"Salesman" Is Released

Salesman is a 1969 direct cinema documentary film directed by brothers Albert and David Maysles, and Charlotte Zwerin.

The documentary follows four salesmen as they travel across New England and Florida trying to sell expensive Bibles door-to-door in low-income neighborhoods. The film focuses in particular on the struggles of salesman Paul Brennan, an old Irish Catholic from Boston who struggles to keep up his sales.

One of the most well respected of the cinema verite documentaries of the 1960's, this non-fiction film follows a group of real-life Bible salesmen for the Mid-American Bible Company as they ply their wares. The central figure in the film is Irish-American Paul Brennan, a 56-year-old of great wit who traipses door to door in an effort to sell the good book to Catholic housewives who really can't afford to buy but don't want to appear rude to a Church-sanctioned representative. The documentary, a collaboration by the Maysles brothers, also follows Brennan as he shares war stories with fellow Bible peddlers and attends management and sales meetings. The Maysles' next film was their classic documentary of the Rolling Stones fateful 1969 tour, Gimme Shelter (1970). ~ Karl Williams, All Movie Guide