This melodrama starring Robert Taylor and Burl Ives was directed by Henry Koster. An American business executive working in England wants to marry European refugee Elizabeth Mueller, but he...
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This melodrama starring Robert Taylor and Burl Ives was directed by Henry Koster. An American business executive working in England wants to marry European refugee Elizabeth Mueller, but he is warned by his boss that such things just aren't done. Taylor digs in his heels and eventually finds support from his less hidebound fellow executives. The film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Costume Design and was the first feature-length movie in black-and-white CinemaScope.
"Executive Suite" this ain't. THE POWER AND THE PRIZE falls short on several counts already mentioned in previous critiques (I fully agree with the somewhat poorly acted female leads, but they are severely hampered by weakly written characters, especially Taylor's young fiancee; look at her disappointment at her wedding being delayed and compare that to being dumped). The one mildly interesting twist is the the concern over the vague political past of Taylor's new love interest. The fact that she's a concentration camp survivor is of little empathy compared to the doubts various people have of whether she's a commie! Given Robert Taylor's known ultra-conservative bent, it's strange to see him act sympathetic and even unconcerned about her politics. Fact is, Taylor seems to be sleepwalking through this one--- and despite only being in his mid-40's he looks old. The final confrontation between Ives (a part that begs for real-life proto-fascist Adolph Menjou) and Taylor is anti-climatic, lacking any real tension or drama (unlike EXECUTIVE SUITE'S boffo final board meeting). All the production values are present, it's just the script should have been sent back for a re-write. A 3/10--- interesting only as a snapshot at what our priorities were 47 years ago.
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