$12 General Admission
** New digital restoration! **
A landmark American documentary, Salesman captures in vivid detail the bygone era of the door-to-door salesman. While laboring to sell a gold-embossed version of the Good Book, Paul Brennan and his colleagues target the beleaguered masses — then face the demands of quotas and the frustrations of life on the road. Following Brennan on his daily rounds, the Maysles discover a real-life Willy Loman, walking the line from hype to despair.
“Underneath this critique of failure and smallness lies a more powerful indictment of American commercial society: its petty obsessions with status, its propensity to exploit the gullible, its way of concealing exploitation behind goodwill, and above all, its snide trick of offering religion and its promise of deliverance in the afterlife, rather than improvements in everyday life.” – Toby Miller, Current
“This 1968 study of door-to-door Bible salesmen in the Boston area and in the south is a superb and truthful look at an American institution — and at the troubling relationship between fact and fiction, materialism and spiritual values.” – Don Druker, Chicago Reader
“It’s such a fine, pure picture of a small section of American life that I can’t imagine its ever seeming irrelevant, either as a social document or as one of the best examples of what’s called cinema vérité or direct cinema.” – Vincent Canby, New York Times
“Unarguably one of the greatest documentaries ever made, and an intimate portrait of the reality behind a thousand blue collar dramas.” – John Fortgang, Film4