7.1/10
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205 user 31 critic

The Fountainhead (1949)

Approved | | Drama , Romance | 2 July 1949 (USA)
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ON DISC
An uncompromising, visionary architect struggles to maintain his integrity and individualism despite personal, professional and economic pressures to conform to popular standards.

Director:

King Vidor

Writers:

Ayn Rand (screenplay), Ayn Rand (novel)
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Drama

Feature adaptation of Ayn Rand's novel about a young architect battling for his own artistic integrity.

Director: Zack Snyder
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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
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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

Taglines:

The great best seller made greater on the screen by Warner Bros. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 July 1949 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Le rebelle See more »

Filming Locations:

Fresno, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$2,375,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$2,179,000, 31 December 1949

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,906,000, 31 December 1949
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

King Vidor was Ayn Rand's personal choice for the movie's director, as was its star Gary Cooper. See more »

Goofs

When Roark is drilling rock in the quarry, he is doing so without any eye protection. See more »

Quotes

Peter Keating: But it's a humanitarian project. Think of the people who live in slums. If you can give them decent housing, you can perform a noble deed. Would you do it just for their sake?
Howard Roark: No! A man who works for others without payment is a slave! I do no believe that slavery is noble. Not in any form, nor for any purpose, whatsoever!
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Marvellous World of Roald Dahl (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

The house was a temple to his wife ...
9 July 2004 | by didi-5See 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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