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
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 »
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 the thing begins to take shape. The pieces...
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Patterns centres around the fierce and dog eat dog world of an executive conglomerate company. Written by Rod Serling (he of The Twilight Zone fame) and based on his own play, it's a stunning picture that relies (and succeeds) on spiky dialogue and a trio of superlative acting performances. Not containing any music at all and filmed primarily within the confines of an interior setting, Serling and his on form director, Fielder Cook, have crafted probably the essential picture dealing with the harsh and at times brutal realities of big business ladder climbing.
Everett Sloane, Ed Begley and Van Heflin really provide the viewers with an acting tour de force. Sloane as the big boss Walter Ramsey, creates a strutting despotic character that is as memorable as it is harsh, here's a man who will not "pattern" a sacking of an employee, he would rather break him into resignation!, a totally vile and cruel "pattern" tactic. Begley (superbly playing weary emotion) plays the genial and honest William Briggs, who upon welcoming Van Heflin's Fred Staples to the company, realises it's likely to be at his own cost. This giving the film a deep emotional "pattern" as Staples (Heflin to me, donning a career high) gets conflicted about his role in this company, this leads us to a truly excellent finale as Heflin and Sloane go at each other with a gripping intensity that many modern actors could do no worse than to take note of, it really is something to behold.
A fabulous movie that comes highly recommended to anyone who appreciates dialogue driven films with intelligence pouring from every frame. 9/10
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