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.
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.
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.
Michael Cimino planned to do a remake with United Artists, but the colossal failure of " Heavens Gate" meant that it was almost 5 years before he stood behind a camera again, and UA had since gone into bankruptcy.
The view from Gail Wynand's office appears to be the view from the dome of the former New York World Building on Park Row, which contained the office of publisher Joseph Pulitzer Jr., the World's publisher. Despite this, the character of Gail Wynand is believed to be based on Pulitzer's arch-rival William Randolph Hearst.
Patricia Neal said in an autobiography that the sudden unavailability of a stunt woman meant that she had to learn to ride a horse for the riding scenes, including the frenetic cross-country gallop to the quarry. Since she only needed to be seen close-up in the saddle during the brief angry confrontation with Roark and her character was only seen when actually riding in silhouette and in distance-shots, someone with real riding skills could have stood in for Neal at any time during production for this 'second unit' footage; there would have been no sense in risking injury to the star.
This film's earliest documented telecasts took place in Salt Lake City Friday 26 July 1956 on KUTV (Channel 2), in Tucson Saturday 4 August 1956 on KDWI (Channel 9), in Miami Sunday 2 September 1956 on WTVJ (Channel 4), and in Bellingham WA Sunday 16 September 1956 on KVOS (Channel 12); it first aired in Phoenix Thursday 25 October 1956 on KVAR (Channel 12), in San Francisco Friday 9 November 1956, cut to 72 minutes to fit a 90 minute time slot, on KRON (Channel 4), in Bloomington IN Saturday 10 November 1956 on WTTV (Channel 4), and in Portland OR Saturday 8 December 1956 on KOIN (Channel 6).