Special Edition, The Criterion Collection
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A landmark documentary, "Salesman" captures in vivid detail the bygone era of the door-to-door salesman. While laboring to sell a gold-embossed version of the Holy Word, Paul Brennan and his colleagues target the beleaguered masses--then face the demand
- 1968 Jack Kroll television interview with David and Albert Maysles about Salesman
- "The Rabbit" on NPR's Weekend Edition (2000)
- Behind-the-scenes photographs
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One salesman, in particular, is constantly astonished that low-income families cannot manage to squeeze the extra dollar out of the family budget.
In one particularly predatory attempt, when every payment option is exhausted, a salesman asks a potential customer if he can borrow the money.
This is a painful documentary to watch because it portrays men--and there are millions out there--hawking overpriced products to the person who cannot afford it but who will eventually cave after failing in a contest of wills.
It does point out the power of the word "No." when unambiguously used two, three, or four times when presented with a proposition that does not appeal to one. Even the slickest, most persistent salesperson (or anyone who wants something from you that you do not wish to give) will wilt when the word is said often enough.
Jeff Shannon does a good job in the Amazon review, I would agree with his point on Jack Lemmon's role in Glengarry Glen Ross is about as close as you can get to touching this documentary. However he points out door to door salesman are now extinct dinosaurs, well I'm 29 and it's still there very much so. Whoever has worked sales for a period of time knows guys like "the badger", "the bull", "the rabbit, and "the gipper.
I also find it interesting how natural directors Albert Maysles, David Maysles, and Charlotte Zwerin made this look, it's as if the cameras are not there at all, the first time i viewed this several years ago I didn't realize it was a documentary at first but a movie.
This is one of the best documentary's I've ever seen. Also they best film on sales I have ever seen, Glengarry Glen Ross is also a favorite. This is a must for anyone in sales and film lovers in general.
As usual Criterion does a great job and I've listed the special features below.
Special Features (from the back cover)
-New high-definition digital transfer, with restored picture and sound
-Audio commentary by filmmakes Albert Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin.
-1968 Jack Kroll television interivew with David and Albert Maysles
-The Rabbit on NPR's weekend edition (2000)
-Behind the scenes photographs
-English subtitles for the deaf and hearing impaired
-Optimal image quality: RSDL dual layer edition.
this film takes you inside the soul of the salesman. Timeless
masterpiece by the masters of the genre.