Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)

R | 100 mins | Drama | 30 September 1992

Director:

James Foley

Writer:

David Mamet

Cinematographer:

Juan Ruiz Anchia

Editor:

Howard Smith

Production Designer:

Jane Musky

Production Company:

August Entertainment
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HISTORY

The title of David Mamet's play, and subsequent screenplay, Glengarry Glen Ross, refers to two real estate developments: a new property in Florida called "Glengarry Highlands," and "Glen Ross Farms," mentioned by the character "Dave Moss" as a property he and his fellow salesmen once had success in selling.
       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, the play was first performed in 1983 in London, England, at the National Theatre of London, and won a 1984 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Film director Irvin Kershner, who was interested in adapting the play, recommended it to producer Jerry Tokofsky in 1985, according to a 12 Oct 1992 NYT article. Tokofsky, who was then executive vice president of Zupnik Enterprises, contacted David Mamet after seeing the play on Broadway, and agreed to Mamet’s demands of $500,000 for the film option, and an additional $500,000 to write the screen adaptation. The option was announced in a 21 Feb 1986 DV item, which stated that Tokofsky would produce with Irvin Kershner. However, Kershner is not credited in the final film.
       Mamet’s screenplay slightly deviated from the stage play with the addition of Alec Baldwin’s character, “Blake,” and the backdrop of the rainstorm, which director James Foley used “to reinforce the sense of the salesmens’ oppressed environment,” as stated in production notes.
       According to a 31 Jul 1986 HR item, shooting was initially planned to begin in early winter 1986 in Chicago, IL. However, the project was delayed over the next five years, and went through several personnel changes. Arthur Hiller was named as director in a 10 Apr 1986 DV item. ... More Less

