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The stakes are high, the humor is biting, and the characters will stop at nothing to get what they want.
David Mamet's Speed-the-Plow is one of several successful plays he has written about the business world. Filled with Mamet's trademark, rapid-fire dialogue, Speed-the-Plow focuses on the ruthless nature of Hollywood and the movie industry. Mamet was familiar with this environment, having written several produced screenplays in the 1980s. The title Speed-the-Plow is derived from an old English farming phrase which was used to confer good luck and a swift and profitable ploughing. Critics and scholars have speculated that Mamet might be comparing Hollywood's fast pace and profit motivations to this past, for in the play cold business fact goes to war with artistry and idealism. Devilishly entertaining, Speed-the-Plow is back-stabbingly great theater.