- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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- kevin sellers
Despite some pretensions, in Ernest Lehman's otherwise fine script, to make Important Moral Statements (i.e. that looooong, ponderous speech by William Holden about capitalist ethics) this film is best enjoyed and is at its best as a corporate soap opera with some of the best 1950s ensemble acting this side of "12 Angry Men". Liked all of the performances (Hell, even June Allyson's good!) but if you were to put a loaded debenture to my head and force me to choose my fave it'd be a three way tie between Frederic March as the cold, calculating (and calculator) Shaw, Louis Calhern as Alonzo Emmerich's older brother, and Walter Pidgeon doing what he does best, tortured earnestness. Give it a B plus.PS...Loved the visual conceit of making the interior of corporate headquarters look like a cross between a cathedral and a faculty lounge.
U.S. flag at half staff at the Pike State Plant
- Jeff Boston
Showing it in the background of an exterior shot was a nice touch (honoring the late, great "A.B."), and it was cool seeing Don's son playing for the Bears a generation before Matthau's motley crew (and with very similar uniforms), but the best parts of this dynamic dialogue film was the acting (most of the 10 main actors in this film are TCM regulars and the others recognized by the industry for their outstanding contributions), directing (Wise, who wound up with a wide range of hits), and screenplay (Lehman, responsible for the always fresh "North By Northwest" and the always rotten "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?," one year after his saintly "The Sound of Music"). Don's speech at the climax of "Executive Suite" could be in a contemporary film and it would move audiences. Superb. Well done TCM, having shown this on April 2 as part of a month-long tribute to Holden's 100th birthday. As his character so stirringly declared, one truly cannot make people work for money alone, for one starves their souls that way.
Quite an intriguing cast on a day saluting Barbara Stanwyck.She was rerrific in a small role,as was Pidgeon,Holden,Calhern as a real jerk,Nina Foch.Shelley was irritating character.Surprise George Macready,who one reviewer somewhere stated was as his best in a boardroom,wasn't part of the cast,esp since he starred opposite Nina so many times.He would've been terrific in Paul Douglas' part,since someone complained Douglas seemed uncomfortable here.
Executive Suite: Stock Proxy Battle
- Doc Long
Intrigue in the corporate board room after the passing of the company leader. It's a story that has been done before but this time it's told mid 50s style, much like The Man In The Gray Flannel Suit. Thespian colossus Fredric March dominates the picture and deserved another Best Actor Oscar- it would have been his 3rd- for the role of penny-pinching Loren Phineas Shaw. Other Hollywood Royalty is represented by Barbara Stanwyck, Walter Pidgeon and the always affable Louis Calhern. The hot name is the top billed star- Bill Holden. Fresh from winning the Oscar for best actor in '53, Holden's career was still on an upward arc during his performance in Executive Suite. He carved out quite a believable character that many in similar positions could immediately relate to on a personal basis. Attractive Nina Foch, a native of Holland, received the Academy nomination for best supporting actress while being married in real life at the time to James Lipton (of Actors Studio fame). Old pros Paul Douglas, Dean Jagger and Shelley Winters are up on their game- as usual- while June Allyson seems too sugary (a kinder word than annoying?) as Holden's wife. Look fast for John Banner (Sgt. Shultz of Hogan's Heroes) as well as narration by NBC Television News icon Chet Huntley.To be watched for sure.
great ensemble and direction
Having the best leading man(HOLDEN) and leading lady(STANWYCK) pretty much assures quality.The ensemble cast(MARCH in particular)shines and the direction by WISE is flawless.MARCH channels a nixon like personna and PIDGEON and JAGGER are aces too.Exciting and uplifting conclusion to a great story. Just perfect.
Re: Fredrick March
Lots of Stars, some Academy Awards, but this film for me shows he depth of March's talent. He is the focus of what's wrong with the company, and the viewer can't help wanting to do some harm to him. Nearly anyone can be a villain, but the performance is usually shallow. March on the other hand shows he has the range of ability to be lovable and despicable. The film is a fairly accurate film about big corporations. Current attitudes towards them seems entirely evil, especially the younger generations. Without big corporations, and the good, and talented people who work for them, the complainers would not have their myriad of toys.
Keeps you guessing.
Just when you think you know who is going to take over the company a new character emerges. Excellent portrayal of big business and corporate politics.
