There wasn't one note of music in PATTERNS, and the absence wasn't felt; Serling's words had a music of their own. It began as a television play for the "Kraft Theatre" and, like MARTY and other TV plays, it was turned into a film. The limited use of film technique (much of the movie takes
place in the offices of a huge conglomerate and it is basically an interior story) does not work against this film since the characters are so fascinating and the performances are universally superior. Heflin is brought in from Ohio to serve at a company's New York office. The boss of all bosses
is Sloane, a ruthless company man who runs the firm like a tyrant. Begley is an executive who has seen better days and is being eased out by Sloane, who intends Heflin to be Begley's replacement. There is no room in Sloane's mind for old loyalties, and the company's interests must be above all
feelings. Heflin truly likes Begley, who is always excusing Sloane's behavior and shrugging off the boss's insults. There are a few cutaways as Heflin discusses matters with his wife, Straight, but most of the action is strictly in the "executive suite," which was the name of a movie not unlike
this one. Anyone who has ever worked in a large company will recognize the people and the situations depicted in the screenplay, but some of the Machiavellian tactics may be lost on others. Brilliantly directed by another TV veteran, Cook, this picture did not garner any awards and didn't do much
business, which was a shame. Sloane's work as the corporation chief is sensational, a portrait of a driven man who rules his roost like an emperor. Begley, who came out of radio, where he appeared in more than 10,000 programs, was one of the most versatile actors in show business and proved so
when he played the William Jennings Bryan role in Broadway's "Inherit the Wind" for more than 700 performances, then turned around and did Clarence Darrow after Paul Muni left the show.
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