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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)
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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:

GREAT NOVEL BECOMES SENSATIONAL SCREEN DRAMA! 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

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

The film cast includes four Oscar winners: William Holden, Fredric March, Dean Jagger and Shelley Winters; and four Oscar nominees: Barbara Stanwyck, Walter Pidgeon, Nina Foch and Louis Calhern. 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

References Singin' in the Rain (1952) 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

Absorbing drama of corporate struggle for top executive position...
31 August 2003 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

Robert Wise has taken Cameron Hawley's expose of big business shenanigans and turned it into a smart, well-paced melodrama with some superb performances from a highly polished cast--William Holden, Barbara Stanwyck, Walter Pidgeon, Fredric March, June Allyson, Paul Douglas, Shelley Winters and Nina Foch.

Fredric March comes on strong as the most ambitious candidate while Dean Jagger underplays as the weakest. Another who is remarkable in showing restraint for a change is Shelley Winters as Douglas' girlfriend who wishes he had more backbone. Barbara Stanwyck does some fireworks in a strong scene with William Holden but does a restrained piece of acting at the final board scene where she sits and listens as Holden takes command of the situation. Here she reveals without saying a word what a fine actress she is.

While most of it is given the glossy MGM treatment, the settings look realistic and there are some real shots of busy Manhattan streets and buildings. One MGM factor is missing--there is no background music, not even under the credits--remarkable for a film of this period. Somehow, it doesn't matter--and the film hasn't dated much at all. What it has to say about big business still holds true.

Nina Foch is excellent as an executive secretary and fully deserved her Academy Award nomination.


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