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The Five Best Salesmen Characters

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | August 13, 2009 |

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | August 13, 2009 |

The car salesman movie, The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard opens tomorrow, and I thought it’d be appropriate to mark the occasion by ranking cinema’s best salesmen characters. They’re not necessary the best salesmen, but they are the best salesmen characters.

5. Jim Young (Ben Affleck), Boiler Room

Sales Pitch: “There’s an important phrase that we use here, and think it’s time that you all learned it. Act ‘as if.’ You understand what that means? Act ‘as if’ you are the fucking President of this firm. Act ‘as if’ you got a 9 inch cock. Okay? Act ‘as if.’”

4. Tommy R. Calahan III (Chris Farley), Tommy Boy

Sales Pitch: “I can get a good look at a T-bone by sticking my head up a bull’s ass, but I’d rather take a butcher’s word for it. “

3. Barry (Jack Black), High Fidelity

Sales Pitch: Barry’s Customer: Hi, do you have the song “I Just Called To Say I Love You?” It’s for my daughter’s birthday.
Barry: Yeah. We have it.
Barry’s Customer: Great, Great, can I have it?
Barry: No, no, you can’t.
Barry’s Customer: Why not?
Barry: Well, it’s sentimental tacky crap. Do we look like the kind of store that sells “I Just Called to Say I Love You”? Go to the mall.

2. Randal Graves (Jeff Anderson), Clerks

Sales Pitch: “This job would be great if it wasn’t for the fucking customers.”

1. Ricky Roma (Al Pacino) and Blake (Alec Baldwin), Glengarry Glen Ross

Sales Pitch (Roma): All train compartments smell vaguely of shit. It gets so you don’t mind it. That’s the worst thing that I can confess. You know how long it took me to get there? A long time. When you die you’re going to regret the things you don’t do. You think you’re queer? I’m going to tell you something: we’re all queer. You think you’re a thief? So what? You get befuddled by a middle-class morality? Get shut of it. Shut it out. You cheat on your wife? You did it, live with it. You fuck little girls, so be it. There’s an absolute morality? Maybe. And then what? If you think there is, go ahead, be that thing. Bad people go to hell? I don’t think so. If you think that, act that way. A hell exists on earth? Yes. I won’t live in it. That’s me. [pause] You ever take a dump made you feel like you’d just slept for twelve hours?

Sales Pitch (Blake): Coffee’s for closers only.

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.