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; it told about two days in the lives of four desperate, cut-throat, hard-luck real estate agents looking for solid "leads" (names of potential buyer-clients) - with the tagline: "The hardest thing in life is sell":

  • in the opening scene, consulting super-salesman Blake (Alec Baldwin) was sent by Mitch & Murray - the corporate 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, while the third one would be fired
  • the arrogant Blake's advice used 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 other real-estate agent characters included:
    • profanity-spewing, hotshot, leading "closer" salesman Ricky Roma (Oscar-nominated Al Pacino) (with his raunchy dialogue about a female customer's crumbcake)
    • the iron-fisted, unethical, inept office manager/boss of the salesmen John Williamson (Kevin Spacey) who provided his sales-force with old "leads"
    • tired, desperate old-timer Shelley 'the Machine' Levene (Jack Lemmon), with a hospitalized and sick daughter
  • after Blake departed, John Williamson gave out leads to his salesmen, but they complained about the outdated, old and stale lists given to them, rather than being provided with his good 'premium' sales leads (rich clients who were potential buyers) for the Glengarry Highlands project development; Williamson responded to the criticisms of desperate co-worker Shelley: ("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 any more help when the distraught Shelley 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"); Williamson manipulatively took advantage of Shelley's desperation by offering better leads at a cost, including a cut of his future profits - but Shelley refused
  • Roma gave a long-winded, disjointed, underhanded sales pitch about Glengarry Highlands real estate to timid, lonely, middle-aged James Lingk (Jonathan Pryce), and ultimately convinced him after discussing his philosophy of life, that he should seize the "opportunity" and 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....")
  • in the midst of competitive sales of Glengarry property, there was an office burglary and the "premium" Glengarry leads were stolen (and sold to Jerry Graff in a competing rival agency for "five grand"); due to the surrounding publicity and a police interrogation, Roma's failed real-estate deal with Lingk began to collapse when his client demanded his down-payment back; although Roma was able to salvage the deal and use several tactics to deceptively persuade Lingk to reconsider, Williamson intervened and contradicted Roma's claims; Lingk broke the deal and rushed out of the office
  • Roma delivered a scornful insulting, verbal and obscene tirade against Williamson for ruining his deal: ("You stupid f--kin' c--t. 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 c--t, 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 d--k you're suckin' on, you're goin' out. I swear to you...")
  • in the concluding sequence, the scheming and pitiable Shelley inadvertently and guiltily revealed to Williamson that he had broken into the office, stolen the leads, and sold them
  • Williamson mercilessly scolded and berated Shelley, who 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, explained that Shelley's latest sales clients were irresponsible deadbeats, and how he cruelly wanted to ruin Shelley once and for all, and report his participation in the burglary: ("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)

Distraught Shelley Levene (Jack Lemmon) Begging For Premium Leads

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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