The title of David Mamet's play, and subsequent screenplay, Glengarry Glen Ross, refers to two real estate developments: a new property in Florida called "Glengarry Highlands," and "Glen Ross Farms," mentioned by the character "Dave Moss" as a property he and his fellow salesmen once had success in selling.
       According to production notes in AMPAS library files, the play was first performed in 1983 in London, England, at the National Theatre of London, and won a 1984 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Film director Irvin Kershner, who was interested in adapting the play, recommended it to producer Jerry Tokofsky in 1985, according to a 12 Oct 1992 NYT article. Tokofsky, who was then executive vice president of Zupnik Enterprises, contacted David Mamet after seeing the play on Broadway, and agreed to Mamet’s demands of $500,000 for the film option, and an additional $500,000 to write the screen adaptation. The option was announced in a 21 Feb 1986 DV item, which stated that Tokofsky would produce with Irvin Kershner. However, Kershner is not credited in the final film.
       Mamet’s screenplay slightly deviated from the stage play with the addition of Alec Baldwin’s character, “Blake,” and the backdrop of the rainstorm, which director James Foley used “to reinforce the sense of the salesmens’ oppressed environment,” as stated in production notes.
       According to a 31 Jul 1986 HR item, shooting was initially planned to begin in early winter 1986 in Chicago, IL. However, the project was delayed over the next five years, and went through several personnel changes. Arthur Hiller was named as director in a 10 Apr 1986 DV item. A year later, the 14 May 1987 DV stated that Sidney Lumet was in negotiations to direct, with Bruce Willis set to star, possibly alongside Robert De Niro. On 7 Oct 1987, Var cited a start date of Mar 1987, and noted that partial financing would be provided by a foreign sales agreement between Zupnik Enterprises and Australia’s Village Roadshow. Ulu Grossbard replaced Sidney Lumet as director, according to a 6 Feb 1989 DV item, and Robert De Niro and Al Pacino were attached to star, with filming on the $16-million project slated to begin in Jul 1989, according to the 13 May 1989 Long Beach Press-Telegram and 16 May 1989 HR.
       A 15 May 1989 DV article listed Trans World Entertainment’s (TWE) Moshe Diamant and Eduard Sarlui as creative producers, and noted that Epic Productions was set to co-produce with Zupnik Enterprises, with TWE’s Vision International acting as foreign sales agent. However, neither Diamant nor Sarlui were credited, and Epic Productions and Vision International received no further mention in contemporary sources found in AMPAS library files.
       Sidney Lumet came back to the project, according to an 18 Jan 1990 Screen International item, when filming was set to begin in late spring 1990, with Al Pacino and Jack Lemmon in starring roles. However, Lumet was eventually replaced by James Foley. Actors vying for roles around that time included Richard Dreyfuss, Mickey Rourke, Ron Silver, and Beau Bridges, as noted in a 19 Jul 1991 Screen International item.
       Production notes cited a final budget of $12.5 million, partially financed by New Line Cinema, various video and cable companies, banks, a German television station, and Village Roadshow. Actors’ salaries, according to the 12 Oct 1992 NYT, included $1.5 million for Al Pacino, an estimated $1 million for Jack Lemmon, and $250,000 for Alec Baldwin, who worked three days.
       Three weeks of rehearsal preceded the thirty-nine-day shooting schedule. As noted in the 25 Jun 1991 LAT and 1 Oct 1991 HR, principal photography began on 5 Aug 1991 at Kaufman Astoria Studios in Queens, NY, and in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. Location filming also took place at the China Bowl restaurant on West 44th Street, according to a 6 Aug 1991 HR brief. The choice to film in New York instead of Chicago, where the film was set, was based on Al Pacino’s preference, as stated in the 25 Jun 1991 HR.
       Producing partners Jerry Tokofsky and Stanley R. Zupnik, who was a Washington real estate developer, had a falling out over producing credits, among other things, and broke off their partnership after filming ended. An 11 Mar 1992 DV item stated Tokofsky sought sole producing credit via court order in a fifty-seven-page complaint filed at the Los Angeles Superior Court. Tokofsky claimed to have performed all “essential producing work” on the film, and accused Zupnik of owing him money. He sought a minimum of $1.15 million in compensatory damages. The outcome of the lawsuit could not be determined, but both Zupnik and Tokofsky receive onscreen producing credits.
       According to the 25 Jun 1991 HR, New Line Cinema did not pay an advance for domestic distribution rights, but committed to spending several million dollars on publicity and advertising. The film was set to debut on 30 Aug 1992 as the closing night attraction at the Edinburgh International Film Festival, as stated in the 17 Jul 1992 Screen International. The initial release date of 18 Sep 1992 was pushed to 2 Oct 1992, based on TriStar Pictures’ last-minute decision to move Woody Allen’s Husbands and Wives (1992, see entry) release date from 25 Sep 1992 to 18 Sep 1992, according to the 4 Sep 1992 DV. However, the film’s 14 Sep 1992 premiere at New York City’s Ziegfeld Theatre remained unchanged, as stated in the 28 Aug 1992 HR.
       A 7 Oct 1992 HR “Hollywood Report” column stated that Glengarry Glen Ross opened on 416 screens, and cited an impressive opening weekend box-office take of $2.2 million. The film ultimately grossed $10.7 million, as noted in a 4 Jun 1993 LAT home video rentals chart that noted the home video version, in its first week of release, was in eleventh position “largely due to the lure of Al Pacino.”
       Critical reception was generally positive, with consistent praise going to the ensemble cast. A Feb 1993 item in Los Angeles magazine reported controversy over New Line Cinema’s Academy Award “For Your Consideration” campaign in support of Jack Lemmon, which included a letter sent to Academy voters claiming the ensemble cast had endorsed Lemmon as their sole candidate for Best Actor. The letter was said to be false by other actors, notably Ed Harris, who was quoted as saying, “I hate being the subject of a lie. Sure, I liked Jack’s performance, but hey…” New Line responded that there had been “unwritten feelings…emanating from the production itself” that the cast endorsed Lemmon as their choice for Best Actor. Despite the campaign, only Al Pacino received an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, as well as a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture. Jack Lemmon was awarded Best Actor by the National Board of Review, which also named Glengarry Glen Ross one of the Top Ten films of 1992.
       A 4 Dec 1991 HR brief stated that composer Johnny Mandel and Tommy LiPuma would co-produce a soundtrack album for Elektra Records, with songs from Shirley Horn and George Benson. Although Mandel and LiPuma did include the song “You’d Better Go Now” by Shirley Horn, nothing by George Benson appeared on the soundtrack.
       A 13 Sep 2002 HR brief noted that independent DVD producer Mark Rance produced a thirty-minute documentary to be featured on the 10th Anniversary two-disc DVD edition of Glengarry Glen Ross, distributed by Artisan Home Entertainment. The documentary was titled A.B.C., in reference to the “Always Be Closing” speech given by Blake, and included interviews with real-life salesmen in Chicago.
       End credits include the following statements: “GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS was originally produced on Broadway by Elliot Martin, The Shubert Organization, Arnold Bernhard and The Goodman Theatre”; “The producers wish to thank: The New York Mayor’s Office of Theater, Television and Broadcasting; The Movie/Television Unit of the New York City Police Department; Jon Levin; Jake Bloom; Tom Hunter; Steve Brookman; Harvey Polly; Reebok; Cleveland Golf; Brioni, Roma”; and, “Filmed on location in New York City and at Kaufman Astoria Studios.”
       The credit for Bridget Pickering misspells the surname of casting director Bonnie Timmermann as "Timmerman." More Less

