Starring: Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Kevin Spacey
Director: James Foley
Running Time: 100 mins
Glengarry Glen Ross is an American film about four struggling real estate agents who are pitted against each other to make the biggest sales of the month in order to win a prize Cadillac, and avoid getting fired.
Well, first things first, this film has one of the most amazing casts ever assembled. The performances here are all top-notch, and the actors have such great chemistry that they play off of one another in making the black comedy in this film work so well, something which also comes from the excellent writing for this film, that not only makes it entertaining, but an absolutely fascinating story.
So let’s talk a bit more about this astonishing line-up. The film stars Al Pacino, Alec Baldwin, Kevin Spacey, Ed Harris, Jack Lemmon and Alan Arkin. Need I say anymore?
Honestly, though, the chemistry that these guys have on screen is fantastic, and it really shines through in what is at times quite a subtle story about the dog-eat-dog world of salesmen and the cruelty of financial businesses because you get a real sense of the gravitas of their situation, but the actors’ chemistry makes it actually pretty fun to watch.
There’s a stunning scene at the beginning of the film which, although is so heavy and cruel, it’s to such an excessive extent that it just seems ridiculous and funny at the same time. This is where Alec Baldwin comes in in an amazing cameo appearance to really set the tone for the entire story, one which is hugely unforgiving and severe.
Throughout, you also have the growing relationships/alliances/rivalries between various characters as they all try to push their own agendas right to the top. Kevin Spacey as the snitching supervisor does a great job, Ed Harris and Alan Arkin work very well together in trying to get some desperate deals done to win the car, Jack Lemmon is fantastic as the man that’s just depressingly down on his luck, and the suave, swaggering Al Pacino is just an absolute delight to watch.
So, the excess of the story is what turns it into a really black comedy, but the plot on its own works very well and is hugely interesting. Again, it highlights the cruelty and competitiveness of the sales industry, while also looking at themes like the American Dream, making it a very intelligent story, whilst the competition that prevails and the unexpected drama that develops as a result is what makes it such an exciting and entertaining film to watch, so that’s why it gets a 7.9 from me.