Salesman (1969)

GENRESDocumentary,Drama
LANGEnglish
ACTOR
Paul BrennanCharles McDevittJames BakerRaymond Martos
DIRECTOR
Albert Maysles,David Maysles,1 more credit

SYNOPSICS

Salesman (1969) is a English movie. Albert Maysles,David Maysles,1 more credit has directed this movie. Paul Brennan,Charles McDevitt,James Baker,Raymond Martos are the starring of this movie. It was released in 1969. Salesman (1969) is considered one of the best Documentary,Drama movie in India and around the world.

Filmmakers (and brothers) Albert and David Maysles follow four employees of a company that makes expensive, ornate, illustrated bibles as they attempt to sell the items door-to-door to less-than-interested customers, who are mainly poor or lower-middle-class Catholics with little money to spend on pretty Bibles.

Salesman (1969) Reviews

  • Searing and unforgettable

    kev-221999-02-08

    As with Frederick Wiseman's "Titicut Follies," the Maysles brothers' "Salesman" is truly a landmark for the "cinema verite" documentary movement of the 1960s. Although the former is shockingly realistic in a sensational way, "Salesman" is actually the more disturbing for showing the Hell-on-earth that marks the workaday world for most of humanity. If ever a film shows that most people "lead lives of quiet desperation," this is it. In my lifetime of viewing films, I've never seen a non-fiction film more affecting and poignant. That this film didn't make the AFI Top 100 is practically scandalous. Be forewarned, this is an oppressively sad, yet slyly funny, film that is not easy to watch. It speaks volumes about American business practices, the ties between business and organized religion, the exploitation of religious belief (and its perversion via materialism), the dehumanization of workers, the crushing wisdom that can come with aging, the scary mindset of suburban denizens, and a lot more. If ever anyone had the right to ask the question, "Is that all there is?" it would be Paul, an aging Bible salesman having trouble meeting his sales quota, who serves as the film's central character. The film is brutally honest, yet powerfully manipulative. It does beg the question: how much is real and how much is affected by the presence of the cameras? One does feel, after seeing this, that reality is just as bad as Dorothy Parker said it was. For those who fail, the American Dream is a nightmare. In short, a film you'll never forget.

  • Desperation is painful to watch...

    mcnally2003-05-26

    From the Maysles Brothers (Gimme Shelter, Monterey Pop, When We Were Kings) comes this unsettling portrait of door-to-door salesmen. In this case, the film is especially interesting since they're selling Bibles to Catholic families. All the sales tricks are there, with a special dose of guilt. Most interesting is the portrayal of Paul, one of the older salesmen, who is realizing he may have "lost it." His desperation is painful to watch. (9/ 10)

  • Moving Tribute to Door to Door Salesmen from the Past

    johnmbale2006-06-02

    This interesting documentary is like a time capsule. Bringing to life the late 1960's, in a sometimes unsettling manner. It tells the story of a group of door to door Irish/American salesmen, selling Bibles in Boston and Florida. It is fascinating to watch the actual sales pitch, the manners and way we were at that time. (Smoking was certainly the order of the day) The growing desperation of one of the older salesmen as his sales figures slump, is quite as moving as in the play "Death of a Salesman". Anyone who has ever been involved is selling direct to the public should make this compulsive viewing. The documentary technique is also exceptional. There is not a word of commentary, introduction, or the usual "talking head" interviews that slow so many of todays TV documentaries. The characters themselves, and clever editing clearly tell the story and create the a raw drama. Camera work is remarkable for the time too, the subjects never seem to be aware of the filming process, unlike much Reality TV. This is a true American Tragedy, reflecting the loneliness of old time salesmen, and indeed that of many people with whom they deal. It is a credit to the Maysles.

  • Essential

    ametaphysicalshark2008-04-30

    "Salesman" isn't quite the Maysles Bros.' (and Charlotte Zwerin's) crowning achievement, although it comes close. I personally feel that "Gimme Shelter" is their best film, but that might have something to do with it being a more enjoyable, if still harrowing film. "Salesman" is an uncomfortable examination of human emotions, and provokes a strong reaction of guilt and sympathy. Some may insist that a documentary has to be somewhat relevant to have any real value, but "Salesman", a film on the lives of door-to-door salesmen, the product of a mostly by-gone era, is pure contradiction of this claim. A landmark 'cinema verite' film, "Salesman" does not feature any sort of narration or writing, allowing the viewer to take the images presented in the film and interpret them as they wish. There are statements that the Maysles Bros. are probably trying to make with this film, statements about suburbia, statements about the ties between business and organized religion, and more, but the beauty of the film is that it is up to you if you see this in the film or not, because really it is simply a document of an average day for a salesman at the time. "Salesman" is funny in parts, but taken as a whole it is one of the saddest films you will ever see, a document of the quiet desperation of this lifestyle. The directors of the film make powerful statements, but do so subtly, almost unobtrusively, allowing the viewer to fully engage themselves in the almost routine feel of the film. It is a crime that, despite its strong reputation, relatively few people have seen this essential film from possibly the very best documentary filmmakers there have ever been. 10/10

  • Brilliant

    Judge80802005-05-28

    Salesman(1969) Quite possibly the best documentary ever made. The Maysles' Brothers( Gimme Shelter, Grey Gardens) mesmerizing story follows four bible salesmen pounding the turf selling over priced bibles to poor catholics and the tactics that they use to pull off these sales.One salesman in particular, Paul "the Badger' Brennan is the central character of the documentary and it is heart wrenching to watch his decline from a once successful salesman to an also-ran whose heart and soul just aren't into it anymore. One unforgettable scene has another salesman humiliating Brennan in front of a customer. This documentary is a real slice of Americana and a film worth watching time and time again.

Hot Search