This is a photo of Shelley Winters and Nina Foch, from the 1954 drama Executive Suite. It stars William Holden (the greatest, most underrated leading man of his time!), Frederic March, Walter Pidgeon, Barbara Stanwyck, and June Allyson. It’s a chatty, important Robert Wise film about its time, when men were men, businesses were businesses, and integrity was spelled in dark, inky all caps. Though its set in the small industrial town of Millburgh, PA, it’s an allegory for the collision of bottom-line economics and American craftsmen. Holden gets to deliver a self-righteous speech written by Ernest Lehman during the climax and everyone goes home feeling proud of some imagined ingenuity. But there are also shades of “Mad Men” everywhere. It’s all I could think about while watching, and the thing that tipped me off was Nina Foch’s Erica Martin, the chief secretary to company president Avery Bullard, something we’d probably call an executive assistant now. Foch wears a dangling, strangely suggestive pen around her neck throughout the film, much like Joan Holloway/Harris. There’s also a very subtle inference that she and Bullard, who dies in the opening moments of the film, carried on an affair. It’s only a tiny hint and I suspect the filmmakers removed any overt mention so as not to confuse her story with Stanwyck’s (also a blond woman who carried on with Bullard) or June Allyson (another blond, playing Holden’s wife) or Winters (yet another blond, and also a secretary, carrying on an affair with another executive). These are not necessarily deftly written females, and the final scene of this film is wretched, boring patriarchy at its worst—a real, That’s my man! moment. But Foch, who is terrific in An American In Paris as the dissed society gal/benefactor Milo Roberts, gives a fascinating, shaded performance worthy of Christina Hendricks, at least. Shelley Winters, who is ultimately the strongest, most self-sustaining woman here, is like some pre-Friedan-ian version of Peggy Olson—a little schlumpy, but also appealing in that way—and comes out looking best. I want to see the movie about these two people.