Salesman

This radically influential portrait of American dreams and disillusionment from Direct Cinema pioneers David Maysles, Albert Maysles, and Charlotte Zwerin captures, with indelible humanity, the worlds of four dogged door-to-door Bible salesmen as they travel from Boston to Florida on a seemingly futile quest to sell luxury editions of the Good Book to working-class Catholics. A vivid evocation of midcentury malaise that unfolds against a backdrop of cheap motels, smoky diners, and suburban living rooms, Salesman assumes poignant dimensions as it uncovers the way its subjects’ fast-talking bravado masks frustration, disappointment, and despair. Revolutionizing the art of nonfiction storytelling with its nonjudgmental, observational style, this landmark documentary is one of the most penetrating films ever made about how deeply embedded consumerism is in America’s sense of its own values.

Film Info

Special Features

  • DVD: High-definition digital transfer, with restored picture and sound
  • Blu-ray: New, restored 4K digital transfer, undertaken by the Academy Film Archive, The Film Foundation, and the George Lucas Family Foundation, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • Audio commentary from 2001 featuring directors Albert Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin
  • Television interview from 1968 with directors David and Albert Maysles, conducted by critic Jack Kroll
  • New appreciation of the film by actor Bill Hader (Blu-ray only)
  • “Globesman,” a 2016 episode of the television series Documentary Now! that parodies the film, starring Hader and Fred Armisen (Blu-ray only)
  • Audio excerpt from a 2000 episode of NPR’s Weekend Edition profiling James Baker, one of the salesmen featured in the film
  • Behind-the-scenes photographs (DVD only)
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Michael Chaiken on the Blu-ray

Cover based on the original theatrical poster by Henry Wolf

Purchase Options

Coming soon, available Mar 10, 2020

Special Features

  • DVD: High-definition digital transfer, with restored picture and sound
  • Blu-ray: New, restored 4K digital transfer, undertaken by the Academy Film Archive, The Film Foundation, and the George Lucas Family Foundation, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • Audio commentary from 2001 featuring directors Albert Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin
  • Television interview from 1968 with directors David and Albert Maysles, conducted by critic Jack Kroll
  • New appreciation of the film by actor Bill Hader (Blu-ray only)
  • “Globesman,” a 2016 episode of the television series Documentary Now! that parodies the film, starring Hader and Fred Armisen (Blu-ray only)
  • Audio excerpt from a 2000 episode of NPR’s Weekend Edition profiling James Baker, one of the salesmen featured in the film
  • Behind-the-scenes photographs (DVD only)
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An essay by critic Michael Chaiken on the Blu-ray

Cover based on the original theatrical poster by Henry Wolf

Salesman
Cast
Paul Brennan
Charles McDevitt
James Baker
Raymond Martos
Credits
Director
David Maysles
Contributing film editor
Ellen Giffard
Assistant editor
Barbara Jarvis
Sound
Dick Vorisek
Director
Albert Maysles
Director
Charlotte Zwerin

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A Direct Cinema Landmark, Fifty Years Later

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A Direct Cinema Landmark, Fifty Years Later

One of the pivotal works of the Direct Cinema movement, the Maysles brothers and Charlotte Zwerin’s documentary Salesman plays in a new restoration at Manhattan’s Metrograph.