Revealing the surprising life story of one of the world's most influential minds, this unprecedented film weaves together Ayn Rand's own recollections and reflections, providing a new understanding of her inspirations and influences.
The time is the Russian Revolution. The place is a country burdened with fear - the midnight knock at the door, the bread hidden against famine, the haunted eyes of the fleeing, the ... See full summary »
Railroad owner Dagny Taggart and steel mogul Henry Rearden search desperately for the inventor of a revolutionary motor as the U.S. government continues to spread its control over the national economy.
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 <email@example.com>
The window view from Henry Cameron and Howard Roark's office appear to place the office in the Hudson Terminal office building, which later would become the site of New York's World Trade Center. See more »
When Cameron smashes the window in Roark's office, you can see that the flag outside the window flying in the skyline is not rippling and therefore is part of a photographic backdrop rather than a live location. See more »
Gosh, but this film doesn't half bring out the rugged individualists on IMDB! Melancholy as it is to see that anyone believes the White Russian sociopath Ayn Rand was any kind of philosopher (she simply dressed up good, old-fashioned greed and misanthropy in two-dollar words), it is still sadder to learn from a couple of other contributors that her work features in American college philosophy courses. Alas for American further education...
However, one can't be angry for long at Miss Rand, or her hysterical contempt for the human race - her hero is a man who blows up a big apartment building without a thought for anyone it might fall on top of - when the film that expresses it is such an outrageous camp classic. Lord only knows what the folks in Peoria thought when, expecting a spot of manly action entertainment and rough, gruff romance with strong and usually silent hero Gary Cooper, they were required instead to sit through a couple of hours of high-flown speeches about Great Men and Free Spirits and all the rest of it, delivered by characters who talked exactly like a book (and a bad one at that). As for the stars, they perform this guff as though the script were in a foreign language and they'd learned their lines phonetically. Patricia Neal in particular looks and sounds throughout like a highly strung greyhound who's been called upon, at short notice, to take an oral examination in post-grad mathematics.
I bet the folks in Peoria wished they'd gone to see an Esther Williams musical instead - which would, I suppose, be typical of the despised masses. But here's a thing: who on earth thought it would be smart business to turn a book full of contempt for the "mob" into a commercial studio film, which by definition needs the mob to come and pay to see it? Not even a Steven Segal picture dares insult the audience as openly as that.
Presumably it was some easily impressed, half-smart executive whose grasp on common sense was as firm as that of Ayn Rand, who (among other lunacies) not only believed in perpetual motion, but was hornswoggled out of a lot of money by rugged-individualist con artists who convinced her they'd invented it. As every good con man knows, there's no more delightful sight as that of a hard-headed, unsentimental business type when you've got a consignment of gold bricks to unload.
The pity is that, as with most camp classics, it's impossible to convey how funny it is without lengthy quotation (or getting your friends to help you act it out - you've never lived until you've taken part in a Mommie Dearest party), and life's too short for me to watch The Fountainhead again with a notebook. But do try to see it once, if only to be reminded that the most pathetic people in the world are those who believe in their own superiority, and that the funniest people in the world are those who have no sense of the ridiculous.
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