Patterns of Power 1956 Van Heflin

I don’t recall seeing this film but I definitely saw the trailer because the Title remains a strong memory even from that small but intense clip all those years ago.

It is a film that gets very good reviews

Van Heflin, Everett Sloane, Ed Begley, Beatrice Straight, and Elizabeth Wilson star in “Patternsof Power” a 1956 film written by Rod Serling and directed by Fielder Cook.

This film is adapted from the Television play which was a great success and that had starred Richard Kiley in the Ven Heflin role.

Van Heflin plays a young man named Fred Staples, a small-town manager who is brought into a large firm by the President, Ramsey (Everett Sloane). It’s apparent to the viewer (and everyone but Staples) that he’s been hired to replace one of the vice presidents, Bill Briggs (Ed Begley). Staples admires Briggs and the humanity that he brings to his job, but he’s the last of the old firm back when it was run by Ramsey’s father, a compassionate man who cared about the workers. This Ramsey only cares about finance and efficiency. He’s determined to force Briggs out.

“Patterns of Power” is realistic with tremendous acting. The women don’t have any strong parts – mainly wives and secretaries – and this certainly reflects things in the early to mid Fifties.

Richard Kiley brought a naivete to the role of Staples that Van Heflin, because he’s older, doesn’t have, but he’s still very effective as an honest, smart and decent man who’s ambitious but doesn’t like Ramsey’s tactics. Ed Begley is sympathetic as a man past his prime who can’t let go but whose job and daily battles are killing him. Everett Sloane does a great job as the ruthless Ramsey, who won’t allow emotion into his business sense. We get a hint that he’s not as unfeeling as he appears, but he’s never going to let anyone else see it.

A really strong film

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