BIBLIOGRAPHIC SOURCES
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
21 Feb 1986.
---
Daily Variety
10 Apr 1986.
---
Daily Variety
14 May 1987.
---
Daily Variety
6 Feb 1989.
---
Daily Variety
15 May 1989.
---
Daily Variety
11 Mar 1992
p. 10.
Daily Variety
31 Aug 1992
p. 4, 20.
Daily Variety
4 Sep 1992
p. 1, 13.
Hollywood Reporter
31 Jul 1986.
---
Hollywood Reporter
16 May 1989.
---
Hollywood Reporter
25 Jun 1991
p. 3, 89.
Hollywood Reporter
6 Aug 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
1 Oct 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
4 Dec 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
28 Aug 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
30 Sep 1992
p. 6.
Hollywood Reporter
7 Oct 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
13 Sep 2002
p. 8, 56.
Long Beach Press-Telegram
13 May 1989.
---
Los Angeles
Feb 1993.
---
Los Angeles Times
25 Jun 1991
Calendar, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
30 Sep 1992
p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
4 Jun 1993
Calendar, p. 25.
New York Daily News
5 Mar 1986.
---
New York Times
30 Sep 1992
p. 15.
New York Times
12 Oct 1992
Section C, p. 11.
Screen International
18 Jan 1990.
---
Screen International
19 Jul 1991.
---
Screen International
17 Jul 1992.
---
Variety
7 Oct 1987.
---
Variety
31 Aug 1992
p. 59.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
A Zupnik Enterprises Presentation
A Jerry Tokofsky/Stanley R. Zupnik Production
A Film by James Foley
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
DGA trainee
PRODUCERS
Co-prod
Co-prod
Assoc prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Gaffer
Key grip/Dolly grip
1st asst cam
2d asst cam
Still photog
Cam trainee
Best boy elec
Rigging gaffer
House elec
Best boy grip
Best boy grip
Grip
Key const grip
Const grip
Const grip
Cam equip
Elec equip
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Asst art dir
FILM EDITORS
Post prod supv
1st asst ed, L.A.
2d asst ed, L.A.
1st asst ed, N.Y.
2d asst ed, N.Y.
Post prod asst
Negative cutter, Kona Cutting
Negative cutter
SET DECORATORS
Propmaster
Draftsman
Master scenic artist
Scenic artist
Scenic artist
Scenic artist
Cam scenic artist
Cam scenic artist
Leadperson
Set dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Asst propmaster
Props
Const coord
Carpenter
Carpenter
Standby carpenter
COSTUMES
Cost des
Assoc cost des
Ward supv
Ward supv
MUSIC
Scoring mixer
Mus ed
Scoring coord
Mus preparation
Mus contractor
Tenor and soprano saxophone performances by
Tenor and soprano saxophone performances by
Score prod and supv
Addl songs prod by
Addl songs prod by
Mus adv
SOUND
Sd mixer
2d boom op
2d boom op
Supv sd ed
Dial ed
Foley ed
Sd eff ed
Sd eff ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Foley artist
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Re-rec mixer
Dolby Stereo consultant
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff coord
Main title seq des by
Title opticals
MAKEUP
Make-up artist
Make-up artist
Hair stylist
Hair stylist
PRODUCTION MISC
Scr supv
Asst to Ms. Timmerman
Extras casting
Prod coord
Prod assoc
Prod accountant
Asst prod accountant
Post prod accounting
Asst to Mr. Tokofsky
Asst to Mr. Foley
Asst to Mr. Foley
Mr. Pacino's assoc
Office prod asst
Office prod asst
Office prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Set prod asst
Teamster capt
Teamster co-capt
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Driver
Parking coord
Unit pub
Unit pub
Unit pub
Craft services
Financing arr by
Completion guarantor
Prod counsel
Payroll services and accounting systems
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer
Col by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the play Glengarry Glen Ross by David Mamet (New York, 16 Mar 1984).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Blue Skies," performed by Al Jarreau, words and music by Irving Berlin, courtesy of Irving Berlin Music Company™
"Prelude To A Kiss," performed by The Bill Holman Orchestra, written by Duke Ellington, Irving Mills and Irving Gordon, used by permission of Mills Music, Inc.
"Blue Lou," performed by The Joe Roccisano Orchestra, featuring Lou Marini on Alto Saxophone, written by Donald Fagen, courtesy of Freejunket Music
+
SONGS
"Blue Skies," performed by Al Jarreau, words and music by Irving Berlin, courtesy of Irving Berlin Music Company™
"Prelude To A Kiss," performed by The Bill Holman Orchestra, written by Duke Ellington, Irving Mills and Irving Gordon, used by permission of Mills Music, Inc.
"Blue Lou," performed by The Joe Roccisano Orchestra, featuring Lou Marini on Alto Saxophone, written by Donald Fagen, courtesy of Freejunket Music
"Daydream," performed by David Sanborn, courtesy Elektra Entertainment, written by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, used by permission of EMI Robbins Catalog, Inc.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
30 September 1992
Premiere Information:
New York premiere: 14 September 1992
Los Angeles and New York openings: 30 September 1992
Production Date:
5 August--late October or early November 1991
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo ® in Selected Theatres
Color
Prints
Prints by Deluxe®
Duration(in mins):
100
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
31643
SYNOPSIS

