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Executive Suite (1954)

Passed | | Drama | 30 April 1954 (USA)
When the head of a large manufacturing firm dies suddenly from a stroke, his vice-presidents vie to see who will replace him.

Director:

Writers:

(screen play), (based on the novel by)
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Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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...
...
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Frederick Y. Alderson
...
...
...
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Jesse Q. Grimm
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Erica Martin
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Mike Walling
...
Bill Lundeen
Lucy Knoch ...
Mrs. George Nyle Caswell (as Lucille Knoch)
...
...
Sara Asenath Grimm
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Storyline

Avery Bullard, President of the Tredway Corporation has died. But he never named a clear successor, so the Board members must choose a replacement. The most likely is Loren Shaw, a skilled businessman, but some of the others don't like his calculating ways. But to stop him, they'll have to find someone else they can back. Will it be the engineer Don Walling? That will take convincing, they don't trust his youth and idealism. And he isn't even sure he wants the job, he might be happier creating rather than politicking. Written by Ken Yousten <kyousten@bev.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Behind the lighted tower windows the conflict of love and power is reckless and daring!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

30 April 1954 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cuando llama el deseo  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first film in the distinguished career of screenwriter Ernest Lehman. Lehman was paid the industry minimum of $600 per week for his work on this film. However, within two years, Lehman would earn approximately 100 times that amount for his work. See more »

Goofs

When Alderson walks over to meet Dudley as he's coming off the plane, the long shot shows Dudley walking amid a group of people, including a stewardess. A moment later, when Alderson reaches Dudley in close-up, all the surrounding people have vanished. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
[pre-opening-credits sequence; views of skyscrapers]
Narrator: It is always up there, close to the clouds, on the topmost floors of the sky-reaching towers of big business. And because it is high in the sky, you may think that those who work there are somehow above and beyond the tensions and temptations of the lower floors. This is to say that it isn't so.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Cheers: Executive Sweet (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

Singin' in the Rain
(1929) (uncredited)
Music by Nacio Herb Brown
Lyrics by Arthur Freed
Hummed by Tim Considine
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A great example of mature, intelligent storytelling.
19 October 1999 | by (San Francisco, California) – See all my reviews

When the president of a major furniture conglomerate drops dead, all of the company's executives (William Holden, Barbara Stanwyck, Fredric March, Walter Pidgeon, Paul Douglas, Louis Calhern, Dean Jagger) converge in the executive suite for a vote on who will take over. But before this climactic meeting takes place, we learn about each executive's motives and desires. Make way for the clash of egos and ambitions!

Helping to define the human element of these ruthless, driven businesspeople, we gain a revealing look into the simplicity of their domestic lives. And helping to add to the intensity of this over-wrought boardroom melodrama, director Robert Wise smartly (or not so smartly, perhaps) forgoes any musical soundtrack. Instead the background is filled with the real life sounds of a major company such as this.

The all-star cast provides perhaps the biggest punch in all of "Executive Suite". Standouts particularly are Holden, Stanwyck, March, and Foch. Despite her devastating lack of screentime, Stanwyck is able to give one of the best performances of her mutifaceted career as a woman on the verge -the high-strung lover of the deceased president. In an exemplary showcase of scene-stealing, Holden has a final showdown with Stanwyck - this dynamite sequence tops them all. This smart coporate drama is given the glossed-over MGM treatment, but is nonetheless gripping and realisitic, thanks in part to outstanding performances and direction (watch for the amazing opening scene where we watch from the ailing president's point-of-view). "Executive Suite" is intelligent, mature storytelling, Hollywood style.


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