Patterns (March 27, 1956)
Released on March 27, 1956: His personal ethics battle his ambition to succeed in big business for executive Fred Staples.
Directed by Fielder Cook
Written by Rod Serling
The Actors: Van Heflin (Fred Staples), Everett Sloane (Walter Ramsey), Ed Begley (William Briggs), Beatrice Straight (Nancy Staples), Elizabeth Wilson (Marge Fleming), Joanna Roos (Miss Margaret Lanier), Valerie Cossart (Miss Stevens), Eleni Kiamos (Sylvia Trammel), Ronnie Welsh (Paul Briggs), Shirley Standlee (Miss Hill), Andrew Duggan (Mr. Jameson), Jack Livesey (Mr. Vanderventer), John Seymour (Mr. Gordon), James Kelly (Mr. Latham), John Shelly (Mr. Grannigan), Victor Harrison (Mr. Porter), Sally Gracie (Ann Evans), Sally Chamberlin (Mrs. Jameson), Edward Binns (elevator starter), Lauren Bacall (lady in lobby near elevators), Michael Dreyfuss (Billy), Elaine Kaye (second secretary), Adrienne Moore (first secretary)
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Before Michael Douglas became a wall street hero/villain in the 1987 movie 'Wall Street', and the 2010 sequel, there was Everett Sloane playing Walter Ramsey in the 1956 hit 'Patterns.' Ramsey is the son of the founder of a large corporation, and today this large New York conglomerate controls companies all over the country, and is growing quickly. Ed Begley plays Willliam Briggs, the last of the original Vice Presidents left from the early days, and Ramsey is determined to force him to resign and replace him with a younger man. He brings in young Fred Staples (Van Heflin) from the plant in Mansfield, Ohio. As Staples comes to the big city and gets into the flow of big business, the tensions rise between executives, secretaries and wives. He immediately becomes friends with Briggs, and when he discovers that he is destined to become Briggs replacement, he isn't sure he can handle the knowledge that the better he does, the sooner Briggs will be ousted. It all comes to a head when Ramsey's pressure on Briggs causes him to have a heart attack and die.
With most movies you can predict the storyline and how it will end. When Briggs dies after the contentious board meeting, stop for a moment and try to predict what will happen next, and how this one will end. Then watch what does happen. Will you like the ending? Will you hate the ending? I don't know, but I do know that you will not have predicted this ending. And I'll bet that you watch it again and maybe even again, just to enjoy the one movie that you couldn't anticipate. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with warm melted butter on it and enjoy the show.