IMDb > The Fountainhead (1949)
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 »
User Reviews:
Strange adaptation of the best-selling book See more (198 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)
Estelle Etterre ... Woman at Enright party (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?

Ayn Rand only agreed to make her book into a movie if the director promised that everything she wrote would make it into the final product.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 »
Howard Roark:I don't give or ask for help!See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Hollywood Mavericks (1990)See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
11 out of 18 people found the following review useful.
Strange adaptation of the best-selling book, 19 September 2007
Author: blanche-2 from United States

Ayn Rand adapted her own famous novel, "The Fountainhead," for the screen. Filmed in 1949, the outcome is odd, to say the least, but it has its interesting moments. "The Fountainhead" concerns an architect, Howard Roark, who, despite controversy, sticks to his designs without altering them to please anyone. Because of this, he becomes the brunt of a hate campaign by a tabloid newspaper, The Banner.

It's obvious from some of the comments on this board that many people are unfamiliar with the book. Unfortunately, the way the book was adapted, if you don't know it, I'm not even sure you can follow what goes on. The buildings, Roark, Dominque, Wyand et al. are all symbols - the buildings are what man can achieve, Roark is the selfish artist whose work has integrity, playing into one of Rand's main philosophies - man has a right to live for his own sake, without altruism, without bowing to the masses. Wyand is the brainwasher who cares about power; his architecture columnist believes in suppressing genius, as it is threatening - etc. Rand's novel itself is extremely prophetic (the tabloid inferences and the rise of mediocrity being just two examples) and therefore is timely today. It just didn't transfer well onto the screen. Symbols don't. There was too much material cut, and the screenplay was adapted, seemingly, with the supposition that everyone knew the book. On top of that, many of the scenes look almost fake from the use of a lot of process shots, giving the movie a bizarre sensibility.

Patricia Neal is astonishingly stunning and wears gorgeous fashions as Dominique, the sexually repressed turned sexually charged woman who gets turned on by Howard and his work. When I first read "The Fountainhead," I kept picturing Dominique as Faye Dunaway, and with her cold beauty, Neal is certainly the '50s Dominique. Raymond Massey is excellent as Gale Wyand, the Rupert Murdock character, and Kent Smith does a good job as a weasel architect friend of Howard's.

Now we come to Howard himself, Gary Cooper. Ayn Rand was one of Cooper's biggest fans from the time she emigrated from Russia and worked in Hollywood as an extra. She was of course thrilled beyond belief when he agreed to play Howard. There is a photograph of the short Rand gazing up at the chiseled, handsome Cooper, and she's practically drooling. After Rand worked - I can't remember if it was months or years - on Howard's big speech in the courtroom, Cooper told her after he finished filming it that he never understood the speech. I'm fairly certain he didn't understand the rest of the role either and that he had never read the book. A more glorious-looking, charismatic man to play Howard you couldn't have found, but did he understand this role the way he understood Lou Gehrig? I doubt it. Did Rand, for all her artistic integrity care? I doubt it. In the end, that great philosopher, that giant intellectual Ayn Rand was, in reality, a woman like any other.

If you must see "The Fountainhead," read the book first, which is fantastic. If you're not going to read it, I'd skip the movie, even though, like Rand and Neal, I love Gary Cooper.

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