Mamet wrote this scene specifically for the movie and specifically for Baldwin. Try watching this right before an episode of 30 Rock. It’s weird!
EDIT: We’ve got the script in our latest issue! Buy a couple and do script readings with your friends! (PRO TIP: Don’t be The Machine)
This is one of the most devastating scenes in late 20th century American cinema.
Yes Alec Baldwin is a force of nature in his one and only scene. He’s such an alpha dog in this scene it’s scary.
But watch Ed Harris, Alan Arkin, and the late, great Jack Lemon. Each of their performances are so incredibly real and nuanced. Pay attention to Jack Lemon, the coffee pot, and his expressions. Watch Ed Harris’ body language transformation from a proud, know-it-all salesman into a hunched over, humiliated nobody who will be lucky to win a set of steak knives. Amazing!
“We’re adding a little something to this month’s sales contest. As you all know first prize is a Cadillac Eldorado. Anybody wanna see second prize? Second prize is a set of steak knives. Third prize is you’re fired.”