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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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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:

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

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$2,906,000
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

Roark (Gary Cooper)'s courtroom speech was the longest in film history up until that time. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Howard Roark: [delivering the closing statements of his own defense] Thousands of years ago the first man discovered how to make fire. He was probably burned at the stake he had taught his brothers to light, but he left them a gift they had not conceived of, and he lifted darkness off the earth. Through out the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads, armed with nothing but their own vision. The great creators, the thinkers, the artists, the scientists, the inventors, stood alone against ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Featured in TCM Guest Programmer: Tom Ford (2006) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Too unique to dismiss
28 March 1999 | by bwaynefSee all my reviews

Gary Cooper is much too mature for the role of the idealistic architect, but everyone else in the cast is fine. Cooper and Patricia Neal were supposedly involved in a passionate off-camera romance at the time, and some fans of this movie insist they can detect the sparks on-screen, too. I don't, but then I find Cooper such a bore as an actor that it's hard to tell if he's breathing, let alone excited. His performance here almost ruins what could have been a brilliant adaptation of Ayn Rand's ambitious novel. Howard Roark, the architect who refuses to conform to another man's ideals (or lack of them), does not strike me as an "Aw' shucks" kind of guy, but that's pretty much the way Cooper plays him. Roark will build anything--a public housing project, a townhouse, even a gas station--as long as it's built according to his vision. He will not compromise. Cooper just doesn't possess the fire that this character requires. When he becomes impassioned ("A man who works for the sake of others is a slave"), you can almost see the cue cards reflecting in his eyes. Certainly, he doesn't feel Rand's words in his gut. On the plus side, King Vidor's visual style is imaginative, and despite a lot of pompous sermonizing and Cooper's miscasting, this is a worthwhile film simply because there are so few Hollywood productions that emphasize ideas and a man's philosophy. In a curious way, it brings to mind "Network," and other Paddy Chayefsky films.


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