EXECUTIVE SUITE : STAR CAST

If you have a star line-up, line ’em up!

Here  are the stars of MGM’s EXECUTIVE SUITE (1954).

William Holden,June Allyson,Barbara Stanwyck,Fredric March,Walter Pidgeon,Shelley Winters,Paul Douglas,Louis Calhern,Dean Jagger,Nina Foch.

 

image

image

I imagine EXECUTIVE SUITE was an attempt by MGM to remind the public that television couldn’t beat an all star cast in a big budget movie.
Written by Ernest Lehman ( from the Cameron Hawley novel)and directed by Robert Wise, EXECUTIVE SUITE is the story of a power struggle at a big business corporation over a 24 hour period.

image

Avery Bullard,whom we never see, is the President of the Tredway Corporation , a furniture company. He dies suddenly and the board must choose his successor as soon as possible to prevent any financial loss.

image

Barbara Stanwyck

Barbara Stanwyck

 

Nina Foch,William Holden

Nina Foch,William Holden

Nina Foch is Erica Martin, Bullard’s executive secretary ,very efficient and probably in love with  her boss. She is shocked when told about his death by Mac.

William Holden is Mac Walling, head of research and development. He’s young and bright and happily married to Mary (June Allyson).

 

Fredric March ,William Holden,Walter Pidgeon

Fredric March ,William Holden,Walter Pidgeon

 

Fredric March is Loren Shaw, the company’s accountant. Shaw tries to take charge in the aftermath of Bullard’s sudden death. He is desperate for the top job, so much so, he is always sweating and wiping his hands . He’ll go to any lengths including blackmail.

 

William Holden,Barbara Stanwyck

William Holden,Barbara Stanwyck

Barbara Stanwyck is Julia Tredway, daughter of the man who founded the company. She and Bullard were involved but the company always came first with Bullard. She is on the board but doesn’t really care who takes over. She gives her proxy to Shaw.

 

Fredric March

Fredric March

 

 

June Allyson,Barbara Stanwyck

June Allyson,Barbara Stanwyck

 

 

Fredric March,Nina Foch

Fredric March,Nina Foch

 

 

Walter Pidgeon,Barbara Stanwyck,

Walter Pidgeon,Barbara Stanwyck

 

Walter Pidgeon is Fred Alderson who helped found the company. He realises eventually that he isnt the man for the top job.

 

Barbara Stanwyck,Fredric March

Barbara Stanwyck,Fredric March

 

 

Louis Calhern,Fredric March

Louis Calhern,Fredric March

 

Louis  Calhern is George  Caswell, an unscrupulous board member who tries a little bit of insider trading after Bullard’s sudden death .

 

image

 

 

 

Paul Douglas,Shelley Winters

Paul Douglas,Shelley Winters

 

Paul Douglas is  Walt Dudley, head of sales. He’s been having an affair with office secretary ,Eva (Shelley Winters).

Shaw finds out and confronts them.

Eva finally realises that Walt is never going to leave his wife.

 

Fredric March,Paul Douglas,Shelley Winters

Fredric March,Paul Douglas,Shelley Winters

 

The final scene in the film runs nearly 10 minutes, as things come to a head in the board room. William Holden gives an impassioned speech about the future of the company .

Considering  the number of principal characters  ( Dean Jagger is also a board member ), the writing quality is such that each one is well defined.

The only surprise to me is that Barbara Stanwyck would take such a smallish role. I’ve read she wanted to be in a film with her old friend William Holden again, but it really is a supporting role and she only has one or two key scenes.

It’s a long film and I could have done without the June Allyson  character and the scenes in the Allyson/Holden home which took away from the tension caused by the urgency to appoint a successor.

Poor June got so type cast in the early 50s. In the same year, 1954, she also played the loving wife of Cornel Wilde in a similar story, A WOMAN’s WORLD.

I’m not sure that Nina Foch deserved an Oscar nomination ,though she made the most of her part. But for the Oscar Academy to overlook Fredric March is a mystery. He steals the film .

EXECUTIVE SUITE is one of very few films of the period to have no music ,but somehow you don’t miss it. All you hear are the sounds of the city.

 

 

image

 

image

 

 

 

image

6 responses »

  1. I love your site! Just signed up for e-mail alerts!

    These are all amazing photos and I adore William Holden, so you had my interest the moment I saw him. I’ve seen this movie on TCM and it’s good but not as spectacular as the cast themselves. Wow! When you see them all lined up for those first two photos, it certainly is something special!

    Thanks for such a great post! I blog about new movies on TV, but I still love learning all about the classics, too!

    Net, from It’s a Wonderful Movie

    http://itsawonderfulmovie.blogspot.com

  2. I haven’t seen this in many years! Thanks for the reminder, Vienna. I must watch this again. I’m sure to find it somewhere online or pay for view. I’m not Walter Pidgeon’s biggest fan, I always found him exceedingly pompous and recently I read some things about his personal behavior (you know there are no secrets anymore) which further colored my view of him. But of course, what I read could be untrue gossip – who knows.
    Still, food for thought. I know, I know, I shouldn’t pay attention to gossip. But on the whole, this is a great cast. I used to love this sort of film.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s