Kick-Back Friday: #200
Patterns (1956): Before there was “Mad Men” or some other TV drama depicting the ruthlessness of business and the machinations of its executives, there was Rod Serling’s “Patterns.” First existing as a live teleplay (now that must have been exciting) and then as a movie, “Patterns” (or Patterns) examines in unblinking fashion the modern conflict between career ambition (or merely continued employment) and human compassion. Subtract the outdated trappings (stenography, anyone?) and Serling provides an evergreen morality tale that asks When do career aspirations (or merely basic financial needs) outstrip human decency? When do you no longer tolerate the abominable head games of the executive suite? With Van Heflin, Everett Sloane, and (the incomparable) Ed Begley, Sr. A grateful shout-out is also extended to Elizabeth Wilson, who plays a secretary (ahem, executive assistant) with quiet backbone.