Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) (R)

As soon as "Glengarry Glen Ross" opens, it's plain to see that the movie was based off of a play. The limited number of characters and the depth that each one has instantly, the quick-fire dialogue, and then lack of sets—all characteristics of plays. What helps this movie is that David Marnet wrote the screenplay based off of his own play.
A tiny real-estate firm is struggling during hard times in Chicago. Four men (Ricky, Shelley, George, and Dave) are working to try to close deals but nothing is really happening. They need better leads, but they'll only get better leads if they close and they can't close without better leads—see the conundrum?
Their  boss, John, invites a man to come in a talk to them. Enter the very motivated Blake. He's the diamond in the rough of real-estate. He tells them that he could have closed all of the deals that they are working on right now for double the price. Then he lines up a competition with prizes. Whoever makes the most money will get first prize: a Cadillac. Second prize is a set of cheap steak knives and third prize is getting fired. Supposedly this threat will make the men work harder and for some it does but for others it just makes them resent John and the company they're working for. Ricky is the only man who's out of the running for the competition, he's the best closer the company has.
Corruption soon sets in and a few of the men decide that it would be a good idea if they stole a set of good leads, the Glengarry leads.
Chaos soon set in and the men are scrambling to close deals.
This film is noir at its finest. It's cheesy and corny and still lovable. Smoke and rain permeate the city of Chicago and you feel trapped inside the world of the four men.
James Foley, the director, knows what it will take to make this movie work and he evokes powerful performances from his cast.
It's doesn't hurt that his cast is some of the most seasoned and diverse actors of the age: Jack Lemmon, Alan Arkin, Al Pacino, Alec Baldwin, Kevin Spacey, and Ed Harris. It's hard to find a better cast than this.
"Glengarry Glen Ross" is a man's movie, slightly misogynistic to convey that real-estate is not a career for wimps.
This is where I had a hard time believing the movie.
It tries to make a gangster feeling....but it's real-estate. I fail to see what's so gritty and manly about the career and it's hard to overlook that.
"Glengarry Glen Ross" may not be perfect but it does have some great performances and wonderful lines.
Everyone winds up in a shouting match with some other person...most notably the small yet pivotal performance by Alec Baldwin as Blake.
It's enjoyable if a bit absurd.

Score: 3 out of 4 stars

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