Kraft Theatre (1947–1958)
7.7/10
80
3 user 3 critic
Fred Staples is the newest executive in a large firm. He strikes up a friendship with Andy Sloane, the Vice President to whom he nominally reports. Staples is good at his job and the ... See full summary »

Director:

Fielder Cook

Writer:

Rod Serling
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Joanna Roos Joanna Roos ... Miss Lanier
Jack Arthur Jack Arthur ... Starter
Joy Lafleur Joy Lafleur ... Miss Stevens (as Victoria Ward)
Elizabeth Montgomery ... Ann Evans
Sybil Baker Sybil Baker ... Telephone Operator
Shirley Standlee Shirley Standlee ... Miss Hill
Everett Sloane ... Mr. Ramsie
Richard Kiley ... Fred Staples
June Dayton ... Fran Staples
Elizabeth Wilson ... Marge Fleming
Theodore Newton ... Mr. Gordon
Ed Begley ... Andy Sloane
Jack Livesey ... Mr. Jamieson
Ronnie Welsh Ronnie Welsh ... Paul Sloane
Tom Charles Tom Charles
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Storyline

Fred Staples is the newest executive in a large firm. He strikes up a friendship with Andy Sloane, the Vice President to whom he nominally reports. Staples is good at his job and the company's hard-nosed president, Walter Ramsey, is pleased with his choice. Staples has a crisis of conscience when Ramsey tells him that he's been recruited to replace Sloane, someone who has devoted his entire life to the company at the expense of his family. Sloane knows what Ramsey is up to but digs in his heels and refuses to quit. Tragedy ensues forcing Staples to make a choice. Written by garykmcd

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Genres:

Drama

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Details

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 January 1955 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

J. Walter Thompson Agency See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to PBS's American Master's series web site, this drama was so popular that it became the first live drama in television history to be broadcast twice due to popularity. The drama was broadcast as both episodes 16 and 20 of season 8. Both broadcasts were done live, not on kinescope, videotape, or film. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Television Play That Exemplifies How Big Business Works - Without Making Indictments
15 September 2018 | by andy-20656-62037See all my reviews

Having recently watched this version of "Patterns" on YouTube, I suppose I should not have been surprised that a year later it was made into a major film, with a Hollywood actor in one of the lead roles - Van Heflin instead of Richard Kiley as "Fred Staples". Everett Sloane and Ed Begley played the same parts that they did in the television play, although the name of Ed Begley's character was changed from "Andy Sloane" to "Bill Biggs". The name of Everett's Sloane's character stayed the same.

Anyone who wants to watch this film on YouTube, or look it up on IMDB, the title for the film version is: "Patterns of Power". It was also ably directed by Fielder Cook, better known for such films as: "Big Deal at Dodge City", "Prudence and the Pill", "How to Save a Marriage and Ruin Your Life", and many good television productions.

The studio knew they could do more with the production. But despite having more backing and could afford more cutting-edge production values and camera work - this was shown in the style of acting and the camera angles used in the film - one should not forget about the original teleplay of the Kraft Theatre version, which was first broadcasted live on NBC in January 1955. This was the pioneer version, which was able to prove that such a good story could work quite well in film.

This, the original play, opened as another working day at "Ramsay & Company." But it is to be no ordinary working day. A new, younger executive is joining the company. A man who has been headhunted from a failing company that been taken over.

At a board meeting, it soon becomes clear that the characters played by Everrett Sloane and Ed Begley both hate each other. They seem to have been with the company right from the start, having known each other for 24 years, and they both resent each other's position. Begley frowns at Sloane's ruthless, undeserved rise to the top; and Sloane despises what he sees as Begley's more practical and compassionate views being a disguise for weakness and lack of vision.

Later it also becomes clear that Everrett Sloane intends to use "Staples" to replace the Ed Begley character, by making the atmosphere more difficult for him to work in, forcing him to resign. All this results in Begley collapsing from overwork, and pressure caused by Everett Sloane's constant bullying.

Although every story has a moral, this story seems to have two:

One moral is: that no matter how long and hard you work, there will always someone that will say that it is not good enough.

The other moral is: that business does not always allow practicality nor compassion. There is always a bigger picture to consider.

Sometimes there is a need to sacrifice the jobs of 200 workers in order to save 2000 (usually in one of the Board of Directors home town). However, the play suggests that greed, selfishness and a lust for power are more nearer the truth.

Apart from the invention of the Internet, photocopiers, emails, laptops and mobile phones, very little has changed in business since this play was first broadcasted in 1955.

Both the play and the film provide a lesson to us all, especially those who been in a similar situation at work.

I have given the 1956 film 10 out of 10 for its production, and I give this television play 10 out of 10 as well.


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