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Blu-ray Review

DVD cover

Glengarry Glen Ross


Starring: Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Alec Baldwin, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin, Kevin Spacey and Jonathan Pryce
ITV Studios Home Entertainment
RRP: £21.99
Certificate: 15
Available 22 October 2012

Watching a film based upon a stage play, about a day in the life of real-estate salesmen... It doesn’t sound like the most fun way to spend 96 minutes but what we have here is a bona-fide cult classic and one of the most quotable films since Withnail and I.

The film explores the high-pressure world of a group of Chicago real-estate salesmen as they struggle to get sales - lying and cheating as the desperation over the course of one rainy night intensifies. An early key scene, written especially for the film and featuring a career best performance from Alec Baldwin, sets the scene. Blake storms into the office and informs the salesmen that the two with lowest sales will be fired at the end of the week. This ignites an already pressured situation and we watch as the four salesmen react and unravel in their own individual ways. Four very different and fully fleshed out characters, this is character study of the highest order.

Glengarry Glen Ross has one of the best ensemble casts in recent American cinema; Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Kevin Spacey, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin and the aforementioned Alec Baldwin. They all give impeccable performances and illuminate the already sparkling script. The dialogue is fast, clever, peppered with quotable lines and expletives a-plenty. Much of the pleasure comes from the six actors hurling insults at one another, like watching six Malcolm Tuckers taking pot shots.

The Blu-ray transfer is great and it brings out the finer details in the mise-en-scene, the contrast is spot on with inky blacks and crisp whites. Each bead of perspiration on Jack Lemmon’s forehead can now be marvelled at in full 1080p HD. Whilst the film isn’t particularly cinematic it still benefits from having the best possible picture quality and if you have the choice then go for the Blu-ray.

The extras on the Blu-ray are the same ones that were on the 2-disc special edition of the DVD, if you already have this I’d hold off upgrading. There is a full feature commentary with director, James Foley, and individual scene commentaries with actors and crew. Two short documentaries about salesman, the trailer and a tribute to Jack Lemmon also make the port to the Blu-ray. All of these are interesting enough but come secondary to the feature itself.

Overall Glengarry Glen Ross is a must own film and this steelbook collectors edition is now the definitive version.


Richard A Bennett

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