GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS
Artisan Entertainment, $26.98
ENTERTAINMENT Weekly spoke, and Artisan answered: one of EW's "21 Greatest Movies Not Available on DVD," Glengarry is finally available Nov. 19—no shit! Actually, David Mamet's drama about cutthroat Chicago salesmen is full of "shit"—the word is uttered about 50 times, along with 138 "fucks," embedded in Mamet's patented, perverse, Pinter-influenced poetical language. Glengarry is a pure and rare cinematic example of Mamet's stage magic (and let us proudly remember that Seattle's Empty Space Theater was Mamet's artistic home-away-from-Chicago when he was a new name in the '70s).
James Foley's 1992 film brilliantly adapts the 1984 Pulitzer-winning play. You won't see a better ensemble cast anywhere. Alec Baldwin does the most galvanic cameo this side of De Niro in Brazil. His eyes like twin blue daggers, Baldwin plays a bullying consultant ("You see this watch? That watch costs more than your car!") who tells the men about the new sales contest: "Third prize is, you're fired!"
The other performances represent a gamut of acting styles. The ghost of the Method haunts Al Pacino in his Oscar-nominated turn. Jack Lemmon adapts his finicky mannerisms brilliantly to his Death of a Salesman-ish part. (Few scenes in history are more excruciating than his desperate sales call from a phone booth drowned in a Lear-like deluge and lit by luridly colored reflections.) This movie is a series of actors' death-duels for immortality.
The extras are uneven. The Lemmon tribute sucks; the interviews with real salesmen are mildly interesting. Foley sounds like a moron, but Baldwin's audio commentary is great. Nota bene: My copy had out-of-sync voices in some scenes.
ALSO REACHING for immortality but falling far short on Nov. 19 are Reign of Fire, The King Is Alive (danger! Contains Jennifer Jason Leigh!), Juwanna Mann, and Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (though your preteen daughters may demand it). Not so far short are 13 Conversations About One Thing (with Glengarry's Alan Arkin) and the Norwegian seriocomedy Elling. Closer still is Sunshine State, with director John Sayles providing commentary. In the straight-to-video slush pile, what's Robert Duvall doing playing a Scottish soccer coach in A Shot at Glory? Michael Keaton we can understand, but Duvall?