When the head of a large manufacturing firm dies suddenly from a stroke, his vice presidents vie to see who will replace him.When the head of a large manufacturing firm dies suddenly from a stroke, his vice presidents vie to see who will replace him.When the head of a large manufacturing firm dies suddenly from a stroke, his vice presidents vie to see who will replace him.
Not as '50s as it looks
For all the MGM-ness of it -- the all-star roster of contract players and freelancers, the classy production values, Louis Calhern doing his reliable devilish-rogue act -- it has touches that one associates with neither the plush studio nor the time period. It's pretty frank about high-powered execs and their mistresses, for one, and the handheld camera of the opening sequence (through unfakeable Wall Street locations, yet) and lack of background music are more typical of independent movies of a few years later. Contrast it with "Woman's World" from the same year, which is also a corporate-power-struggle yarn (and also has June Allyson as a devoted, gauche corporate wifey), but is fake from the get-go. This one is dated in Holden's we're-all-in-this-together speechifying, not to mention the one-company factory town, and Stanwyck's histrionics are a bit over the top. (Hey, I love her too; her unchecked hysterics have to be Robert Wise's fault.) But the dialogue is terser than one generally associates with Ernest Lehman, the shady stock maneuvers are unfortunately as relevant as ever, and the juicy melodramatics still pack a punch. In fact, as corporate drama goes, it's as entertaining as all getout. Fredric March is a standout in a high-powered cast, and Shelley Winters, for once, underplays.
- Nov 13, 2002
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