7.1/10
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198 user 30 critic

The Fountainhead (1949)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 2 July 1949 (USA)
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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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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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

The film's failure was largely attributed to Gary Cooper, who at 47 was much older than his twenty-something character and was considered by many critics to be unconvincing playing a man with high ideals. See more »

Goofs

When Cameron smashes the window in Roark's office, you can see that the flag outside the window flying in the skyline is not rippling and therefore is part of a photographic backdrop rather than a live location. See more »

Quotes

Howard Roark: I don't give or ask for help!
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Connections

Referenced in Lost in America (1985) See more »

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User Reviews

The house was a temple to his wife ...
9 July 2004 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This overheated potboiler attempts to make a social comment on the corrupt nature of conforming to the wishes of the masses, when its most interesting aspect these days is the teaming on screen (and off) of gruff-voiced Patricia Neal and her self-confessed 'love of her life', Gary Cooper. Their love scenes together are certainly not lukewarm!

Aside from this, there's a convoluted plot about architecture, the newspaper business, and the understated power of the humble columnist. Raymond Massey moves from one situation to the next with the same lack of passion, eventually giving Cooper and Neal their chance to simmer in close proximity. Robert Douglas is terrific as the obnoxious architectural critic, Ellsworth Toohey; while Kent Smith and Henry Hull put in OK performances as a weak architect of little originality, and a nervous press room editor, respectively.

The ones who catch the eye of the viewer, however, are Neal and Cooper. Towering performances in camp classic style. The imagery, too, is suitably suggestive – drills in a stone quarry, large skyscraping buildings, whips and pokers.

'The Fountainhead', adapted by Ayn Rand from her own novel and brought to the screen under the direction of King Vidor, is enjoyable despite the odd bout of overacting from both its principal and minor actors, and a truly silly script on occasion. The movie isn't great but in using the world in which it is set as a character of equivalent power to anyone on the screen, it sets itself apart as more than just run-of-the-mill.


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