Study Guide

Glengarry Glen Ross Summary

By David Mamet

Glengarry Glen Ross Summary

So, you missed out on the 1980s. For many reasons, that's a bummer. There was Galaga, The Cosby Show, New Order, bizarre fashion choices, and a little film known called The Empire Strikes Back. There was also a perceived culture of corporate greed. That's where Glengarry Glen Ross comes in.

A group of middle-aged salesmen (yep, they're all men) work together in the same Chicago real estate office. On the surface they might pretend to be friends and colleagues, but it's every man for himself out there. There's a sales contest going on, and the winner—the guy who closes (or completes) the most sales—gets a new car. Oh yeah—and the losers get fired. The problem is, these guys all rely on premium leads to find the best people to try to sell to, and the top guys on the board get the best leads. This means if you're low down, you really don't have much hope for moving up.

The men all react differently to the situation, but one of them (Moss) has an idea that someone should strike back at the big bosses—the guys who control the leads. Moss thinks someone should break into the office, steal the leads, and sell them to a guy who is willing to pay good money for them.

Wouldn't you know it? Someone breaks into the office and steals the leads. The cops show up, and slowly we discover that Levene, a salesman in decline, is the guilty party.