own Pulitzer Prizewinning stage play, it reaches its apotheosis. Chronicling a desperate 24 hours in the dog-eat-dog lives of four real estate salesmen, it's an electrifying glimpse into the black hear of the American dream.
In a recent seminar at the Actors' Studio in New York, Alec Baldwin claimed he improvised most of the more vicious than it was on the page. is that true?
It's not true, but it's interesting. I think you may be misquoting him. No, his specific point was that he made the dialogue more vicious than the lines I'd written. He probably meant the way he was acting. Maybe I should go back and look at that movie again ...
Did you not want to direct it yourself?
No, I'd done it for the stage. I spent a lot of time living with that play. I was very happy to have James Foley direct it, and I was thrilled with the result.
Could you have improved it?
No, I loved it. There's a terrible thing we do in the States which is asking people when they come out of a movie to give their reasoned assessment of it. To take someone who, one would hope, has just had a legitimately good time and ask them to become a film critic is, I think, a great imposition, and it brings out the worst in them - just as it brings out the worst in anyone to say, "Here's the work of someone else, here's a free ride, go be a detractor." I don't want to be a detractor about that movie -- I thought it was a terrific movie. And I don't think it's my place, even if I didn't like it -- and I loved it -- to start analyzing it.
Is all that swearing really necessary?
I don't think it's bad language. It's a movie about life in a vicious sales community - it's not about life in a convent. And it's not my job to determine whether something is necessary; it's simply my job to write it.
You have some experience of working in real estate sales. Is the play based on that?
It was certainly inspired by it.
Is it really that rough?
Oh, it's much worse. Ask anybody who's worked in a sales organisation. It's terrible. Absolutely brutal.
Glengarry is a fiercely macho film, and you have been accused of not writing good parts for women.
... By whom?
By your critics.
That's a matter of taste. I think I write great parts for women.
What is it that fascinates you about con men?
I like to be fooled. I like magic. Most people like magic. Do you like magic?
Yes, as long as neither Paul Daniels nor David Copperfield is involved.
I love to be fooled. I'd love to be a magician, but I really don't have the patience. That takes extraordinary dedication. But I do have the patience to write, and I like doing that kind of magic trick.
But con men are slightly different - there's a criminal element to what they do. Does that make them even more attractive?
Perhaps. I don't want to be a con man, I just want to be a writer. But I like the idea of perpetrating a trick, and both con men and magicians - and, to a certain extent, dramatists - use an understanding of the mechanics of human perception, specifically anticipation, to fool the audience; one for nefarious purposes, the other as part of an art. Nevertheless, the techniques are the same. It's easy to get the audience to applaud, you can sucker the audience into applauding, but you can't sucker them into gasping.
You won a Pulitzer prize for Glengarry Glen Ross, but you've never won an Oscar. Is that something you aspire to?

Oh, I don't know. I'm as covetous and as craven as the next guy. It would be nice to have another doorstop, I guess, but beyond that it's not so important.
Some doorstop. Where do you keep your Pulitzer?
Apparently, when they give you the Pulitzer prize they're supposed to give you a medal. I never got one. It never occurred to me until right now to ask for it. You do get a little certificate, though, which I've got somewhere ...




BLAKE:  We're adding a little something to this month's sales contest. As you all know, first prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Anybody want to see second prize? [Holds up prize.] Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you're fired.

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

ROMA: They say that it was so hot in the city today, grown men were walking up to cops on street corners begging them to shoot.

WILLIAMSON: Will you go to lunch? Go to lunch. WILL you GO to LUNCH!?


MOSS: Who are you? What's your name?
BLAKE: You see this watch? You see this watch?
MOSS: Yeah.
BLAKE: That watch costs more than you car. I made $970,000 last year. How much you make? You see pal, that's who I am, and you're nothing. Nice guy, I don't give a shit. Good father, fuck you! Go home and play with your kids! You wanna work here, close! You think this is abuse? You think this is abuse, you cocksucker? You can't take this, how can you take the abuse you get on a sit?

BLAKE: You can't close the leads you're given, you can't close shit, you are shit! Hit the bricks, pal, and beat it, 'cause you are going out!
LEVENE: The leads are weak.
BLAKE: The leads are weak? Fuckin' leads are weak? You're weak. I've been in this business fifteen years.
MOSS: What's your name?
BLAKE: FUCK YOU! That's my name. You know why, mister? 'Cause you drove a Hyundai to get here tonight, and I drove an $80,000 BMW. That's my name!

MOSS: We don't gotta sit here and listen to this.
BLAKE: You sure don't pal, 'cause the good news is - you're fired!

MOSS: That guy's a fuckin' asshole. Anybody who talks to that asshole is a fuckin' asshole.

MOSS: Fuck the machine, fuck the machine, FUCK THE MACHINE!!

BLAKE: Coffee is for closers!

ROMA: All train compartments smell vaguely of shit. It gets so you don't mind it. That's the worst thing that I can confess. You know how long it took me to get there? A long time. When you die you're going to regret the things you don't do. You think you're queer? I'm going to tell you something: we're all queer. You think you're a thief? So what? You get befuddled by a middle-class morality? Get shut of it. Shut it out. You cheated on your wife? You did it, live with it. You fuck little girls, so be it. There's an absolute morality? Maybe. And then what? If you think there is, then be that thing. Bad people go to hell? I don't think so. If you think that, act that way. A hell exists on earth? Yes. I won't live in it. That's me. You ever take a dump made you feel like you'd just slept for twelve hours?



Buy it at
Encoding: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
Format: Widescreen, Box set, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound
Rated: R Not for sale to persons under age 18.
DVD Release Date: February 17, 2004

DVD Features
Commentary by director James Foley
Production notes
Digitally remastered
"A.B.C. (Always Be Closing)": an original documentary tracing the psychological intersection of fictional and real life salesman
A Tribute to Jack Lemmon
"J. Roy: New and Used Furniture" short
Scenes with bonus audio commentary by Alec Baldwin, cinematographer Juan Ruiz Anchia, Alan Arkin, and production designer Jane Musky
Clip archives from The Charlie Rose Show and Inside the Actor's Studio
Full-screen and widescreen anamorphic formats
Number of discs: 2


GALLERY    LINKS   (official site of the DVD)   (banners for the DVD)
Buy the video
Buy the play
The Unofficial Glengary Glen Ross Site
Internet Movie Database
E! Online Factsheet
movieguide database, tvgen
Mr. Showbiz
The text of the play