7.8/10
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53 user 15 critic

Patterns (1956)

Approved | | Drama | 26 October 1956 (West Germany)
When Fred Staples is recruited onto the board of a high-powered New York corporation, he finds his ethics and ambition at odds.

Director:

Fielder Cook

Writer:

Rod Serling (original story and screen play)
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Van Heflin ... Fred Staples
Everett Sloane ... Mr. Ramsey
Ed Begley ... Bill Briggs
Beatrice Straight ... Nancy Staples
Elizabeth Wilson ... Marge Fleming
Joanna Roos ... Miss Lanier
Valerie Cossart Valerie Cossart ... Miss Stevens
Eleni Kiamos Eleni Kiamos ... Sylvia Trammel
Ronnie Welsh Ronnie Welsh ... Paul Briggs
Shirley Standlee Shirley Standlee ... Miss Hill
Andrew Duggan ... Mr. Jameson
Jack Livesey ... Mr. Vandeventer (as Jack Livesy)
John Seymour John Seymour ... Mr. Gordon
James Kelly James Kelly ... Mr. Latham
John Shelly John Shelly ... Mr. Grannigan
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Storyline

The story of the fierce and corrosive competition that exists in the executive branch of Ramsey & Co., a New York industrial colossus headed by Walter Ramsey, its cold, designing and ruthless chief. It is the saga, too, of Bill Briggs, his longtime second in command, who is swayed by human as well as technological values. And, it is the case of Fred Staples, a comparatively youthful industrial engineer brought in by Ramsey to succeed Briggs. The younger man's views and sensitivities are essentially the same as Briggs'. People are not merely units, they feel. But it is Ramsey's calculated pattern not to fire his aging aide but to create such untenable conditions that he will be forced to resign. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Ruthless Men And Ambitious Women...Clawing For Control Of A Billion Dollar Empire!!! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 October 1956 (West Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

El precio del triunfo See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The report that Briggs is leafing through consists of script pages. See more »

Goofs

Staples' secretary calls him 'Mr. Briggs' at the end of one scene. It is just possible that she was meant to be flustered. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Ramsey: I'll see you in the morning, Fred. Remember, you didn't steal that promotion. You won it!
See more »

Connections

Version of Der neue Mann (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Corporate Power Play
11 January 2011 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

Patterns finds Van Heflin, newly arrived from Mansfield, Ohio where Everett Sloane's corporation has just bought out the factory where he was the plant manager. Sloane was impressed enough with Heflin to take him along to New York and make him a member of his company's board of directors. Vice President Ed Begley was impressed with Heflin's abilities as well and befriends him.

What Heflin doesn't realize is that he's the object of a corporate power play. Sloane is hard driving, ruthless executive usually in the kind of role Ed Begley plays. For once Ed Begley is a nice guy in a film. He's a decent soul unlike Sloane, but he's past his best years. Sloane doesn't want to fire him, just demean him enough so he'll quit. Begley's loyalties to the company stem from when Sloane's father ran the business and he can't see life beyond it.

All this comes out at the first board meeting that Heflin attends and later at a party that he and wife Beatrice Straight throw for the board members. Heflin is a confused man, caught between liking and admiring Begley and sadly knowing his future lies with Sloane.

A number of films were made in these years about corporate connivings at the top. Patterns can hold its own with any of them and that list would include Executive Suite, The Power And The Prize, Cash McCall, and B.F.'s Daughter in which Van Heflin co-starred with Barbara Stanwyck.

Patterns was originally a television drama and one of the best early scripts done by Rod Serling. Begley and Sloane repeated their roles, movie name Heflin was substituted for Richard Kiley. The filming still betrays its photographed teleplay origins, but the players more than compensate for the deficiencies there.

For a good look at how we saw corporate America in the Eisenhower years you can't do much better than Patterns or any of the other films I mentioned.


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