"A-B-C. A-Always. B-Be. C-Closing. Always Be Closing!"
A play by David Mamet, which was the basis for a 1992 film directed by James Foley and starring Jack Lemmon, Al Pacino, Alan Arkin, Kevin Spacey, Alec Baldwin and Ed Harris, about salesmen in a small firm who are given an ultimatum: bring in more sales or find a new job. The four major characters, all salesmen at the real-estate firm:
Ricky Roma: A hotshot and the current highest-selling salesman
Dave Moss: A frequent complainer
George Aaranow: A poor salesman and follower who cannot stand up for himself
Shelly "The Machine" Levene: A once-great salesman who has fallen upon a streak of "bad luck".
Notable for its flagrant use of profanity (which caused the cast and crew to refer to the movie as "Death of a Fucking Salesman"), no-holds-barred take on human savagery in sales, and shockingly honest portrayal of human nature. The film is still used by corporate sales training programs to demonstrate the "right" and "wrong" ways to make a sale.
Ricky: You stupid fucking cunt. I'm talking to you, shithead!...Where did you learn your traaaaaade, you stupid fucking cunt, you idiot?
Crapsack World: The world in which these salesmen live is filled with deception, backstabbing, unfulfilled promises, psychotic work loads and constant screaming and threats back and forth. And that's on a good day! The atmosphere of the film is supposedly Truth in Television as playwright/screenwriter David Mamet based it on his own experiences working at a boiler room real estate office in the 1960s.
Downer Ending: There's not much to be happy about after Levene is presumably arrested and is taking Moss and Graff with him, Roma has lost $6,000 in commission and has a strong possibility of being sued, and the rest of the characters are no better off...
I Never Said It Was Poison: How Levene slips up and reveals he was in on the heist. Williamson said he cashed Lingk's check. Levene calls Williamson out on lying about it, something he only could have known if he robbed the office.
Meaningful Background Event: As Blake explains that the bottom two salesmen will lose their jobs at the end of the month, the chalkboard behind him tells the audience what the characters realize about that stipulation immediately: Roma has such an insurmountable lead on the leaderboard that the other three recognize they'll be fighting for just one spot. That's probably also why Blake went on with his "pep talk" despite Roma not being there.
Though the movie drops F-bombs frequently, Williamson has a particularly powerful one. Levene is begging Williamson not to tell the police he robbed the office, with Levene bringing up his daughter as a final plea. Williamson's response? "Fuck you."
Blake's rejoinder to Moss: "Fuck you. That's my name."
Blake has what is, perhaps, the greatest example in all of cinema.
Roma delivers a spectacular one to Williamson, starting off by calling him a "stupid fucking cunt" and then going from there.
Having spent the entire movie being the office Butt Monkey, Levene eagerly takes the opportunity to take up where Roma left off with regards to Williamson. Unfortunately for him, he gets carried away and makes a slip he shouldn't have, thus enabling Williamson to destroy him utterly.
Running Gag: Moss describes anything he doesn't agree with as a "buncha fuckin' nonsense".
Vicious Cycle: The salesmen complain that they're stuck in one. They can't make sales without good leads, but they can't get good leads without sales. Blake counters that a real salesman could make sales with bad leads.
Word Salad Title: Even after watching the play/movie you may understand that these are important account names, but you probably won't understand why they're important enough to be put together and made the title. The tile possibly refers to the gamut of highs & lows a salesman can run through - both the best (Glengarry) and worst (Glen Ross) estates that Ricky Roma has come across to sell; it's quite probable that the events of the movie set a nadir even lower than the latter for all involved.