Thursday, April 23, 2009

4/22/09: Patterns (1956)

Wow! Three great films in a row...I never would have figured Fifties Week would yield so many personal favorites. I've always enjoyed the work of writer Rod Serling—The Twilight Zone is one of the best TV series ever—and although there's nothing out of the fourth dimension in Patterns, it's one of Serling's typical morality plays. Van Heflin (the guy who blew up the plane in Airport) comes to work for a big-ass company run by ruthless executive Everett Sloane; Heflin soon realizes he's being positioned to replace a longtime VP (Ed Begley) and unwittingly finds himself at the center of a heart-wrenching power struggle. It's an absorbing and savage peek into corporate America, with a satisfying and unpredictable resolution. Sloane is unforgettable as the CEO you'll love to hate. This film whets my appetite for another unseen Serling drama called Requiem for a Heavyweight, which is also in the queue for viewing. Rating: 5/5.

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