What ever was thought about the Real Estate business, one needs schooling, one needs spontaneity and presence of spirit along with the little spark of luck necessary everywhere in life, it is indeed, “a tough rocket”, as Alec Baldwin says here in one of the best performances he ever did on the big screen.
In the small and undeveloped countries where the newbie thinks he can make a living by selling real estate, is even tougher, because the average guy doesn’t have the education to make a business à la carte, and with all the “paradise” he sells you, you can end up by loosing your time, your money and before all that, your land you just bought as a “bargain”. What I’m saying now is that I know what I’m talking about and I understood every second of this masterpiece of a movie, called Glengarry Glen Ross
This film, released in 1992, is the closest film I’ve seen related with the real estate selling business. With an exceptional cast: Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin, Alan Arkin, Ed Harris, Kevin Spacey, Jonathan Pryce, great performers we all know from other movies. Every detail I’m gonna write here, can spoil the subject, so I’ll just recommend you the movie, nothing more.
The director, James Foley, is known to you by showing Sean Penn, Christopher Walken and Mary Stuart Masterson where to sit and what to eat in At Close Range, a movie from 1986 and from Grisham’s The Chamber, a movie from 1996 which I haven’t seen, since I didn’t like this novel. It’s not the same with other Grisham novels which were motion pictured, or not. The writer, David Mamet, contributed to Wag the Dog (1997) and to The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981) which in my book is enough to say he’s great on his own right, without much more credentials, even if he had them. And he had them, he won the Pulitzer Prize for the play, in 1984.
All the actors I named above, won the “best actor” award at Valladolid Film Festival and Al Pacino was nominated for an Oscar for best actor in a supporting role, as well as for a Golden Globe, but this late one wasn’t a failure, sharing awards with Steve Carell isn’t an honor at all. The world premiere was at the Venice Film Festival, where Jack Lemmon won a best actor award. As a lot of other good movies, this one wasn’t a commercial success, even if it was highly acclaimed by the critics. By the way, I’ve mentioned here before, of a movie with a tremendously impact which wasn’t tasted by the critics at all, in a previous post not quite film related. Professional sources says it doesn’t even covered his budget in USA and Canada altogether. Only 10.7 Million dollars were cashed from the 12.5 Million dollars invested. The language is rough and Mamet wouldn’t compromise, so no major studio wanted to finance the project which from only the writer wanted half of a Million for the play rights and another half to make the screenplay. Al the other actors made cuts in their prices to accommodate the small budget, Al Pacino went from 6 Millions to 1.5, Jack Lemmon received one million and Alec Baldwin just 250 thousand. The good thing is that a lot of other actors were interested to play: Robert De Niro, Richard Gere, Bruce Willis and Joe Mantegna who was the original Ricky Roma on Broadway and won a Tony Award for this. You can remember Joe Mantegna from The Godfather III, he was the unforgettable Italian-American who offered the Meiucci Prize, Joey Zasa. Here’s a piece of Pacino’s performance:
As you notice in this video too, as well as the in the first one, with Baldwin, the language is for adults.
The images are from imdb and the videos from YouTube.
Glengarry Glen Ross, 7.9 rated, 100 minutes, released in October 1992
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