After a decline in monthly sales, four real estate salesmen at Premiere Properties in Chicago, Illinois, are challenged to a contest: the top salesman will win a Cadillac, the runner-up will receive a set of steak knives, and the remaining two will be fired. Veteran salesman Shelley “The Machine” LeVene, the embittered Dave Moss, and George Aaronow are lectured by a man named Blake, sent by company heads Mitch and Murray. Insulting the group as weak and ineffective, Blake boasts about his annual sales, expensive watch, and luxury sports car. Meanwhile, Ricky Roma, the current top-seller, is at a Chinese restaurant across the street, sharing drinks with potential investor James Lingk. Before he leaves the office, Blake presents a stack of “leads” for Glengarry Highlands, a new land development in Florida. He tells LeVene, Moss, and Aaronow that until they make new sales, the Glengarry leads will be held by office manager John Williamson. Moss leaves the office in a huff, and Aaronow follows. LeVene, who desperately needs money for his daughter’s medical care, begs Williamson to sell him some of the Glengarry leads, but Williamson demands more than LeVene can afford. In the middle of a rainstorm, LeVene goes to the home of a potential investor named Larry Spannel. Pretending to be in town from Arizona, LeVene claims he is not selling land but an investment opportunity. Spannel is not interested and kicks him out. At a payphone, LeVene calls another lead and begs to meet in person that night or the next morning. Moss goes to a diner with Aaronow. When he complains about the injustice of their business, the impressionable Aaronow echoes his sentiments. Moss suggests ... +


