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The Fountainhead
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The Fountainhead (1949) More at IMDbPro »

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The Fountainhead -- Trailer for this film adaptation of the famous Ayn Rand novel


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Ayn Rand (screenplay)
Ayn Rand (novel)
View company contact information for The Fountainhead on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
2 July 1949 (USA) See more »
No Man Takes What's Mine ! See more »
An uncompromising, visionary architect struggles to maintain his integrity and individualism despite personal, professional and economic pressures to conform to popular standards. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
(43 articles)
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User Reviews:
King Vidor Does the Impossible with Ayn Rand's Help See more (186 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Gary Cooper ... Howard Roark

Patricia Neal ... Dominique Francon

Raymond Massey ... Gail Wynand
Kent Smith ... Peter Keating
Robert Douglas ... Ellsworth M. Toohey

Henry Hull ... Henry Cameron

Ray Collins ... Roger Enright
Moroni Olsen ... Chairman
Jerome Cowan ... Alvah Scarret
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bob Alden ... Newsboy (uncredited)
John Alvin ... Young Intellectual (uncredited)
Morris Ankrum ... Prosecutor (uncredited)
Lois Austin ... Female Party Guest (uncredited)
Griff Barnett ... Judge (uncredited)
Monte Blue ... Gas Station Executive (uncredited)
Gail Bonney ... Woman (uncredited)
Ralph Brooks ... Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)
Glen Cavender ... Pedestrian Onlooker (uncredited)
Dorothy Christy ... Society Woman (uncredited)
Tristram Coffin ... Toohey's Secretary (uncredited)
Tom Coleman ... Court Clerk (uncredited)

G. Pat Collins ... Jury Foreman (uncredited)
James Conaty ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Bill Dagwell ... Banner Shipping Clerk (uncredited)

Ann Doran ... Wynand's Secretary (uncredited)
Lester Dorr ... Minor Role (uncredited)

John Doucette ... Gus Webb (uncredited)
Jay Eaton ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Charles Evans ... Banner Board Member (uncredited)
Raoul Freeman ... Juror (uncredited)
Roy Gordon ... Vice-President (uncredited)
William Haade ... Worker (uncredited)
Creighton Hale ... Court Clerk (uncredited)
Jonathan Hale ... Guy Francon (uncredited)
Thurston Hall ... Businessman at Party (uncredited)
Sam Harris ... Board Member / Courtroom Spectator (uncredited)
Paul Harvey ... Opera Businessman (uncredited)
Henry Hebert ... Juror (uncredited)
Russell Hicks ... Banner Board Member (uncredited)
Bert Howard ... Board Member (uncredited)
Selmer Jackson ... Cortlandt Official (uncredited)
Fred Kelsey ... Old Watchman (uncredited)
Douglas Kennedy ... Reporter (uncredited)
Raymond Largay ... Director (uncredited)
Philo McCullough ... Bailiff (uncredited)
Harold Miller ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Boyd 'Red' Morgan ... Jury Member (uncredited)
Jack Mower ... Construction Foreman (uncredited)
Paul Newlan ... Policeman (uncredited)
Albert Petit ... Board Member (uncredited)
Lee Phelps ... Juror (uncredited)
Bob Reeves ... Juror (uncredited)
Almira Sessions ... Dominique's Housekeeper at Quarry (uncredited)
George Sherwood ... Policeman (uncredited)
Paul Stanton ... Dean Who Expels Roark (uncredited)
Larry Steers ... Party Guest (uncredited)
Ruthelma Stevens ... Roark's Secretary (uncredited)
Charles Trowbridge ... Director (uncredited)
Tito Vuolo ... Pasquale Orsini (uncredited)
Geraldine Wall ... Woman (uncredited)
Harlan Warde ... Young Man (uncredited)
Pierre Watkin ... Cortlandt Official (uncredited)
Leo White ... Pedestrian Onlooker (uncredited)
Josephine Whittell ... Hostess (uncredited)

Frank Wilcox ... Gordon Prescott (uncredited)
Isabel Withers ... Secretary (uncredited)
Harry Woods ... Quarry Superintendent (uncredited)

Directed by
King Vidor 
Writing credits
Ayn Rand (screenplay)

Ayn Rand (novel)

