Patterns (1956)

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



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



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nancy Staples
Joanna Roos ...
Valerie Cossart ...
Miss Stevens
Eleni Kiamos ...
Sylvia Trammel
Ronnie Welsh ...
Paul Briggs
Shirley Standlee ...
Miss Hill
Mr. Jameson
Jack Livesey ...
Mr. Vandeventer (as Jack Livesy)
John Seymour ...
Mr. Gordon
James Kelly ...
Mr. Latham
John Shelly ...
Mr. Grannigan


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 positions that he will be forced to resign. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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




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Release Date:

26 October 1956 (West Germany)  »

Also Known As:

El precio del triunfo  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Andrew Duggan's first movie. See more »


The dialog in the final scenes, starting with Staples' conversation with his wife in a coffee shop near his office, indicate the events take place well into the evening. However, the exterior shot linking this scene with Staples' confrontation with Ramsey in the Ramsey & Company building, as well as the exterior shot that follows the confrontation, were both taken in broad daylight. See more »


William Briggs: On our level you don't get fired, you know that. After thirty years of productive work, they can't say to a man like me, "Alright, now get out!" They just can't do that. So what do they do? They create a situation. A situation you can't work in and finally that you can't live in with this tension, abuse. Small humiliations. It all starts out on a scale so subtle, so microscopic that at first you can't really believe it's happening at all. But gradually thy thing begins to take shape. The pieces...
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Remade as Der neue Mann (1965) See more »

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User Reviews

Outstanding film
14 September 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Patterns is a lesser-known film version of big business intrigue. A much more famous example of this type of film is Executive Suite, but despite that film's big budget and numerous stars, Patterns (with its tight script by Rod Serling and superb acting) blows Executive Suite out of the water.

Van Heflin plays a factory manager brought to New York City from Ohio. Everett Sloane plays the ruthless head of the company, and Ed Begley is the harassed company man who is nearing retirement. Sloane hates Begley's outmoded ways of doing business and grooms Heflin to take over. But Heflin and Begley become friends, and Heflin doesn't want to get ahead at the expense of his friend. The dynamic between these three very different characters forms the gripping premise of the film.

The best scene is when Begley, having stayed late to finish some work, is contemplating doing terrible things to his boss, Sloane. Heflin drops by to speak with him and sees what a distraught state of mind Begley is in and tries to convince him that he should retire. Begley works himself up into such a state that he begins shouting, but right about then, his son comes by looking for his dad because he promised to take him to a ballgame. Begley doesn't want his son to see him in that state of mind and implores Heflin to tell him he's gone home. From this point the film works toward its powerful climax.

Heflin is superb, as are Sloane and Begley. All were very well respected character actors and so it is not correct to say the cast is filled with unknowns. The remainder of the cast is also good but has less to do.

Patterns deserves to be better known than it is. Don't miss it.

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