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Patterns
     

Patterns

Director: Fielder Cook, Van Heflin, Ed Begley Sr., Everett Sloane

Cast: Fielder Cook, Van Heflin, Ed Begley Sr., Everett Sloane

 

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Rod Serling's incisive "gray flannel suit" TV drama created such a sensation when Kraft Television Theatre first aired it live on January 11, 1955 that, in an unprecedented move, it was repeated four weeks later, on February 9, again live. Richard Kiley starred as Fred Staples, a bright young man from Cincinnati brought into the executive pool at a top New York

Overview

Rod Serling's incisive "gray flannel suit" TV drama created such a sensation when Kraft Television Theatre first aired it live on January 11, 1955 that, in an unprecedented move, it was repeated four weeks later, on February 9, again live. Richard Kiley starred as Fred Staples, a bright young man from Cincinnati brought into the executive pool at a top New York firm by ruthless CEO Ramsey (Everett Sloane). Staples doesn't know it at first, but he was recruited as the potential replacement for Andy Sloane (Ed Begley), an ailing exec whom Ramsey is easing out in a most unsubtle fashion. Staples takes a liking to Sloane and despises Ramsey's tactics; the question is: does he despise them enough to throw away the biggest opportunity in his life? Director Fielder Cook, who helmed both TV versions of Patterns, also did the same for the 1956 film version. While Everett Sloane and Ed Begley were carried over from TV, the more "bankable" Van Heflin replaced Kiley as Staples.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
The film version of the television play that garnered writer Rod Serling his initial acclaim, it's a forceful drama of office politics with a somewhat ambiguous ending. Although Serling's portrait of Machiavellian behavior in corporate suites can hardly have the impact it did in the '50s, when the uglier aspects of capitalism rarely made an appearance in popular media, his insights into the painful dynamics of a common dilemma remain compelling. Perhaps more about the anxieties of ambition and success than the inevitability of waning power, the film evinces Serling's particular brand of liberalism, as the rising young executive (Van Heflin) agonizes about the fate of the older man (Ed Begley) he must displace. The coldly efficient CEO, (Everett Sloane) a composite of Serling's wartime commanding officer and CBS president William Paley among others, has verbally hammered Begley so relentlessly in an effort to force his retirement, that the dazed and battered man conjures the punch-drunk fighter of Serling's Requiem for a Heavyweight (1962). Despite the all-consuming nature of a job that's damaged his family life, he's still unable to let go. When Heflin challenges Sloane's repellent inhumanity, the magnate makes an apologia for capitalist ruthlessness worthy of Milton Friedman. Whether or not the equivocal and somewhat surprising ending can be interpreted as a victory or defeat for Heflin is very much in the eye of the beholder. Sloane gives the best performance of his career as the driven CEO and Heflin and Begley are also superb. Boris Kaufman, the legendary cinematographer of films such as Zero de Conduite and On the Waterfront makes the dark, tunnel-like office corridors look like something from Kafka.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/26/2005
UPC:
0785604209997
Original Release:
1956
Rating:
NR
Source:
Roan Archival Group
Region Code:
0
Presentation:
[B&W]
Time:
1:30:00

Special Features

Lou Lumenick Chief New York Post film critic discusses the importance of "Patterns" and the work of Rod Serling; Lloyd Kaufman on the depiction of "Business" in Hollywood and independent cinema; Rod Serling scene from "Stuck on You" featuring prof. Irwin Corey; Vincent Sherman interview; Film background and production notes; ...And many exclusive Roan DVD extras

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Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Van Heflin Fred Staples
Ed Begley William Briggs
Everett Sloane Walter Ramsey
Beatrice Straight Nancy Staples
Elizabeth Wilson Marge Fleming
Joanna Roos Miss Lanier
Shirley Standlee Miss Hill
Ronnie Welsh Paul Briggs
Sally Gracie Ann
Michael Dreyfuss Billy
Adrienne Moore First Secretary
Elaine Kaye Second Secretary
Elene Kiamos Sylvia Trammel
Andrew Duggan Actor
Rod Serling Actor

Technical Credits
Fielder Cook Director
Boris Kaufman Cinematographer
Dave Kummins Editor
Carl Lerner Editor
Mary Merrill Costumes/Costume Designer
Michael Myerberg Producer
Rod Serling Screenwriter
Richard Sylbert Art Director

Scene Index

Side #1 --
1. First Day on the Job [17:55]
2. Meeting of the Minds [17:24]
3. Really Getting to Know Each Other [14:54]
4. Then and Now [11:41]
5. Credit Where Credit Is Due [14:30]
6. Reaching a Compromise [7:16]

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