The most recognized element of Mamet’s style is his sparse, clipped dialogue. Mamet’s dialogue is so unique that it has become known as “Mametspeak”. His language is not so much “naturalistic” as it is a poetic impression of streetwise jargon.
Noted for his strong male characters, Mamet’s plays often deal with the decline of morality in a world which has become an emotional and spiritual wasteland. In 1984, he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Glengarry Glen Ross which recreated the atmosphere of a gritty Chicago real estate office in which Levine, an aging salesman, is about to be sacked.
In 1981, Mamet turned his attention to screenwriting and made an impressive debut with his first screenplay, The Postman Always Rings Twice, which he adapted from the novel by James Cain. He has since turned out a number of critically acclaimed screenplays including The Verdict (1982), The Untouchables (1987), Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) and Wag the Dog (1998) and is now considered to be among the industry’s finest craftsmen.