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The film adaptation of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross turned 20 this month, and Jeff Roda at The Atlantic talks a little bit about the brilliant performances of Alec Baldwin and Al Pacino and how one of them is the devil and the other isn’t:

“But hell is still hell. And hell needs a ruler. And for this Blake does not qualify. He’s a one-dimensional blowhard, honest about who and what he is, spewing hackneyed sales slogans beneath a daisy-wheel printed banner that unconvincingly reads “Salesmen are born, not made.” It all whiffs of “the man doth protest too much,” and for any male with even a wisp of self-possession it’s hardly emasculating. For Blake, trampling on these impotent men is more for his benefit than for theirs. He doesn’t hate them. He’s just deathly afraid of becoming them, and his tirade is like a shot of insulin, taken to prevent the unimaginable.”

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