7.1/10
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The Fountainhead (1949)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 2 July 1949 (USA)
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An uncompromising, visionary architect struggles to maintain his integrity and individualism despite personal, professional and economic pressures to conform to popular standards.

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(screenplay), (novel)
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Drama

Feature adaptation of Ayn Rand's novel about a young architect battling for his own artistic integrity.

Director: Zack Snyder
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Chairman
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Alvah Scarret
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Storyline

Individualistic and idealistic architect Howard Roark is expelled from college because his designs fail to fit with existing architectural thinking. He seems unemployable but finally lands a job with like-minded Henry Cameron, however within a few years Cameron drinks himself to death, warning Roark that the same fate awaits unless he compromises his ideals. Roark is determined to retain his artistic integrity at all costs. Written by Col Needham <col@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

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Monumental Best-Seller! Towering Screen Triumph! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

2 July 1949 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Le rebelle  »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ayn Rand was furious when she heard that Howard Roark's speech at the trial was being trimmed, chiefly because it was considered long, rambling and confusing, especially to Gary Cooper who didn't understand it. She got the studio to make sure that the speech was untouched and in its entirety in the finished product. See more »

Goofs

When Roark is drilling rock in the quarry, he is doing so without any eye protection. See more »

Quotes

Howard Roark: [delivering the closing statements of his own defense] Thousands of years ago the first man discovered how to make fire. He was probably burned at the stake he had taught his brothers to light, but he left them a gift they had not conceived of, and he lifted darkness off the earth. Through out the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision. The great creators, the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors, stood alone against ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Identity Thief (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

 
The best they could do with a difficult book
3 October 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Movie based on Ayn Rand's book. Idealistic architect Howard Roark (Gary Cooper) won't compromise his designs for society. He also falls for beautiful Dominique Francon (Patricia Neal).

Now the original novel is brilliant...but over 1,000 pages and quite dense. The studio (wisely) got Rand to write the screenplay for this--I suspect a studio writer would have ruined it. She manages to cut down the book and get her message across perfectly. The movie is also well-directed--full of incredible sets and designs. It has a pounding lush score and some truly hysterical sexual imagery involving Cooper and Neal.

The acting though is another story. Neal is fantastic--the perfect choice for Dominique--sexy, smart and strong. Raymond Massey is also good as Gail Wynand. Unfortunately Gary Cooper is terrible as Roark. He was hand-picked by Rand to play the role--but I think she picked him because she was attracted to him. He's wooden all through the movie and his unsure line readings are pretty painful. (Purportedly he didn't understand the script--it shows). Still, the movie survives despite him. I can truthfully only give it a 9--with a better actor I might give this a 10.

Be warned--this is not an easy movie. It's all talk, runs almost 2 hours and deals with idealism and values. Some people will be bored silly by this but I find it fascinating. Recommended.


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