Executive Suite ★★★★

Probably the most 50s cast ever assembled, telling a story that on one level is a real look at 50s corporate culture but more likely is just the same story hollywood (and TV and everyone else) has been telling ever since about how we need to turn things round from caring about the dividend and experiment and have everyone do work they're proud of.

Seeing just how long people have been supposedly crying out about business in that way while before and after this movie they produce the same sort of efficiency and dividend driven shoddy production line stuff is kind of educational but in a pretty depressing way. Essentially everyone has always thought it was all going to hell and things needed to be more creative and less dollar driven and made self righteous self deluding movies about it.

But like I said that's in itself interesting and you get robert Wise making black and white conversations look gorgeous, and William Holden raging about low quality tables, and Louis Calhern doing his best Louis Calhern (pretty stiff competition), Fredric March does well in a thankless role and never becomes quite the demon that the script wants him to because you've seen Holden and Pidgeon's objections to penny pinching accountants too many times before that he just kind of seems inevitable and grown up in their company. And Shelley Winters and June Allyson doing their opposite archetypes of 50s womanhood and Paul Douglas turning in another one of those performances that seem to sum up a brief window of time from the late 40s to mid 50s where he could be cast as some sort of representation of mans man popularity. Stanwyck isn't at her very best, only has about 4 scenes and overacts terribly in one opposite Holden but hell she's still stanwyck.

So some cool performances, a nice look to it all and a message that must have been old and hollow even then

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