Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)

In director James Foley's film adapted from scripter David Mamet's real estate stage play with many rapid-fire, cleverly convoluted, foul-mouthed lines of dialogue among desperate, hard-luck real estate agents looking for solid "leads" (names of potential buyer-clients):

  • the opening scene of consulting super-salesman Blake (Alec Baldwin), sent by Mitch & Murray - the real estate owners of the Premiere Properties real estate agency, to deliver a rousing, motivational, in-your-face, foul-mouthed ultimatum speech toward the salesmen in their grungy office; he described the monthly sales contest: ("We're adding a little something to this month's sales contest. As you all know, the first prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Anybody wanna see second prize? Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is 'You're fired'"); only the top two salesmen (of the small sales-force) would receive prizes
  • the arrogant Blake's advice about the letters (A-I-D-A) and three other letters A-B-C, that he displayed on a blackboard (signifying Always Be Closing) : ("Because only one thing counts in this life! Get them to sign on the line which is dotted! You hear me, you f--king faggots? (he displayed a blackboard with words) A-B-C. A-always, B-be, C-closing. Always be closing! Always be closing! A-I-D-A. Attention, interest, decision, action. Attention: do I have your attention? Interest: are you interested? I know you are 'cause it's f--k or walk. You close or you hit the bricks!"
  • the characters of profanity-spewing, hotshot, leading "closer" salesman Ricky Roma (Oscar-nominated Al Pacino) (with his raunchy dialogue about a female customer's crumbcake), iron-fisted, inept office manager/boss of the salesmen John Williamson (Kevin Spacey) who provided his sales-force with old "leads", plus tired, desperate old-timer Shelley 'the Machine' Levene (Jack Lemmon)
  • the scene of John Williamson refusing to give desperate co-worker Shelley any of his good 'premium' sales leads for the Glengarry Highlands project development: ("Let me tell you something, Shelley. I do what I'm hired to do. You might do the same...I'm hired to watch the leads, to marshal my sales force. I'm given a policy. My job is to do that...Anybody falls below a certain mark, I'm directed. I'm not permitted to give them the premium leads....Do you know what the 'premium' leads cost?"); Williamson denied Shelley when he begged for better 'premium' leads for the project: ("I can not sell s--t!...Just give me some leads that don't come out of a phone book, huh? You give me something hotter than that and I can close it. It's just a streak. I'm gonna turn it around. Hey, I need your help")
  • the sequence of Roma's long-winded, disjointed, underhanded sales pitch about Glengarry Highlands real estate to timid, lonely, middle-aged James Lingk (Jonathan Pryce), and ultimately convincing him after discussing his philosophy of life, that he should buy real-estate: ("What I'm saying, what is our life? Our life is looking forward or it's looking back. That's it. That's our life. Where's the moment? And what is it we're so afraid of? Loss. What else? The bank closes. We get sick, my wife died on a plane, the stock market collapsed. What if these happen? None of 'em. We worry anyway. Why?...What do ya keep? I mean, you don't keep anything. Security, things, things, you know? It's just, you try to stave off insecurity. You can't do it...Stocks, bonds, objects of art, real estate. What are they? An opportunity. To what? To make money? Perhaps. To lose money? Perhaps. To 'indulge' and to 'learn' about ourselves? Perhaps. So f--king what? What isn't? They're an opportunity. That's all they are. They're an event. A guy comes to you, you make a call, you send in a card. 'I have these properties I would like for you to see.' What does it mean? What do you want it to mean. Do you see what I'm saying? Things happen to you....")
  • also, after Roma's failed real-estate deal with Lingk that collapsed due to Williamson's intervention, Roma delivered a scornful insulting, verbal and obscene tirade: ("You stupid f--kin' cunt. You, Williamson, I'm talkin' to you, s--thead. You just cost me $6,000. $6,000, and one Cadillac. That's right. What are you gonna do about it? What are you gonna do about it, asshole? You're f--kin' s--t. Where did you learn your trade, you stupid f--king cunt, you idiot? Who ever told you that you could work with men?...Oh, I'm gonna have your job, s--thead. I'm going downtown. I'm gonna talk to Mitch and Murray. I'm going to Lemkin! I don't care whose nephew you are, who you know, whose dick you're suckin' on, you're goin' out. I swear to you...")
  • the concluding sequence in which there was an office burglary and the "premium" leads were stolen (and sold to a rival for "five grand"), after which Williamson mercilessly scolded and berated the scheming and pitiable Shelley, who admitted his guilt, then claimed he was back as a better salesman and offered to bribe him for his silence - Williamson responded that he didn't want to be bribed, and explained his cruel reason for ruining him: ("I don't think I want your money. I think you f--ked up my office, and I think you're going away....I'm sorry...Because I don't like you...F--k you!")

Blake: "Third prize is 'You're fired'"

Blake: "Always Be Closing"

Office Manager/Boss
John Williamson
(Kevin Spacey)

Shelley Levene
(Jack Lemmon)

Roma's Sales Pitch to Buyer Lingk about Glengarry Highlands Real Estate

Roma's Scolding of Williamson For Ruining His Deal

Williamson Scolding Shelley Levene For the Office Burglary and For Personal Reasons


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