Rona Jaffe's best-selling novel comes to life in this witty tale about the personal and professional lives of the men and women in a New York publishing firm. Heading a huge cast. JOAN CRAWFORD "gives an excellently etched performance" (Hollywood Reporter) as a tough-talking editor who can't seem to win at love. There are a few more interesting stories around the office than there are in the manuscripts at Fabian Publishers. Among the principal players: a new secretary (HOPE LANG) who quickly gets her boss's (CRAWFORD) job and romances a handsome editor (STEPHEN BOYD); a Colorado secretary (DIANE BARKER) who falls for the wrong man (ROBERT EVANS); and a would be actress (SUZY PARKER) who's jilted by a two-timing director (LUIS JOURDAN). Slick and glossy, The Best Of Everything is a panorama of office politics before women's liberation.
The business world of the late Eisenhower era has rarely been more chicly drawn than in The Best of Everything
, a juicy soap opera of the "working girl" school. Hope Lange lands a secretarial job at a Manhattan publishing house, eventually rising to an editorial position--but not before witnessing the back-biting, fanny-pinching snakepit that is the corporate workplace circa 1959. The spunky trio of Lange, Diane Baker, and Suzy Parker have romantic misadventures aplenty; Baker falls in with smarmy young Robert Evans (he had the tan even back then) and aspiring actress Parker lands in the clutches of heartbreaker stage director Louis Jourdan. The film's males are truly pigs in gray flannel suits. Beefcake slab Stephen Boyd offers solace to Lange, while Martha Hyer is around to provide yet another example of a woman suffering for the sake of a married man. Despite all the young female talent (redhead Parker was one of the most beautiful women of the fifties, a top model with a brief movie career), nobody holds serve when Joan Crawford bulls her way on screen. As a senior magazine editor (and a presumably cautionary example of the bitter career woman), Crawford eats the other actors like hors d'oeuvres. Jean Negulesco's staid direction never notices how trashy and plodding the material is, stressing instead the designer prettiness of CinemaScope: the interiors are a parade of cool colors and postwar furniture, the location shots of Manhattan streets are as gorgeous and nostalgic as an ancient engraving. --Robert Horton