Top 10 Sales Movies of All-Time
We have searched high and wide for the best sales movies of all time. In order to qualify you needed to have a salesperson or the activity of selling as the central theme of the movie. While many great movies may have some funny sales scenes, in order to qualify for this list you needed to be specifically about sales.
#10 Boiler Room
Seth Davis is a college dropout running an illegal casino from his rented apartment. Driven by his domineering fathers disapproval at his illegitimate existence and his desire for serious wealth, Seth suddenly finds himself seduced by the opportunity to interview as a trainee stock broker from recent acquaintance Greg (Nicky Katt). Walking into the offices of JT Marlin, a small time brokerage firm on the outskirts of New York - Seth gets an aggressive cameo performance from Jay (Ben Affleck) that sets the tone for a firm clearly placing money above all else. Seth's fractured relationship with his father and flirtatious glances from love interest Abbie (Nia Long) are enough to keep Seth motivated in his new found career. As he begins to excel and develop a love for the hard sale and high commission, a few chance encounters leads Seth to question the legitimacy of the firms operations - placing him once again at odds with his father and what remains of his morality.
#9 Pirates of Silicon Valley
The Microsoft / Apple Saga is showcased as Anthony Michael Hall portrays William Gates III, of software giant Microsoft while his nemesis, Apple Computer Main Worm (we mean this in the kindest way possible) Steve Jobs is played by Noah Wyle of ER fame. This movie is cheesy at times (hey, what do you expect?), providing an interesting perspective on the battle and alliance of two of the most fascinating companies of all time. A highlight is when Gates convinces then-Goliath IBM to give him a glimpse of the operating system DOS. Gates claims DOS as his creation, but the actual rights-holder insists to be the mastermind behind it. Interestingly, the movie portrays Jobs as the biggest S.O.B. on the planet. This movie makes the list for the simple reason that you see what kind of dedication, sacrifice, perseverance, and innovation it takes to become filthy rich.
#8 Jerry Maguire
Jerry Maguire (Tom Cruise) is a successful sports agent. The biggest clients, the respect, a beautiful fiancée, he has it all. Until one night he questions his purpose. His place in the world, and finally comes to terms with what's wrong with his career and life. Recording all his thoughts in a mission statement Jerry feels he has a new lease on life. Unfortunately his opinions aren't met with enthusiasm from his superiors and after dishonorably being stripped of his high earning clients and elite status within the agency Jerry steps out into the sports business armed with only one volatile client (Cuba Gooding Jr.) and the only person with belief in his abilities (Renée Zellweger) with the impossible task of rebuilding what he once had. Along the way he faces the harsh truths which he'd ignored in the past and a host of hardships that he'd never faced before.
#7 Death of a Salesman
Salesman Willy Loman is in a crisis. He's about to lose his job, he can't pay his bills, and his sons Biff and Happy don't respect him and can't seem to live up to their potential. He wonders what went wrong and how he can make things up to his family.
#6 Barbarians at the Gate
F. Ross Johnson, the CEO of RJR Nabisco decides that the time is ripe to take over his own company and enlists American Express. This kicks off a tide of other firms swarming in to tender offers. The outline of the film follows the actual takeover of the RJR Nabisco empire in a tongue in cheek way.
#5 Wall Street
Bud Fox is a Wall Street stockbroker in early 1980's New York with a strong desire to get to the top. Working for his firm during the day, he spends his spare time working an on angle with the high-powered, extremely successful (but ruthless and greedy) broker Gordon Gekko. Fox finally meets with Gekko, who takes the youth under his wing and explains his philosophy that "Greed is Good". Taking the advice and working closely with Gekko, Fox soon finds himself swept into a world of "yuppies", shady business deals, the "good life", fast money, and fast women; something which is at odds with his family including his estranged father and the blue-collared way Fox was brought up.
#4 Lord of War
This film charts the rise and fall of Yuri Orlov, from his early days in the early 1980s in Little Odessa, selling guns to mobsters in his local neighbourhood, through to his ascension through the decade of excess and indulgence into the early 90s, where he forms a business partnership with an African warlord and his psychotic son. The film also charts his relationship through the years with his younger brother, his marriage to a famous model, his relentless pursuit by a determined federal agent and his inner demons that sway between his drive for success and the immorality of what he does.
#3 Thank you for Smoking
The chief spokesperson and lobbyist Nick Naylor is the Vice-President of the Academy of Tobacco Studies. He is talented in speaking and spins argument to defend the cigarette industry in the most difficult situations. His best friends are Polly Bailey that works in the Moderation Council in alcohol business, and Bobby Jay Bliss of the gun business own advisory group SAFETY. They frequently meet each other in a bar and they self-entitle the Mod Squad a.k.a. Merchants of Death, disputing which industry has killed more people. Nick's greatest enemy is Vermont's Senator Ortolan Finistirre, who defends in the Senate the use a skull and crossed bones in the cigarette packs. Nick's son Joey Naylor lives with his mother, and has the chance to know his father in a business trip. When the ambitious reporter Heather Holloway betrays Nick disclosing confidences he had in bed with her, his life turns upside-down. But Nick is good in what he does for the mortgage.
#2 The Pursuit of Happyness
Based on a true story about a man named Christopher Gardner. Gardner has invested heavily in a device known as a "Bone Density scanner". He feels like he has made these devices. However, they do not sell as they are marginally better than the current technology at a much higher price. As Gardner tries to figure out how to sell them, his wife leaves him, he loses his house, his bank account, and credit cards. Forced to live out in the streets with his son, Gardner is now desperate to find a steady job; he takes on a job as a stockbroker, but before he can receive pay, he needs to go through 6 months of training, and to sell his devices.
#1 Glengarry Glen Ross
Times are tough in a Chicago real-estate office; the salesmen (Shelley Levene, Ricky Roma, Dave Moss, and George Aaronow) are given a strong incentive by Blake to succeed in a sales contest. The prizes? First prize is a Cadillac El Dorado, second prize is a set of steak knives, third prize is the sack! There is no room for losers in this dramatically masculine world; only "closers" will get the good sales leads. There is a lot of pressure to succeed, so a robbery is committed which has unforeseen consequences for all the characters.