(Written by David Mamet) (Dir. James Foley) (1992)
The sales staff get the leads, such as they are. They go out on sits, when (in various guises) they descend on the unsuspecting and try to sell them what sounds very much like swampland. The salesmen are driven less by greed and more by fear because as the motivational guy has just confirmed, failure to close the deal is death.
This film of Mamet’s play is stagy (of course), but with top-shelf power acting (by Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Kevin Spacey, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin, Alec Baldwin and Jonathon Pryce), it amounts to a potent, punishing and profane re-imaging of the pitiless unseen working facets of Death of a Salesman. As Michael Billington described the piece in The Guardian, “a chillingly funny indictment of a world in which you are what you sell.”