Rolling Stone - 10/01/1992
"...The pleasure of this unique film comes in watching superb actors dine on Mamet's pungent language like the feast it is..."
New York Times - 09/30/1992
"...Splendid....A mordantly funny DEATH OF A SALESMAN for the 1990's..."
Entertainment Weekly - 07/19/1996
"...Tightly wound -- and actually very fine....[Baldwin acts with] reptilian gung-ho..." -- Rating: B+
Los Angeles Times - 09/30/1992
"...Mamet is a true magician with streetwise words, a writer who recognizes the poetry hidden in the most scalding language and creates profane dialogue hot enough to suck all the air out of the screen..."
USA Today - 11/22/2002
"...An indoor actor's movie with visual snap and distinction..."
Total Film - 07/01/2003
"...David Mamet's sales drama is notable for the quantity and quality of its swearing. Alec Baldwin, Ed Harris and Al Pacino all have a go..."
Uncut - 02/01/2005
"[With] a fantastic cast who relished the searing scenes of male competitiveness..."
Sight and Sound - 12/01/2005
"[E]xemplary. Foley remains faithful to his source and gives his actors plenty of room to move..."
Empire - 04/01/2008
"Many of the plaudits go, rightly, to Mamet's screenplay....But James Foley's direction is also a key to the film's relentless, restless power."
Times are tough at Premiere Properties. To initiate a little incentive among the sales agents, Blake comes up with a sales program. The winner gets a new Cadillac and the loser gets unemployed.
A group of real estate salesmen in Chicago vie for the best "leads" at a small firm selling property in "resort" areas, such as Florida and Arizona. When a hotshot executive from the head office arrives and proposes a vicious sales contest, competition gets stiff, and salesmen who have worked a lifetime for the company find their jobs in jeopardy.
Big Business |
Character Study |
Essential Cinema |
Theatrical Release |
The film is based on the 1984 Pulitzer Prize-winning play by David Mamet that ran on Broadway (and in other cities) to sold-out audiences. Mamet has also directed several films, including HOUSE OF GAMES (1987), THINGS CHANGE (1988), HOMICIDE (1991), THE SPANISH PRISONER (1997), and THE WINSLOW BOY (1999), and written the screenplays for numerous films, including THE UNTOUCHABLES (1987), HOFFA (1992), and THE EDGE (1997).
In 1992, Al Pacino was nominated for two Academy Awards, one for Best Supporting Actor for his work in this film, and one, which he won, for Best Actor for his work in SCENT OF A WOMAN.
Shot in New York City and Kaufmann Astoria Studios in Queens, in DuArt Color and Super 35 Widescreen; prints by DeLuxe. Main title sequence design by Saxon/Ross Film Design; title opticals by Pacific Title.