Tuesday, February 1, 2011

BOOK VS MOVIE: Glengarry Glen Ross

I have read works by classic playwrights (Tennessee Williams, Arthur Miller, Eugene O'Neill) as well as a work by a modern playwright. That modern playwright is David Mamet; the play is Glengarry Glen Ross.

Mamet has to be one of the more...explicit playwrights I have read. Explicit as in his characters speak their minds more than once and explicit as in his characters drop the f-bomb more than once.

Glengarry Glen Ross in some ways is a modern take of Death of a Salesman. The character in Glengarry Glen Ross that represents Death of a Salesman's Willy Loman best is Shelley Levene, who in the movie is played by Jack Lemmon in his best work. Like Loman, Levene was once a big shot who now struggles to scrape by. It's a complex role that only a great actor can play and Lemmon nails it.

Along with Lemmon, the cast for Glengarry Glen Ross includes Al Pacino, Kevin Spacey, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin and Alec Baldwin, the latter has the most epic scene (Mamet wrote it for the movie). It's an ideally chosen and well-acted cast. Could there be a more perfect one?

What's worth checking out?: I'd go with both.


  1. Glengarry Glen Ross is a truly brilliant film thanks almost exclusively to Mamet's script and the performances of the actors - chiefly Lemmon and Arkin but I can't fault any of them. The dialogue is as good as Mamet has written, as is his characterisation. I could watch this film over and over. Nice review Anna.

  2. I liked how the actors delivered the lines so well that it really did seem like the book was made just for these stars in general. Great book, and even better movie with A-grade performances, from an amazing cast.

  3. Definitely a great film to watch. I've seen the film but have yet to read the book. I find it interesting in comparing books to films. I might just check out the book, thanks for sharing!


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