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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:

Robert Wise

Writers:

Ernest Lehman (screen play), Cameron Hawley (based on the novel by)
Reviews
Popularity
2,681 ( 11,783)

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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:
William Holden ... McDonald Walling
June Allyson ... Mary Blemond Walling
Barbara Stanwyck ... Julia O. Tredway
Fredric March ... Loren Phineas Shaw
Walter Pidgeon ... Frederick Y. Alderson
Shelley Winters ... Eva Bardeman
Paul Douglas ... Josiah Walter Dudley
Louis Calhern ... George Nyle Caswell
Dean Jagger ... Jesse Q. Grimm
Nina Foch ... Erica Martin
Tim Considine ... Mike Walling
William Phipps ... Bill Lundeen
Lucy Knoch ... Mrs. George Nyle Caswell (as Lucille Knoch)
Edgar Stehli Edgar Stehli ... Julius Steigel
Mary Adams ... 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:

The cast of the year-in the picture of the year! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 April 1954 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cuando llama el deseo See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,383,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,682,000, 31 December 1954

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,585,000, 31 December 1954
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.75 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer John Houseman wanted Henry Fonda for the role of McDonald Walling. Fonda turned him down to star in a Broadway musical that never reached the stage. See more »

Goofs

Mic shadow on curtain of Shaw's office when Shaw is trying to persuade Caswell to vote for him as company president. 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 Money Never Sleeps (2000) 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

 
Brilliant ensemble piece
23 November 2005 | by mik-19See all my reviews

If you ask me, director Robert Wise could do no wrong. He hardly ever set a foot wrong, and 'Executive Suite' is vintage Wise.

Mr. Bullard, bullying president of a huge furnishing corporation, dies, leaving everyone in doubt as to who should take over. The vultures are closing in, the major stockholder, a loose canon, is shamelessly wooed, dirty deals are struck, and there is even some insider trading taking place. It sure ain't pretty, but it's the name of the game and anything goes.

Robert Wise sets a steady pace, a brisk, business-like unfolding of a drama that deserves comparison with Shakespeare. It is done with quick cutting, drab, corporate sets, and filled to the brim with those covert glances that, in the end, decide the outcome. "Efficiency has become a dirty word, budget control has a bad odor", says prospective new manager Fredric March (another brilliant, Oscar-worthy performance) when he senses that he is losing the battle, and young gun William Holden rises to the occasion with an attention-grabbing speech that is not likely to be quickly forgotten: "We will never again ask a man to do something to poison his pride in himself or his work".

'Executive Suite' is an ensemble film, and one could go on praising every single member of the cast. And yet Robert Wise remains the engineer of this masterpiece of dynamic and still highly relevant cinema.


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