Time: 104 mins.
Rating: Not Rated
Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress (Foch), Art Direction, Costume Design and Cinematography.
EXECUTIVE SUITE's high-powered cast is about the only thing that keeps this drama about an internal battle for the position of company president still playing on the tube. Maybe it's just me, but I find nothing interesting about the machinations of corporate politics and this film certainly didn't change my mind, but you have to give them some credit for trying to tell a different sort of story. The firm's executive board is filled with the usual yes-men, penny-pinchers, slackers and idealists. When the current president dies suddenly, without naming a successor, the battle for power begins.
The VP in charge of Finance, Loren Shaw (March), believes he's the man the stock-holders are looking for. His fellow members of the board are unimpressed with his credentials to carry the company into the future, when all he's concerned about is the bottom line. The only other board member capable of beating him (and the noble choice) is Don Walling (Holden), the youngest and most forward-thinking vice president. All he wants is for the company to be innovative, to take care of its employees and to regain its' quality reputation.
The success of both men falls into the hands of Julia Treadway (Stanwyck), the founders' daughter, a major stockholder and a woman made miserable by the family business. While the plot comes up with several contrivances to add suspense to the proceedings, it's fairly clear from the beginning who's going to win this vote. After the requisite big, idealistic speeches, of course. Everyone is cast to type, so the acting is good, but nothing memorable. Sure the topic is different, but that's not always a good thing. If you're interested in the workings of the corporate world (and I don't know anyone who is) this film will keep you entertained. Otherwise, don't waste your time.