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Genres: Drama
Actors: Gary Cooper , Patricia Neal , Raymond Massey , Kent Smith , Robert Douglas , Henry Hull , Ray Collins , Moroni Olsen , Jerome Cowan
Director: King Vidor
Country: United States
Year: 1949
IMDB Rating: 7.0/10 (5119 votes)

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.

Film Review

This is absolutely one of my favorite books of all time. Is the book flawed, yes, but makes so many wonderful points and lets each reader imagine a life where they are Howard Roark and what it would mean to them. The movie however comes up short. It leaves out so so so so much that is in the book, but understandable considering the length of the book. The choices of actors to play the characters leave something desired. Nevertheless in two hours it gets its message across with conviction. The scene in the courtroom is extremely powerful and sends home what the Fountainhead is all about. You may agree or disagree with this philosophy but regardless it stirs emotion, imagination and thought in ones head. If you had never read the book this would be a delightful film, unusual, but delightful. Reading the book makes it a bit more difficult to watch as you realize that all the characters depths are truly not shown as in the book. Overall I truly enjoyed this film and would watch it again.

What with all the talk on the political scene about Ayn Rand and her philosophies, I couldn't help remembering my failed attempt to read this novel in high school. I thought it was dreadful. Then I stumbled across the film adaptation late one night and I thought it mostly a crashing bore except for Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal. When they were on screen together, the film showed some life; when they were not, it simply lay there like a dead salmon.Since everyone's talking about Rand these days I thought a second look might be a good idea. I'd no intention of attempting the novel a second time, and frankly ATLAS SHRUGGED, the book that solidified the Randian philosophy, sounded even worse than THE FOUNTAINHEAD. So being a longtime fan of the late Patricia Neal, I decided to give this movie a second look. It was even worse than I remembered.I can sum the basic plot up in short order: Howard Roark (Cooper in possibly the most wooden performance he ever gave) is a brilliant…

I fear that giving Ayn Rand full control over what was said on screen turned what might have been an interesting film into nothing more than an extension of her book. Now that might sound a good thing, but film and book are two different media that rarely sit comfortably with one another. Strangely it is this refusal to compromise, an important point in the book, that is this films biggest flaw.While the acting is fine, aside from Coopers and Neal's in my opinion, the dialogue is stilted and stands out of place on screen, almost to the point of preaching rather than aiding the development of the story.This might be simply a sign of the times, after all this was made in 1948, but this film stands out in my mind as perhaps the pinnacle of 'straight from the book to film' type of writing.The film isn't subtle by any means, its point is pushed down your throat time and time again, the price of having your writer push an agenda.It seems like every other line is a speech…


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