I loved Glengarry Glen Ross but there is one thing I still find strange.

Why did Williamson lie to Roma about the contract before? I mean, if the contract was stolen Roma should have gone back to the client and try to have him sign it again...

Why did Williamson lie to Roma in the first time?

  • 1
    FYI it's in Mamet's script for the play, so it's not a mistake the movie introduced.
    – BCdotWEB
    Jan 11, 2019 at 10:08
  • @BCdotWEB, indeed, here is the movie script. Jan 11, 2019 at 10:16

2 Answers 2


From Wikipedia:

Roma tries to deceive Lingk by telling him that the check he wrote the night before has yet to be cashed, and that accordingly he has time to reason with his wife and reconsider.

Williamson, unaware of Roma and Levene's stalling tactic, lies to Lingk, claiming that he already deposited his check in the bank

The idea is to stall Lingk. If Roma can persuade Lingk to go and talk to his wife (while the cheque is being processed as it should have gone to the bank the previous night) he will fail to stop it. Williamson however thinks the issue is the robbery and that Lingk is afraid someone else has the cheque, so he lies and says it's banked.

This then leads Lingk to rush to the bank to stop the cheque immediately which means Roma's deal falls apart.

It also ultimately leads to unmasking the Glengarry thief.


I think Williamson is in high stress after the robbery. Then, he has do deal with the police, and Roma cursing and yelling at him.

He might also feel guilty because he was supposed to come back yesterday night to file these contracts as he always do but this one time, he didn't as he stayed home with his kids. He probably wants to protect him since it could be suspicious that a robbery happened at the very same moment where he didn't came back at the office.

Later, when he confronts Levene:

I'm saying this, Shelly... usually I take the contracts to the bank, last night I didn't. Last night I stayed home with my kids.
How did you know that? One night in a year,I left a contract on my desk. No one knew that but you.

His job is not in danger as he is not a salesman, so he might not care about this specific deal and the Cadillac, so think he just wants to calm Roma down to get rid of him at this specific moment.

  • 1
    It's what I also suppose: he's trying to calm Roma down and get him out of the office. But it would be nice to have an official explanation from Mamet. You'd think somebody would have asked him in the 35 years since he wrote this script. ;-)
    – BCdotWEB
    Jan 11, 2019 at 10:11
  • @BCdotWEB exactly, he has to deal with important things (inventories, police...) so it's not the moment to talk about a Cadillac. It also seems that W. is planning to cancel the Cadillac deal: R: "Now you owe me the car." ... W: "The robbery makes difficult..." ... R: "Fuck you! You owe me the car!" Jan 11, 2019 at 10:21

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