When Avery Bullard, CEO of a large furniture production company, suddenly dies of a heart attack, it leaves his five vice presidents confused, afraid and scrambling to find Bullard’s next replacement. These men include the architect and visionary Don Walling (William Holden), the groomed but paranoid Fred Alderson (Walter Pidgeon), the salesman Walter Dudley (Paul Douglas), the lavish and laid-back Jesse Grimm (Dean Jagger), and the by-the-books sales manager with a heart as warm as his files Loren Shaw (Fredric March).
What follows is a power struggle to decide the fate of the company, none of these men surprisingly doing anything out of greed or self-importance, but because each of them has a different idea of success and feel that the company will fall without the proper hand to guide it. This makes “Executive Suite” a rather noble and heartfelt look at the business world and the inner politcs of how death can ruin the lives of even men living at the top of the food chain.
Final Grade: B-