Glengarry Glen Ross Review

This review is of the TV-14 edited version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

Now this film is one that I hadn’t heard of before and I feel like I’d remember seeing the name around since it’s fairly unique. It’s about a bunch of salesman just talking for a while so on the surface that may sound a bit dull to some but I am always up for a ton of talking as long as it’s interesting. It’s like watching a podcast to an extent as you have visuals here. It ends up being a fun film and I would even say that it goes by quickly. You really get to see how tough it is to be in sales.

The film starts off with John summoning all of his salesmen into the office because corporate is sending someone over. The problem is that their umbers have slipped big time and corporate doesn’t like that one bit. The guy they send in is a man named Blake who really destroys them all verbally over and over again. This guy then announces that they will be firing 2 out of the 4 salesmen at the end of the month. This will be based purely on sales so you have to be in the top 2 before this is all over or you’re doomed. The job was already stressful but this has pushed things over the edge.

The way this works is the boss (John) will give each salesman 2 leads and after they successfully close out the deals then you get more leads. Unfortunately the leads that Shelley, Dave, and George are getting are so old that they haven’t been able to sell anything. Effectively the clients they are trying to sell products too just don’t have the money for them or have no interest. Meanwhile the top salesman Richard is doing really good. He gets the best leads and always delivers so the company continues to give him the best leads. It’s a really intense cycle and one that doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon. The salesmen will have to surpass their limits here.

While Blake only appears in that opening scene he definitely leaves a great impression. I know a ton of his lines just from popular culture and memes because the speech is very memorable. The guy is absolutely not someone you’d want to be around and it would be tempting to quit on the spot. It’s hard to take that kind of onslaught in person even when you really need the job. Ultimately nobody is able to walk away though in part because of how desperate they are so they can only talk big once he has already left. Sometimes that is just how it goes. This guy certainly earns a lot of money so on the surface you might think that he was right but you have to remember that at this point he’s high enough where he likely controls the leads he gets and he gets money just for being an exec.

It’s why people are always jaded when the big boss comes in to talk about how great he is at the job. Usually when you’re up there it is just a completely different ballgame and so you are going to naturally be very skeptical about it. The main salesmen definitely do a lot of complaining the whole film about the leads but you definitely get it. If your job security is tied to making a sale to someone who has no interest in buying anything then you are really going to be in a very tough spot.

I would say the main character here is Shelley. He’s desperate to have some money as he needs to send some for his daughter’s school but no matter how hard he tries, nobody is buying anything. I should explain now that the company basically sells real estate but in a scam kind of way where they have to dress this up in a million different ways to try and get people to buy it. It makes sense that people would naturally be very skeptical about this. Shelley tries every trick in the book but things are not getting any easier for him. He used to be a top salesman back in the day but the others say he is in a slump while he blames the leads.

Then you have Dave who has a lot of confidence in himself but also explains that selling with the bad leads is impossible. He suggests to the other salesman George that maybe they should break into the office and steal the good leads. After all, seemingly as if to taunt them corporate did bring in a ton of really great leads that should be top contenders. If you get one of those then you will get a ton of sales or better yet, you can sell them to a competitor and make a lot of money. George is tempted by Dave’s offer but it’s also super risky as Dave wants George to go in and steal them while Dave creates an alibi for himself. Additionally Dave will be taking more money out of the cut while George takes all of the risk so that doesn’t seem like a very smart idea. George is desperate though so he has a choice to make here.

Finally you have Richard who is really having a great time manipulating everyone. He has the kind of confidence that you can only obtain through experience and success. Everything has been looking up for him so why wouldn’t he be very pleased with himself right? As a result he panics less than the others and just generally has a great time but of course things can’t go so easy for long right? He missed out on the meeting with corporate since he couldn’t be bothered and has been dominating the charts for a long time. It is nice to see his transformation though once things start to get really tense.

A film like this will live or die based on if the story is interesting. Since the characters are talking nonstop you have to enjoy what they’re talking about or that’s it. Well I can definitely say that the dialogue works out well here. Of course this is one case where the edited version does some heavy lifting as the amount of quick silences thrown in to block out the script is crazy. Without that then this would probably be a bit tricky but it works out and that’s what counts. So I got to really enjoy the dialogue this way and it’s that fast paced way of talking that works really well here. Everyone starts to talk at once at some points and all of the yelling works really well to understand the team dynamics here. Some conversations intentionally go around in circles as well which adds to the fun of it.

Overall, This was a pretty good movie. I would say that I enjoyed it more than I expected that I would. The movie turns a fairly simple premise into a movie that is engaging from start to finish. The character cast works well as they bounce off of each other a lot. I would have liked the corporate guy to show up again in the end but the ending that the movie chose still worked rather well. It balances the humor and seriousness of the situation well and at the end of the day plenty of people constantly vent about their jobs but still go back and continue to work anyway. That’s basically how it is for these salesmen and I doubt any of them will leave unless they are fired. The ending brings some nice twists and this is a very complete experience.

Overall 7/10