Shockingly profane and brutally honest, this 1992 adaptation of David Mamet's stage play remains a mesmerizing movie experience. Tautly directed by film veteran James Foley, the story focuses sharply on a handful of real-estate salesman struggling to sell in a cold economy (Mamet wrote the play back in the 1982 Reaganomics era). The principal roles are assumed by a phenomenal acting quartet: Al Pacino plays the far-too-slick Ricky Roma, the best seller in the group; Jack Lemmon is the pathetic Shelley Levene, the salesman too long in the game; Ed Harris is Dave Moss, the duplicitous loser looking to cut corners; and Alan Arkin is perfectly suited to the role of mousy George, the type who always goes with the flow. Rounding out the ensemble is the reliable Kevin Spacey, nicely cast as the smarmy office manager Williamson; even his wire-rimmed glasses look officious. Set over a 36-hour period, the story weaves characters in and out of each other's lives and includes a smattering of intrigue when the salesmen's precious sales leads - the Glengarry leads - are stolen from the office. But the main reason to watch, or re-watch, is still Alec Baldwin's brief but startling cameo appearance as the executive "motivator" brought in to inspire the troops and clarify the rules of the new sales contest. "First prize is a Cadillac Eldorado," says Baldwin coldly. "Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you're fired."
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