7.1/10
8,564
208 user 31 critic

The Fountainhead (1949)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 2 July 1949 (USA)
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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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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:

No Man Takes What's Mine ! 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
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Warner Bros. See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

King Vidor originally hoped to cast Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall in the lead roles, but Ayn Rand insisted on Gary Cooper in the lead. Bacall was cast opposite Cooper, but dropped out before filming began. Hoping the film would make her a star, Warner Bros cast a relative unknown, 22-year-old Patricia Neal, after considering and then rejecting Bette Davis, Ida Lupino, Alexis Smith, and Barbara Stanwyck as replacements for Bacall. Cooper objected to Neal being cast, but during filming, Cooper and Neal began an affair. See more »

Goofs

When the Banner prints its front page story "The Truth about Howard Roark", a six-paragraph story is shown - but the first three paragraphs of the story are exactly the same as the last three paragraphs. See more »

Quotes

Howard Roark: A building has integrity, just as a man and just as seldom! It must be true to its own idea, have its own form, and serve its own purpose!
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User Reviews

 
The best they could do with a difficult book
3 October 2006 | by preppy-3See all my reviews

Movie based on Ayn Rand's book. Idealistic architect Howard Roark (Gary Cooper) won't compromise his designs for society. He also falls for beautiful Dominique Francon (Patricia Neal).

Now the original novel is brilliant...but over 1,000 pages and quite dense. The studio (wisely) got Rand to write the screenplay for this--I suspect a studio writer would have ruined it. She manages to cut down the book and get her message across perfectly. The movie is also well-directed--full of incredible sets and designs. It has a pounding lush score and some truly hysterical sexual imagery involving Cooper and Neal.

The acting though is another story. Neal is fantastic--the perfect choice for Dominique--sexy, smart and strong. Raymond Massey is also good as Gail Wynand. Unfortunately Gary Cooper is terrible as Roark. He was hand-picked by Rand to play the role--but I think she picked him because she was attracted to him. He's wooden all through the movie and his unsure line readings are pretty painful. (Purportedly he didn't understand the script--it shows). Still, the movie survives despite him. I can truthfully only give it a 9--with a better actor I might give this a 10.

Be warned--this is not an easy movie. It's all talk, runs almost 2 hours and deals with idealism and values. Some people will be bored silly by this but I find it fascinating. Recommended.


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