Salesman (1968)

This famous documentary is said to have single-handedly brought back a resurgence of documentary filmmaking in the 1960-1970s. It follows the mishaps of door-to-door Bible salesmen.

Rated: G
Running Time:
Release Date: January 1, 1968
DVD Release Date: January 1, 1998
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Critic Score: 100% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Richard Brody
New Yorker

The filmmakers, despite their rueful gaze, inspire empathy for all parties to this miserable commerce.

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David Parkinson
Empire Magazine

An uncompromising documentary which simply lays its subject bare and dares us not be moved by the raw humanity on display.

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Leslie Felperin
Radio Times

Poignant and funny, its rhythms may seem stately to viewers used to the wham-bam style of current documentary film-making, but this is a classic of its kind.

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Don Druker
Chicago Reader

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.

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Andrew Pulver

Salesman stands as the movie where [the Maysles] really found their voice as leading American proponents of the "direct cinema" aesthetic.

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TV Guide

Salesman is an exemplar of nonfictional material shaped and illuminated by sophisticated filmmakers who have absorbed the devices of fictional storytelling.

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Vincent Canby
New York Times

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.

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Jon Fortgang

Unarguably one of the greatest documentaries ever made, and an intimate portrait of the reality behind a thousand blue collar dramas.

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Donald J. Levit
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Aside from sales spiel, dialogue is spontaneous, nothing staged or repeated, no one looks at the camera or seems aware of it.

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More reviews for Salesman

Flixster Audience Score: 88% Flixster User Reviews
Tim Sigur
If I was born in another time, I would want to be born during this time. And this would probably have been my job.
Walter M.
"Salesman" is a very effective cinema verite documentary from the Maysles Brothers about bible salesmen operating in Massachusetts and Florida on the… More
Eduardo C
It is not long into the film that we begin to realize how amoral its subjects are, none more so than the company that employs them. The salesmen are promised… More