Executive Suite 1954 NR CC

Amazon Instant Video

(47) IMDb 7.4/10

The president of Tredway Corp. has unexpectedly died. Long live the new president. But who will the exec be? There's no official line of succession, and so insider back-stabbing begins.

Starring:
William Holden, June Allyson
Runtime:
1 hour 45 minutes

Executive Suite

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Product Details

Genres Drama, Romance
Director Robert Wise
Starring William Holden, June Allyson
Supporting actors Barbara Stanwyck, Fredric March, Walter Pidgeon, Shelley Winters, Paul Douglas, Louis Calhern, Dean Jagger, Nina Foch, Tim Considine, William Phipps, Lucy Knoch, Edgar Stehli, Mary Adams, Virginia Brissac, Harry Shannon, John Banner, Nesdon Booth, Hugh Boswell
Studio Warner Bros.
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
33
4 star
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See all 47 customer reviews
This is a great movie - good story and great cast.
Jean Wells
Stars William Holden, June Allyson, Barbara Stanwyck, Walter Pidgeon, Louis Calhern, Shelley Winters, Paul Douglas, Nina Foch, & Dean Jagger.
Seen Them All
The people are real, they question themselves and their ability while others are quick to seek personal gain in the present circumstance.
L. Ussery

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 39 people found the following review helpful By abfurlow@gateway.net on September 3, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Executive Suite is an often overlooked drama, but I beleive it to be one of the best films of the 1950's. The death of the president of a large furniture company creates a power struggle among the remaining board members. Competing for the top job are William Holden as an idealistic designer and engineer, and Fredric March as the company's chief acccountant. These two spend much of the film jockying other members of the board for their votes. The climactic showdown comes in the form of a board meeting where one man snatches victory from the jaws of defeat, not by force or cunning or even any kind of cleverness, but simply by telling the truth. One of the finest scenes you'll ever see in any film.
Holden and March are both outstanding, with straightforward direction by Robert Wise. One interesting note: this film has no musical score, very rare for a film from the 50's--only the bell from the company's clock tower.
This is a film that should be seen by anyone interested in story structure or conflict resolution. Definitely a film whose time has come again.
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33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Peter Lorenzi on October 30, 2004
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Forget about "Wall Street," "Boiler Room," or "Other People's Money." Forget "The Hudsucker Proxy" and the other seriously over the top spoofs of business. "Executive Suite" is the real thing.

Fifty years old, scenes ring true. William Holden's closing, impassioned speech, about the need to invest in the future instead of dividend maximization, is a classic treatment, useful for a business school class. What is perhaps most remarkable is the timeless nature of his points, about customers, quality, pride, and growth. Sure, the technology is dated. Telegrams. Dial phones. The board room looks like the reception area to Fred Munster's house. People step on and off planes without security, parking problems, or laptops in hand. But that only makes the story all the more credible. The important things haven't changed. And it shows that some things we think are new problems in business -- insider trading, board manipulation, sexual harrassment -- are at least as old as this fine film, certainly older.

Here's the basic story line: The president of Treadway furniture firm dies in the street en route to a train and a meeting in Philadelphia. An opportunistic Treadway executive of sees the crowd in the street and -- shades of today -- shorts the company's stock. The president's death is not immediately known to all, leaving some intrigue and lots of ambiguity. And, oh yes, there's the top salesman having an affair with a nubile Shelley Winters, and a frozen-appearing Barbara Stanwyck -- a Treadway -- also apparently on the verge of suicide from the cold shoulder she has received from the overworked, now-dead president.

Counting votes, twisting arms, and playing politics, Holden and Pidgeon contrive a plan to move the election of the president in their direction.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By M. Hencke on September 2, 2005
Format: VHS Tape
The first reason you need to see this film is for William Holden. I make it a point of trying to see every film he's in. He is my favorite actor of all time. Now that thats out of the way...Robert Wise has delivered a suspenseful and tremendously well made film that doesn't use a lick of music and has stunning camera work. I was particularly blown away by all the smooth dolly shots and the opening POV sequence in the beginning of the film...Seeing everything through Bullard's eyes, the dead man who sets this story off and running. It reminded me a great deal of the John Frankenheimer film "Seconds" in that sequence and Suite was made sometime before that film. This is a must see office drama that really was ahead of its time from a technical filmmaking perspective. The script is solid and watching Holden fight to be the President of the company is a joy to watch! And you've gotta love a movie that has Stanwyck and Holden together again in the same film.
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Format: DVD
Finally on DVD, this forgotten 1954 drama would certainly be ripe for a remake in the age of Enron, Halliburton and Tyco. As it stands, it's a slick MGM package directed by Robert Wise with an all-star cast but also a surprisingly incisive film about a corporate power struggle within a leading furniture company. Even though there is an air of soap opera naiveté about it, the movie benefits significantly from an economical, provocative script by Ernest Lehman, his first for the big screen, and a powerful cast of star actors performing like a well-oiled machine. An intriguing subtlety of the story is that the company is publicly held and consequently questions regarding stockholder value and dividend payouts take on a surprising dramatic resonance.

The linear plot focuses on the sudden death of Tredway Corporation president Avery Bullard on a Friday afternoon. With no succession plan in place - a gap felt by many companies today - six VPs are all possible candidates to take over - perennial also-ran Alderson, oily Caswell, weak-willed Dudley, retirement-ready Grimm, power-hungry Shaw and up-and-comer Walling. Each has his own advantages and obvious shortcomings, with the additional complication of Julia Tredway, the chief stockholder, who is also the daughter of the company founder and as it turns out, Bullard's frustrated mistress. What follows are the weekend machinations of the men, culminating in a Monday morning showdown in the corporate boardroom where the successor is named. What I like most about the film is Wise's no-frills approach toward what could have been a rather by-the-numbers story about company politics. He takes the predictably episodic aspect of following the five men and integrates the threads tightly and seamlessly.
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