Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5.
USA, 1992. GGR, New Line Cinema, Zupnik Cinema Group II. Screenplay by David Mamet, based on his play. Cinematography by Juan Ruiz Anchia. Produced by Jerry Tokofsky, Stanley R. Zupnik. Music by James Newton Howard. Production Design by Jane Musky. Costume Design by Jane Greenwood. Film Editing by Howard E. Smith. National Board of Review Awards 1992. Academy Awards 1992. Golden Globe Awards 1992.
Fascinating examination of the competitive spirit in the business world. Five real estate agents are put to the test when their home office lets them know that they have one week to make a sale on some hopeless property bids or they will be fired. Whoever wins the contest of selling the most property will be given the surefire leads on newly developing prime real estate, and this inspires some very diverse reactions from the men. Jack Lemmon is outstanding as an aging agent whose years of low sales have driven him to desperation, while Al Pacino steals the show as the hot-shot seller who never seems to let anything get to him. David Mamet’s dialogue is some of his best writing ever, and the drama is punctuated by excellent direction by James Foley, who never hides the film’s theatrical origins but never lets it work against the material either. Riveting, and featuring an excellent performance by Alec Baldwin in a seven minute cameo written especially for the film by Mamet.