Games People Pay

Bizarrely, it is Alec Baldwin, in a role written by Mamet especially for the film, that seems to create the strongest impression in a battle-cry monologue setting the conditions for the employees' triumph, survival, and dismissal. Here is the writing's most deliberately vulgar flourish, and in Baldwin it finds its condign exponent, alternately trashy and compelling. But what is sadly missing from Glengarry Glen Ross is the volcanic fury of Mamet's symphony of salesmanship, the cacophonous calls and shifting tempos of his thoroughly modern theatrical music. The performers fare well enough, but in no manner do they constitute an ensemble. They play straight to the camera, with all the self-consciousness and tunnel vision of a premeditated con job -- they're pulling an even faster one on the audience.

Directed by James Foley; written by David Mamet; with Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin, Kevin Spacey, Jonathan Pryce, and Alec Baldwin.


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