Hurt and Save

Hurt and Save

By Julia Haslett


Four years ago, Tom Haslett left his job as a dairy farmer to pursue a career selling adjustable-beds. He was attracted to the profession, he says, because he "wanted to help people a bit." Now, he's one of his company's top-grossing salesmen. Hurt & Save follows Tom as he ventures into the sanctity of people's homes and bedrooms in order to demonstrate his bed's healing qualities. Along the way he's introduced to a canary by a spry widow, gets a tour of a lewd painting collection, listens to a depressed man's account of his suicide attempt, and hones his sales techniques to hilarious effect at a monthly sales meeting. Many of Tom's customers are glad to have some company but, though often eager to talk, they rarely buy. Between visits -- where he repeats his sales pitch with a sometimes poignant resolve -- he steals naps in his car and daydreams about farming.

Alternately serious and bizarre, Hurt & Save gives us a fascinating portrait of a man whose work uneasily combines elements of social work with a salesmanship calculated to wrest money from people who have none to spare.
United States, United Kingdom 22 minutes 2001
  • Fiscal Sponsorship - 2001 Film Arts Foundation (San Francisco, CA)
  • Honorable Mention - 2002 Big Muddy Film Festival (Carbondale, Illinois)
  • Balagan Experimental Film/Video Series 2005 (Brookline, MA)
  • The Tank 2005 (New York City)
  • Cinema Classics 2004 (New York City)
  • Hot Springs Documentary Film Institute - Summer Screening 2004
  • IFP Buzzcuts by Sundance Channel 2003 (New York City)
  • Rooftop Films 2003 (New York, NY)
  • Vassar College 2003 (Poughkeepsie, NY)
  • Big Muddy Film Festival 2002 (Carbondale, Illinois)
  • Full Frame Documentary Film Festival 2002 (Durham, United States)

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