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The Callers

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Product Details

  • Actors: Ralph Zettlemoyer, Sherwood Zettlemoyer, Eric Zettlemoyer, Lori Zytkowicz, Cathy Pennypacker
  • Directors: Susan Sfarra
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: First Run Features
  • DVD Release Date: August 14, 2012
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0083UXROA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #172,381 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Callers" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

THE CALLERS explores the world of auctions with a group of Pennsylvania auctioneers who move mounds of merchandise to eager buyers, year-round.
Through its portrayal of several experienced auctioneers and a host of curious buyers, this new feature documentary reveals our complex relationship with stuff - with consuming, collecting, and hoarding. An antiquated profession, auctioneering is as relevant today as it's ever been. People across America who were fooled by bankers and brokers can go to the local auction house and decide for themselves how much something is worth through the auction method - arguably the fairest method. And when you're elbow to elbow with a crowd of bidders, adrenaline coursing through your veins, your heart pounding as you flick your card, wiggle your nose, scratch your ear in time to the auctioneer's call, it is undeniably a most entertaining one.

Featuring Music by Leroy van Dyke!
Leroy van Dyke was serving in the Korean War when he wrote a song with Buddy Black called "The Auctioneer" based on his own experience as an auctioneer. Leroy first performed the song for troops on the same bill as Marilyn Monroe and after discharge entered the song into a talent contest. Soon after he was catapulted to fame, and his song ultimately sold 2.5 million copies.

Special Features include:
Bonus Scenes: Tongue Twisters; Auction School; Confessions of a Calling Champion; Tractor Parade; and more.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By K. Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on August 3, 2012
Format: DVD
With all the interest in shows like American Restoration, Storage Wars, and Pawn Stars (among others), the timing of Susan Sfarra's documentary feature "The Callers" seems well placed. Set largely within the rural areas of Pennsylvania, the film details the lives of professional auctioneers. I wasn't particularly familiar that this subculture was still so prevalent, so "The Callers" was a fascinating glimpse at an ancient art form and one that may be facing its dying days. Many of the subjects interviewed have the business in their blood and it has been an occupation passed on through the generations. The movie follows several well established individuals and gives us a bit of insight into the allure of the auction. We hear anecdotes from both the professionals and by some who love to participate as customers. Truthfully, there's nothing too deep presented in "The Callers" and much of the film is left to observe auctions in actions. And yet, I still felt the presentation was pleasantly engaging.

Auctions can take many forms. Of those we see in "The Callers," they include a farm auction, an estate sale, cattle auction, and a flea market type setting. Although the film doesn't have much of a dramatic arc, one elderly lady's entire home and life are laid out in one of the extended auction sequences that the narrative keeps coming back to. It's fascinating to marvel over the history of her life and possessions and that appeal works on film as strongly as I'm sure it does in person. While I tend to think of auctions as lively competitive events, those showcased here had a rather laid back vibe. The one bit of tension that arises in the movie comes from a quilt auction at what appears to be a county fair setting.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Steve Ramm TOP 50 REVIEWER on August 10, 2012
Format: DVD
Being a longtime attendee of "country" and "estate" auctions in Eastern Pennsylvania (especially in Lancaster and Berks County, where more such auctions take place), I was particularly interested in seeing this new film. It was filmed in these two counties and concentrates - mostly - on the Zettlemoyer Auction Company outside of Allentown, PA where the three generations of Zettlemoyer men are still going strong with weekly (sometimes more) auctions. There are other area auctioneers featured but the Zettlemoyers seem to get most of the screen time.

With all the interest in "what is stuff worth?" reality TV shows (Antiques Roadshow, Pawn Stars, Storage Wars, etc), this DVD release is very timely. And, if you like those reality shows, you'll probably enjoy this. I will warn you that the director has a habit of not carrying the filming of the auctioning of a unique item to the conclusion so that you will hear what it went for. This is particularly annoying in the coverage of the huge handmade quilts at the Kutztown Folk Festival. You hear the auctioneer start a quilt at $3,000, then drop it to $1,000 and you'll hear it go up to $2,500 and - suddenly - the Director cuts to another auction!

If you attend a lot of auctions, like I do, you'll learn some new things, especially during the all-too-short section where we follow the auction company as they visit a farm owned by three sisters, which was in the family for three generations, to evaluate if there is enough farm machinery and household goods there to make it worthwhile to take the goods on consignment.

We also hear from those who attend auctions and why they go and what they look for.

Near the end of this 89-minute film we get to see both a produce auction and a livestock auction.
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