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The Fountainhead
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The Fountainhead (1949) More at IMDbPro »

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The Fountainhead -- An idealistic architect battles corrupt business interest and his love for a married woman in this well-made drama starring Gary Cooper, Raymond Massey and Patricia Neal.
The Fountainhead -- Trailer for this film adaptation of the famous Ayn Rand novel


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7.1/10   7,065 votes »
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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 »
User Reviews:
One of the weirdest movies ever produced in the 1940s See more (197 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)
Australia:PG | Canada:PG (Ontario) | Finland:K-16 | Portugal:M/12 | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (video) | USA:Approved (PCA #13358)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

King Vidor was Ayn Rand's personal choice for the movie's director, as was its star Gary Cooper.See more »
Continuity: Howard shatters Dominique's slightly damaged fireplace slab with a chisel and says, "Now it's broken and has to be replaced." When Dominique asks Howard if he can replace it, the next shot of Howard shows him kneeling in front of the not-yet shattered marble slab.See more »
[to Roark, regarding the Wynand Building]
Gail Wynand:Build it as a monument to that spirit which is yours - and could have been mine.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in To Rome with Love (2012)See more »


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98 out of 155 people found the following review useful.
One of the weirdest movies ever produced in the 1940s, 9 May 2001
Author: El Cine from Southeastern Massachusetts

Not too many films can grab your attention with an atypical discussion of individualism, inspire you with a character's strength of will, disturb you with that same character's cold attitude towards humanity, and make you laugh at the script's stiffness and awkwardness at the same time. I don't really know how to approach my commentary on this strange film, so I will just list several of my observations.

--- I first learned of this film while watching a documentary on AMC about screenwriters' experiences in Hollywood. This film was chosen by the documentary as an example of what a screenplay shouldn't be! Indeed, the dialogue is melodramatic and positively stilted, since it is delivered by characters that exist primarily as vessels of philosophical thought, not real people that interact with each other. Does Dominique have any favorite hobbies, books, or radio programs? Or does she just sit around all day fretting about the inanity of the mindless masses, only taking a break now and then to throw a valuable statue out her window and onto some poor pedestrian's head because, as she says, she "loves" the statue? Gary Cooper even stuttered a lot of his lines like a robot, especially in that long-winded courtroom "climax". By the way, Cooper's character never seemed to be having fun except when he was getting fondled by Dominique or watching her trip and nearly kill herself while trying to run away from him.

--- At times, the film came close to acting as a successful examination of themes like resisting convention and finding one's internal independence and freedom, a la Chopin's "The Awakening." There are some provocative quotes that make good points on these issues. But the heavy dose of Randian anti-altruism that the script administers adds a pallor of mean-spiritedness and unlikeability to the characters and the screenwriter's points.

--- Rand apparently had a pessimistic view of humanity that was morbid and spiteful in the extreme. Are we to believe that all but a few people comprise an incitable, easy-manipulated, stupid mob of people? The scene where Wynand finds himself opposed by all 15 of his board members, all of whom are apparently spineless 'fraidy cats, typifies the exaggerated "It's everybody against one of me!" mentality that pervades the main characters' lives.

--- The direction was much better than I anticipated. And Robert Burks scored big with his cinematography. The modern black-and-white scenes must have provided him with lots of opportunities.

--- Zaniest quote (not word for word): Dominique is taken aback at how Gail Wynand bribed Peter Keating to break off his engagement with her. Wynand: Oh, people do this sort of thing all the time. They just don't talk about it.

--- Max Steiner's score is like Bernard Herrmann's score for "Marnie" --- it is pretty good and exciting to listen to on an album, but it is too emotional and high-strung for the screen. Oh, did anyone else notice how the piano player at the Enright Building's housewarming party was playing the movie's theme song?

--- Not enough attention was paid to the changes that the Gail Wynand character experienced. He went from strong amoral capitalist to redeemed supporter of the little guy to weak amoral capitalist in mere scene-changes!

--- How could Ellsworth Toohey, who is just a writer for a newspaper, manage to essentially take over the entire newspaper staff? How come Toohey never smiles or drops his scowl? And does he take some pride from the fact that he looks like and dresses like an evil John Quincy Adams with a mustache? Also, how does he have a hand in so many architecture projects? He's just a critic! Are we to believe that a cackling Roger Ebert hangs around the film studios in Hollywood and wields sinister influence over the producers and the films that they make?

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A fool's game raised to a whole other level Tom-Livanos
What were they thinking.....? wolf-w49
Modern Casting (Remake of The Fountainhead) pmccann847
The 'cracked-marble' scenes dmjh64
Irony of Individualism jimmyoh
I tried. I really, really tried... spamdumpj
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