Classic Television Thursday #023 – Kraft Television Theatre – Rod Serling’s “Patterns” (1955)

kraft1I’ve written quite a bit about Rod Serling and his work in early television, especially his live teleplays for various anthology shows. What’s amazing is not so much his prolific output, many writers were able to churn out perfectly adequate scripts for these shows – that’s how they were able to stay on the air, after all – but how many of them are so superior to all those “adequate scripts” that surrounded them. Here’s another case in point.

Patterns“, which debuted on the Kraft Television Theatre show on January 12, 1955 and starred Ed Begley (Sr.), Everett Sloan, Richard Kiley, and featured a very young Elizabeth Montgomery in a supporting role, proved so popular that the cast and crew were brought together again for a repeat performance a month later on February 9th. This was, after all, the era of live television, and before the widespread recording of these shows allowed them to simply be re-run at the network’s discretion. It is, as this TV Week article describes it, “”a tale of corporate morality—or the lack of it—and such everyday battles as the ones waged between conscience and ambition.”

kraft2“Patterns” was so good that Serling won the first of his six Emmey awards for it, and it was also made into a theatrical movie in 1956.

I’m not going to write much more about the show here, referring those interested in more information about it to the above article, which not only gives a good synopsis of the show, but also speaks to just what it is that makes this teleplay work so well. Instead, I’m just going to invite you to sit back and enjoy the show.

By the way, I mentioned that the show was not recorded for rebroadcast by the network, so what your seeing below is actually a kinescope of the original January 12 broadcast, which is why the quality is not perfect, but it’s definitely watchable, and even includes the original commercials that were broadcast within the show. A real treat for those of us who love early TV.






3 thoughts on “Classic Television Thursday #023 – Kraft Television Theatre – Rod Serling’s “Patterns” (1955)

  1. Good post! Always glad to see “Patterns” getting some attention, especially as it just marked its 60th anniversary. Thanks, too, for the link to my post.

  2. Y’know, I hadn’t even noticed when I picked it out that it was the 60th anniversary, but you’re right! Thanks for the kind words, and always happy to link to a fellow blogger when it’s appropriate.

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