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Salesman

A portrait of Bible salesmen selling their wares becomes a fascinating window on 1960s American life.

Credits

Dir Albert Maysles, David Maysles, Charlotte Zwerin
Prod Albert Maysles, David Maysles
USA
1968
91min
Sales Janus Film

One of the world’s great documentary films – an unforgettable journey into the dark heart of the American Dream. Four door-to-door bible salesmen traverse New England and Florida, plying their wares on the doorsteps of blue-collar households. The Maysles Brothers and Charlotte Zwerin observe them with calm, candour and compassion. Considered a classic of world documentary – in particular, the ground-breaking American style known as Direct Cinema – Salesman is much more than that. It’s an entertaining road movie, a compelling character study and a searing meditation on capitalism, America and the vastness of midlife hope and disappointment. This restoration does justice to the sun-baked atmosphere of a movie full of images, dialogue and people that will burn themselves into your memory.

Patrick Russell

Additional information

Restored by the Academy Film Archive and The Film Foundation, with funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation.

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