Trailer Tuesday: Salesman (1969)



[Video Link] Who needs Glengarry Glen Ross when you can watch the Maysles Brothers' fantastic 1969 documentary about door-to-door Catholic Bible salesmen and their impoverished, reluctant, guilt-racked customers?

Vincent Canby, film critic for The New York Times, wrote, "It's such a fine, pure picture of a small section of American life that I can't imagine its ever seeming irrelevant, either as a social document or as one of the best examples of what's called cinema vérité or direct cinema... It is fact, photographed and recorded with extraordinarily mobile camera and sound equipment, and then edited and carefully shaped into a kind of cinematic mural of faces, words, motel rooms, parlors, kitchens, streets, television images, radio music -- even weather."

The entire documentary is on YouTube.

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  1. I saw this movie a good while back. It just reinforced my desire to not go back into sales after doing it (and doing it pretty well actually) for 15 years. The incredible, palpable, highs and lows that you experience are tiring. Though, sales is the only job in the world where you are truly paid what you are worth. You do your job you get paid, you don’t you don’t. 

    1. Though, sales is the only job in the world where you are truly paid what you are worth. You do your job you get paid, you don’t you don’t.

      Untrue. As a realtor, there were several occasions where I chauffeured a client around and, having selected a house, they had their nephew-who-just-got-his-license write the contract.

  2. “A funny film about sadness” – great tagline!

    Love the Jesus salesman logo.

    They even have their own Alec Baldwin at the sales meeting.

    I’ve never seen a group of people more filled with existential ennui.

  3. Just think of all the royalties God is making on those Bible sales!  He’s probably retired in Florida by now.

    Although the salesman Jesus logo looks more like Bob Marley…

  4. I saw this last year for the first time, finally. I could see what all the hoopla was about. A classic indeed!

    Two digits skyward.

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