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Executive Suite Details


Cameron Hawley's novel of corporate in-fighting and gamesmanship was brought to the screen by producer John Houseman and director Robert Wise, working successfully in the slickest MGM style. When Avery Bullard, the hard-charging president of Tredway, the third-largest furniture maker in the United States, dies suddenly at the end of a business week, it sets off a scramble among the surviving vice presidents to see which of them will succeed him. Among the latter, the best positioned to take the job is Loren Shaw (Fredric March), an ambitious bean-counter-type who is more concerned with the profits that the company generates than the quality of what it produces. Opposing him are Frederick Alderson (Walter Pidgeon), Bullard's longtime right-hand man, and McDonald Walling (William Holden), a forward-thinking idea man brought in by Bullard but never given a wholly free hand (mostly thanks to Shaw). But Alderson's age works against him, as does his seeming lack of leadership -- and Walling is not ready (or so he thinks) to take the president's job, nor does he really want it. Caught in the same dilemma are Walter Dudley (Paul Douglas), the head of sales, who is being quietly blackmailed by Shaw over an affair with his secretary; Jesse Grimm (Dean Jagger), a production man who has always been distrustful of Walling's new ideas; and George Caswell (Louis Calhern), a duplicitous corporate player who will do anything -- including compromise the future of the company -- to protect his own financial position. And possibly holding the balance of power between them is Julia Tredway (Barbara Stanwyck), the daughter of the company's founder (who committed suicide during the Great Depression) and a major shareholder, whose unrequited love for Bullard clouds all of her thinking about the company. And caught in the middle of their struggle -- which literally has a clock ticking, toward the opening of business on Monday morning -- are the thousands of employees of Tredway, represented by a handful of fine character actors, whose jobs and futures hang in the balance over who wins this fight. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi

  • Release date:May 6, 1954


Awarded by
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Emile Kuri Best Black and White Art Direction 1954 Nominee
National Board of Review Nina Foch Best Supporting Actress 1954 Winner
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Nina Foch Best Supporting Actress 1954 Nominee
British Academy of Film and Television Arts Robert Wise Best British Film 1954 Nominee
Directors Guild of America Robert Wise Best Director 1954 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Cedric Gibbons Best Black and White Art Direction 1954 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Edward C. Carfagno Best Black and White Art Direction 1954 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Edwin B. Willis Best Black and White Art Direction 1954 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences George Folsey Best Black and White Cinematography 1954 Nominee
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Helen Rose Best Black and White Costume Design 1954 Nominee


William Holden
as McDonald Walling
June Allyson
as Mary Blemond Walling
Barbara Stanwyck
as Julia O. Tredway
Fredric March
as Loren Phineas Shaw
Walter Pidgeon
as Frederick Y. Alderson
Shelley Winters
as Eva Bardeman
Paul Douglas
as Josiah Walter Dudley
Louis Calhern
as George Nyle Caswell
Dean Jagger
as Jesse Q. Grimm
Nina Foch
as Erica Martin
Tim Considine
as Mike Walling
Lucy Knoch
as Mrs. George Nyle Caswell
Edgar Stehli
as Julius Steigel
Virginia Brissac
as Edith Alderson
Harry Shannon
as Ed Benedeck
Chet Huntley
as Narrator/Tredway
Bert Davidson
as Salesman
Paul Bryar
as Stork Club Waiter
Charles Wagenheim
as Luigi Cassoni
Willis B. Bouchey
John Hedloe
as Reporter
Mimi Doyle
as Telephone Operator
Matt Moore
as Servant
Esther Michelson
Carl Saxe
Mike Lally
as Spectator at Ball Game
Robin Camp
as Mailroom Boy
Gus Schilling
as News Dealer
John Banner
as Enrique, Stork Club Waiter Captain
Jonathan Cott
as Cop
John Doucette
as Morgue Officials
Wilson Wood
as Airport Clerk
Burt Mustin
as Sam Teal
Faith Geer
as Stork Club Hatcheck Girl
Abe Dinovitch
as Cab Driver
Kasia Orzazewski
as Liz
Ann Tyrrell
as Shaw's Secretary
Raoul Freeman
as Avery Bullard
May McAvoy
as Grimm's Secretary


Robert Wise
John Houseman
Cameron Hawley
Book Author
Ernest Lehman
George Folsey
Ralph Winters
Emile Kuri
Production Designer
Edwin B. Willis
Production Designer
Cedric Gibbons
Art Director
Edward C. Carfagno
Art Director
Emile Kuri
Set Designer
Edwin B. Willis
Set Designer
Helen Rose
Costume Designer
Arnold A. Gillespie
Special Effects
William J. Tuttle