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The Greatest Movies I’ve Never Seen #1: Glengarry Glen Ross

by gwolinetz on October 7th, 2013

I realized recently that while I’ve certainly seen a lot of movies, there are a whole lot of movies that I’ve always wanted to see that I haven’t seen. You know how it goes: you plan on catching a movie in the theater and then before you know it, it’s out of the theater, so you say you’re going to see it at home, which of course you never do, because there’s 80,000 channels of nothing to watch and you don’t want to miss any of it, and before you know it, years and years have gone by and you feel like it’s too late to see it.

It’s time to see some of these films. I basically did a Google search of best movies by decade, clicked on a few of the lists, compiled some of the movies into my own list and now I’m going to watch them and write down some thoughts about them. I’m hesitant to call these “reviews” because they won’t be very good. WARNING: THESE ARE GOING TO BE RIFE WITH SPOILERS. These movies are old. You should have seen them by now. Also, you’re going to be shocked by some of the movies that I haven’t seen.

I started with Glengarry Glen Ross.

Alec Baldwin is in this movie for like 5 minutes (granted, it’s a pretty awesome 5 minutes), and he gets third billing? Not bad.

You know what I love most about Al Pacino in this movie? It’s that’s he’s not a goddamn, over the top caricature of what everyone wants him to be. He’s fucking acting in this movie. And he’s GREAT. During the first half of the movie where he’s at the bar in the Chinese restaurant just working over Jonathan Pryce is the shit that should earn Oscars. And since I enjoyed this so much, I went back on looked at his filmography. It became clear that the time period after Scarface and before Scent of a Woman could be the best pure acting of his career. Obviously, these aren’t the best movies of his career (what, you don’t think Sea of Love’s got legs?), but he was a truly great actor. Now, he’s just a barking lunatic. Also, I found it hard to believe that he’s 73 years old, as of this writing.

Boy, Jack Lemmon was a versatile actor, huh? And that was a somewhat unexpected turn at the end with his character, where he goes from the top of the world after his “sale” to finding out his sale is bullshit and then inadvertently giving away his involvement in the break-in. More than anyone in the movie, you sympathize with his character: the down on his luck salesman who thinks the next hot streak is right around the corner, unable to face that he’s losing his touch. Really moving shit.

But still, tell me you don’t see ol’ Gil from the Simpsons every time you look at the guy.

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