Patterns (1956)

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Patterns (1956) Poster

When Fred Staples is recruited onto the board of a high-powered New York corporation, he finds his ethics and ambition at odds.


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3 September 2010 | MartinHafer
| Nice writing....
"Patterns" is a film that was originally a television play. Like other exceptional teleplays such as "Marty" and "Days of Wine and Roses", Hollywood decided to remake the story--but with production values far better than the live TV broadcast. Yes, the teleplay for "Patterns" was originally done LIVE--and I sure would love to know if I can find a copy of the original show. If it's available, let me know--I'd love to compare it to this United Artist film.

The movie begins with Van Heflin arriving at a new job working on the board of a corporation. Although he's happy to be there, he soon becomes dismayed to see how tough things are for a long-time board member (Ed Begley), as it seems that the intention is to slowly ease Begley out and have Heflin take over these duties. The problem is that Begley is a nice guy and he has a lot of good ideas...but somehow, for some reason, the CEO (Everett Sloane) hates Begley--and treats him like dirt. Tune in to see where all this goes--it's well worth the wait.

The film, like another of Rod Serling's famous teleplays ("Requiem for a Heavyweight"), is great for two reasons. First, the writing is exceptional. Second, like "Requiem", the story features some very dark characters--and gives them great gritty dialog. While the story is VERY simple, because the characters are so interesting, you can't help but admire the film. It's NOT an especially exciting or glitzy production, but is quality throughout thanks mostly to the writing but also to some wonderful second-tier actors who made the most of the material. They were second-tier because they were not the most famous actors--more journeymen who knew their craft.

UPDATE: I found a copy of the teleplay on YouTube and so can you.

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