Friday, October 19, 2007


I watched the movie since there were no more tickets to the play. I really wish I could've seen the play though. It is obvious, when watching the movie, that it was originally a play. The long monologues and fast-paced back and forth dialog lends itself better to the play setting. I enjoyed David Mamet's style. His dialog is quick and clever. I can see why Dr. Lambiase wanted us to see this play/movie. It's hard to believe that companies were so unethical back in the 1960s. I wonder how many of these unethical practices still take place today. Mamet is obviously poking at the unethical behavior of both the higher ups (Mitch and Murray, the owners) as well as their employees. By setting up a competition in which employees either succeed greatly (earn a Cadillac) or fail miserably (lose their job) Mitch and Murray are not being fair to their employees. This competition strains the relationship not only between the owners and the employees but also between the employees, making for a seriously terrible work environment. The way in which they hand out the leads is also unfair to the salesmen. They continuously give out bad leads to those who are doing poorly and the valuable leads to those who are already succeeding. This has led to an unbalanced and unjust system of profit for the employees. Mitch and Murray are setting up their employees for failure and then punishing them when they fail. This, in turn, begins to affect the sales force. The men are forced to make a sale by any means necessary, even if that means lying to, bribing, threatening and intimidating clients. Roma is the best example of this behavior. He lies to his client and purposefully avoids his client in the hopes that his sale will go through before the client realizes he's been screwed over. Moss begins planning to steal the good leads to sell them to another company so that he can make some money since he can't make any money with the bad leads Mitch and Murray keep handing down. In the end though, it is Levene who steals the leads and sells them so that he can take care of his sick daughter. Mamet saw the unethical practices that plagued marketing strategies of the 60s and decided to make a movie, perhaps in the hopes that he might be able to change those strategies. I can't say whether or not his play/movie helped any but I doubt it hurt. He helped bring attention to some of the unethical practices taking place in business. I would absolutely hate to work at such a place; I don't know how any of the characters could handle working for such an unethical company. I wouldn't last a day there.

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