Keeps you guessing
Just when you think you know is going to take over the company, a new character emerges. Excellent portrayal of big business and corporate politics. Some chsaracters you will like and others not so much.
great film Executive cast
This is one of those classics that dosen't seem to get the aplause it deserves. It is a great story that even in this age of ipods and twitter is still fresh. It is a nostalgic trip back to a time when things were less complicated and I love watching this film just because it is so iconic 50s
An Executive of a movie
Wonderful cast working incredibly well together...terrific writing...a great plot...no one is sugar coated here...even June Allyson does something she shouldnt...one of the most underrated movies of all time...should be on any list of the top 50 movies of all time..
Outstanding, inciteful drama with lasting values
- Larry Esposito
I finally saw "Executive Suite" yesterday. I think that it is perhaps one of the best dramas to come out of fifties Hollywood with a superb cast. The film is shot beautifully and there are two exceptional actors who command the film: William Holden and Frederic March. The values I mention in my title refer to how we must always strive for excellence and pride in what it is we make, do and believe in. These are universal and the film makes such a strong argument for these that I have to recommend it whole-heartedly. Please do not miss it.I don't know why Holden and March were not nominated for Oscars for their strong performances. Holden's winning argument at the end is worth watching over and over. He was truly a great actor and it is unfortunate that he was gone too soon. He believed in what he did and seemed passionate about it. I find his performance in this film to be without any holes.I believe the director, Robert Wise, decided on no music so that we would not be interrupted by something inserted over dialogue that was so well written and also that it might "over-romanticize" the film. Music plays such an important role in films, because it dictates our feelings as we watch the proceedings. The lack of music intensifies the drama in this film -- it is a bold stroke and the lack of music keeps us tuned in to the goings on in the film.I am a musician, so I feel that the choice here was a correct one.
If only today!
If companies today operated on the balanced prospective presented at the end of this movie America wouldn't be in the boat it is in! There has to be more than investor return.
One of the best
It was a brilliant choice to forego a musical score and rely instead on the tolling of the clock for emphasis. This is one of Stanwyck's most underplayed, and brilliant, roles. March, Holden, and especially Nina Foch (whose implacable, efficient character's true feelings for Tredway are finally exposed when Holden finds her trembling at the top of the stairs to the executive suite make for a memorable moment), all are terrific.Your synopsis here, however, incorrectly states that the Tredway building is in Manhattan. It is in Pennsylvania; the opening sequence takes place in the New York City offices of the stock brokers.
Why No Music?
- Bruce Reber
I have seen "Executive Suite" several times and I have always wondered why there is no music score. It is a very good film, with many stars giving great performances and a good story offering an inside look at corporate America. But I think it would be better if music was added by a great dramatic composer like Miklos Rosza or Dimitri Tiomkin. I guess the director Robert Wise (and probably MGM also) thought that the mood of the film could be conveyed by the actors and cinematography without music. Still in my opinion one of MGM's best dramatic films of the 50's.
Still Contemporary 55 years later.
- Marilyn Benson
The themes, plot and screen play of this drama are so in line with contemporary American business life, it is a wonder that clips haven't been used as part of news stories or commentaries. The writer captured what unfortunately seems to be an enduring problem for business...some people's drive for power, others for profit and the need for balance between profit, pride of creating a quality product, and a corporation's place in the community. A must see for students of business: university or practicing.
- Bob Hendrick
When you cast Willian Holden, Fredric March, June Allyson, Barbara Stanwyck, Walter Pidgeon, Shelly Winters, Paul Douglas, Dean Jagger and Louis Calhern in a film that has an intelligent screenplay (something that is missing in 90% of today's films); and a first class director (Robert Wise); how can you miss? Answer: YOU CAN'T!
Cast of the year delivers
- Gaston K. Rivera
This is an intelligent, witty and entertaining film directed by a pro and with one of the best casts one can remember. It shows how a black and white film, mainly confined to a board room in an office building, may sufice when the story is engaging, the stars are of this caliber, and the overall production is so well done. Filmmaking at its best.
ROBERT WISE AT HIS BEST
This is a film that totally submerges the viewer in the corporate world it depicts, a pure drama superbly played by a cast of Hollywood's best character actors. Robert Wise crafted this film without the benefit of a musical score, yet the intense game of political chess that unfolds remains gripping. Superb, you won't forget it.
Wow!! a true sleeper. what a cast. you cant get better. the message couldnt be more valid then it is today. loved the beginnig, very cool the way it starts to keep you in suspense, beautiful directionthanks