Produced by
Henry Blanke .... producer
Original Music by
Max Steiner 
Cinematography by
Robert Burks (director of photography)
Film Editing by
David Weisbart 
Art Direction by
Edward Carrere 
Set Decoration by
William L. Kuehl  (as William Kuehl)
Makeup Department
Perc Westmore .... makeup artist
John Wallace .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Gertrude Wheeler .... hair stylist (uncredited)
Production Management
Eric Stacey .... unit manager (uncredited)
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Richard Maybery .... assistant director (uncredited)
John Prettyman .... assistant director (uncredited)
Art Department
Donald P. Desmond .... set constructor (uncredited)
Budd Friend .... props (uncredited)
Harold Michelson .... illustrator (uncredited)
Sound Department
Oliver S. Garretson .... sound
Special Effects by
Edwin B. DuPar .... special effects (as Edwin DuPar)
John Holden .... special effects art director
Hans F. Koenekamp .... special effects (as H.F. Koenekamp)
William C. McGann .... special effects director (as William McGann)
Visual Effects by
Chesley Bonestell .... matte artist (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
James Bell .... second camera (uncredited)
Earl Ellwood .... gaffer (uncredited)
Cliff Heard .... best boy (uncredited)
Harold Noyes .... grip (uncredited)
Leonard J. South .... assistant camera (uncredited)
Jack Woods .... still photographer (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Milo Anderson .... wardrobe
Clayton Brackett .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Martha Bunch .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Joan Joseff .... costume jeweller (uncredited)
Music Department
Murray Cutter .... orchestrator
Other crew
Jack Daniels .... dialogue director
Rita Michaels .... script supervisor (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
114 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (RCA Sound System)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Warner Bros. approached Frank Lloyd Wright (who had been the inspiration for Ayn Rand's character, Howard Roark), and asked him to submit some architectural designs to be used in the film. However, the studio balked when Wright requested his usual fee of $250,000, and decided instead to leave the designs to the film's art director, Edward Carrere.See more »
Continuity: When Roark is having his first meeting with Toohey he has a copy of the Banner in his hand. When Roark says "I read that in your column yesterday" the paper in his hands is open. The scene shifts perspective to Roark from behind and the paper is folded.See more »
Ellsworth Toohey:I feel it is my duty to offer you my advice.
Gail Wynand:Whom do you recommend?
Ellsworth Toohey:The rising star of the profession, Peter Keating. No other architect can equal his ability. That Mr. Wynant, is my sincere opinion.
Gail Wynand:I believe you.
Ellsworth Toohey:You do?
Gail Wynand:Of course, but Mr. Toohey, why should I consider your opinion?
Ellsworth Toohey:Well, after all, I am the architectural critic of The Banner.
Gail Wynand:My dear Toohey, don;t confuse me with my readers!
See more »
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33 out of 49 people found the following review useful.
King Vidor Does the Impossible with Ayn Rand's Help, 12 August 2008
Author: mstomaso from Vulcan

Veteran director King Vidor was assigned the impossible project by Warner Brothers - Make a film out of Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead. Broadly supported by actors and other subversive elements in the film industry, The Fountainhead is sort of a grandfather to the well-budgeted, big-studio supported "Independant" film so often made today. Gary Cooper, who was close to the pinnacle of his career at the time, all but volunteered to play Howard Roark after reading Rand's novel. Rand herself wrote the screenplay, and offered the same deal Roark so often repeated in the film - "It's my way or the highway".

Remarkably, Vidor managed to hybridize Rand's intensely philosophical and political dialogical essay (in the guise of a novel) with his own superb visual skill, and came up with a movie which, though it has its problems, remains interesting, entertaining and relevant.

Like Rand's novel, the film is about the noble struggle of the individual against society - and amounts to a socratic dialog between several intensely powerful intellects: Visionary modern architect Howard Roark (Cooper); erstwhile defeatist social critic Domenique (Neal); Contemptuous nihilist Wynand (Massey) and brilliant sociopath Toohey (Douglas). Although the film, like the book, contains a lot of overblown soliloquies and philosophical prose which places components of the story fairly far from reality, Vidor's visual style and uncompromising directing made the film work.

Howard Roark is a modernist amidst an increasingly collectivist neo-classicist society. Roark will compromise nothing of his own integrity, and will not lie, compromise or entertain any notions about doing anything for the common good. He is an embodiment of Rand's individualist-capitalist political philosophy, and eventually inspires even those who defy him to question themselves. But what will Roark have to sacrifice to fulfill his calling? And will he be able to do so despite his uncompromising approach to life?

Although many have derided Cooper's performance and have stated that he was miscast,I do not really agree. Cooper himself was disappointed in the lengthy soliloquy he delivered near the end of the film, and it is clear that he was not given enough time to make this scene as good as it could have been. By the standards of the time, a one-day shoot for a scene like this must have seemed like an eternity. However, today, I would not be surprised if a contemporary director would give an actor of Cooper's ability and stature several days and multiple cuts. Roark is a man of deeds, not words, and Cooper's unassuming, almost humble, matter-of-fact approach to the character is a surprising and consistent take on Rand's great protagonist. Nevertheless, Cooper is, in terms of acting, the weakest member of the principal cast. Neal is excellent, and Massey and Douglas are both unforgettable in their support roles.

Recommendation: Great fun for Rand fans, and those who enjoy politically and philosophically charged dialog. Not recommended for art-film fans as anything but an historic curiosity. Not recommended for fans of action films.

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