After a decline in monthly sales, four real estate salesmen at Premiere Properties in Chicago, Illinois, are challenged to a contest: the top salesman will win a Cadillac, the runner-up will receive a set of steak knives, and the remaining two will be fired. Veteran salesman Shelley “The Machine” LeVene, the embittered Dave Moss, and George Aaronow are lectured by a man named Blake, sent by company heads Mitch and Murray. Insulting the group as weak and ineffective, Blake boasts about his annual sales, expensive watch, and luxury sports car. Meanwhile, Ricky Roma, the current top-seller, is at a Chinese restaurant across the street, sharing drinks with potential investor James Lingk. Before he leaves the office, Blake presents a stack of “leads” for Glengarry Highlands, a new land development in Florida. He tells LeVene, Moss, and Aaronow that until they make new sales, the Glengarry leads will be held by office manager John Williamson. Moss leaves the office in a huff, and Aaronow follows. LeVene, who desperately needs money for his daughter’s medical care, begs Williamson to sell him some of the Glengarry leads, but Williamson demands more than LeVene can afford. In the middle of a rainstorm, LeVene goes to the home of a potential investor named Larry Spannel. Pretending to be in town from Arizona, LeVene claims he is not selling land but an investment opportunity. Spannel is not interested and kicks him out. At a payphone, LeVene calls another lead and begs to meet in person that night or the next morning. Moss goes to a diner with Aaronow. When he complains about the injustice of their business, the impressionable Aaronow echoes his sentiments. Moss suggests that Jerry Graff, an old colleague who has struck out on his own, will pay $5,000 for the Glengarry leads if they steal them. Moss proposes they stage a break-in at the office, but insists that Aaronow must do it himself, since his ties to Graff make him an obvious suspect. When Aaronow refuses to perform the robbery, Moss threatens that if he is forced to do the break-in himself, he will name Aaronow as his accomplice. Meanwhile, at the Chinese restaurant, Ricky Roma plies James Lingk with alcohol and delivers a philosophical speech about the meaning of life and how a person views opportunities. In the morning, Roma finds the office in a shambles. John Williamson reveals there was a break-in, and Roma frets that the contract James Lingk signed last night was stolen. Williamson assures him it was not, but the thieves stole the Glengarry leads and other contracts. Roma demands that Williamson update his monthly sales, as the Lingk contract qualifies him to win the Cadillac. Williamson is pulled back into his office by police detectives. Aaronow informs Roma that the detectives are going to question everyone, and worries about what to tell them. LeVene arrives and announces he just sold $82,000 of real estate to Bruce and Harriet Nyborg. Roma congratulates him and listens attentively as LeVene describes the sales pitch he used. Moss emerges from Williamson’s office, where he was just interrogated by police, and complains that he was disrespected. He warns the others not to reveal anything, dismisses LeVene’s good news, and storms out. LeVene continues to bask in his latest sale, and recalls the many years he was the top-seller in the office. James Lingk appears at the door, and Roma panics, suspecting Lingk wants to cancel his contract. Pretending LeVene is a wealthy client whom he must accompany to the airport, Roma attempts to flee, but Lingk insists on talking. He says his wife does not approve of the investment. Knowing he has three days to cancel, he asks Roma to return his check. Roma tries to stall, and promises the check has not yet been cashed. Just then, Williamson emerges from his office and unwittingly ruins Roma’s scheme by assuring Lingk that his check was sent to the bank already. Lingk apologizes to Roma for cancelling the deal and leaves in tears. Roma berates Williamson for his ignorance. LeVene joins in, teasing Williamson for his inability to think on his feet. He adds that a person should never “make something up unless it’s sure to help.” Williamson, who was lying about cashing Lingk’s check, wonders how LeVene knew the check wasn’t delivered to the bank as it normally would have been. He deduces that LeVene must have seen the paperwork on his desk in the midst of robbing the office. LeVene admits to conspiring with Moss to steal the Glengarry leads. He begs Williamson not to tell police and offers him the $2,500 he earned from the robbery. When Williamson refuses, LeVene adds that he will give him fifty percent of all future sales. He insists that the Nyborg sale is the beginning of a lucky streak, but Williamson reveals that the Nyborgs were a bad lead – a destitute and mentally ill couple who simply enjoy talking to salesmen. LeVene breaks down in tears and reminds Williamson of his chronically ill daughter. Unmoved, Williamson goes to inform police that LeVene is the culprit just as Roma is released from questioning. Unaware of LeVene’s guilt, Roma invites him to lunch at the Chinese restaurant. Police call LeVene into Williamson’s office. The veteran salesman tries to ask Roma something before he goes in, but he cannot muster any words. Roma leaves for lunch, and an oblivious Aaronow goes back to making sales calls. +

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Viewed by AFI
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Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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