Executive Suite

Director: Robert Wise
Year Released: 1954
Rating: 3.0

When the president of a furniture corporation dies, several of his top executives start to fight bitterly with each other over who should take over, with it coming down to idealist/'family man' William Holden versus brusque number-cruncher Fredric March. The backstabbing and manipulation that takes place between the various board members is an accurate approximation of what takes place in offices regularly - human nature doesn't exactly change all that much - and movies about office politics aren't exactly common in early Hollywood (which is why Oliver Stone used this for his model when making Wall Street). The film concludes with a comment about how wives take second place to their husbands' careers - and is optimistic about companies caring as much about creating quality products as profits - but its major liability is in focusing solely on the well-paid upper members while neglecting the conditions for the hourly 'peons': how does all this affect them? What about the way they're treated?