To become a salesman you must be a special kind of person who possesses many unique attributes. You must be scary, ruthless and have a selfish persona and be willing to sell anthrax to your own mother. The film industry has been able to create several magnificent characters who will no doubt take their place alongside Satan himself in the deep abyss of Hell when they finally perish. Here is a list of seven movie salesman who had no souls.
Blake, "Glengarry Glen Ross."
Never has a five minute performance been remembered so brightly. Alec Baldwin waltzes in and scares the hell out of the salesman in the offices before threatening them with unemployment and leaving. All whilst dropping a long list of profanity which would make Tarantino blush. "Glengarry Glen Ross" is filled with a host of other salesman who are forced into a desperate plight because of Blake's speech, and each one of them becomes as mean as the scary son of a bitch.
Gordon Gekko, "Wall Street."
Gekko is the inspiration for today's misdirected businessmen, who still espouse his business philosophies all while conveniently forgetting that Gekko was, you know, the bad guy of the picture. Keep doing that noble work, boys!
Chris Varick, "Boiler Room."
Boiler Room is filled with a deluge of salesman whose place in hell is practically reserved. The most cold-hearted among them is Chris who is able to sell shares of companies which have been defunct to people who weren't even interested in buying them in the first place. Before a string of lousy career decisions and terrible roles made him into a punch line, Vin Diesel's performance here had many people thinking he could be the next big thing.
Jonas Nightengale, "Leap Of Faith."
Steve Martin has always seemed to have the potential to scam millions out of their hard earned money. And in "Leap of Faith" Martin is able to pose as a faith healer who cons various parishioners out of their cash. He even employs various techniques to perfect his quest which includes hidden microphones and cameras. He's the proverbial "snake oil salesman," the man with a treatment for whatever malady you have, except his treatment is really nothing at all!
Jerry Maguire, "Jerry Maguire."
Jerry Maguire is often remembered for being a warm-hearted salesman who treats each and everyone of his clients as if they were a member of his family. Yet it is Cuba Gooding Jr.'s Rod Tidell who is able to bring the best out of Jerry, who had previously only been interested only in selling his players and making money. His "secret garden" deal with Renee Zellweger may have won over audiences, but the keen observer will note that Maguire was a money-hungry agent. On top of that, he wasn't even that good at it!
Willy Loman, "Death Of A Salesman."
Arthur Miller's tremendously influential play was adapted into a 1951 movie. Willy wasn't helped by having a last name that literally means he is a low-man. Needless to say he would sell his first born son to make a profit and his name has now become synonymous with business failure. Among his other indiscretions are marital infidelity, and general impotence. He may not exactly be soulless, but he's certainly an empty shell of a man.
Don Ready, " The Goods: Live Hard, Sell Hard."
In this criminally underrated comedy, Piven is in full-on "Ari Gold" mode, with an extra dash of silliness on top. Playing the role of a mercenary car salesman who comes to flagging dealerships top boost sales, Piven plays Don Ready to perfection. His tactics including pretending to be a serial killer in order to trick a woman out of buying a used car from someone else, and bringing in Bo Bice's brother to help excite the crowd. If that's not soulless, we don't know what is!