Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Last Night's Movie: Executive Suite (1954)

This was an absorbing film about corporate wheelings and dealings that take place when a company president dies unexpectedly, leaving no designated successor. The business themes were surprisingly undated a half century later, though of course the technology of business has changed (i.e., emails have replaced telegrams). One of the striking things about the film was the lack of background music; instead city sounds, notably a clanging bell, were used to good effect. The film also has some interesting set designs, particularly William Holden and June Allyson's home.

Besides Holden and Allyson, the all-star cast includes Walter Pidgeon, Fredric March, Paul Douglas, and Barbara Stanwyck. Directed by Robert Wise from an Ernest Lehman screenplay; Wise and Lehman later teamed up on West Side Story and The Sound of Music. Wise, sadly, passed away just a couple weeks ago; Lehman preceded Wise in death by just a little over two months.

The film is not yet out on DVD but is available on video as well as on Turner Classic Movies.

July 2007 Update: This movie will be out on DVD October 30, 2007.

2014 Update: This film has been reissued on DVD by the Warner Archive.


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