The Fountainhead Reviews
Rand claims to be a conservative to whom the right to property is all important yet the destruction of property is justified based entirely on a matter of ego.
At the same time that she believes that anyone can do anything if its in their own interest and that empathy is weakness the wealthy guy is the villain and kills himself out of guilt!
Rand says she doesnt believe in guilt.
Stars should be taken away not given.
King Vidor in this film has tried his best to capture the essence and intensity of the book, but has unfortunately fallen short all through the film.
The performances of Gary Cooper as Howard Roark, Patricia Neal as Dominique Francon and the other cast in the movie were wooden and forgettable at best. The cast killed the intensity of the original characters in the book. The final nail in the coffin was Gary Cooperâ(TM)s performance in the courtroom scene where he narrates the speech that gets him acquitted. Iâ(TM)m yet to see a performance worse than Cooperâ(TM)s lifeless and soulless narration of such a passionate speech. The editing was shoddy and the background score was a bit much for me to digest.
The Fountainhead, being a powerful story of a manâ(TM)s war to save his integrity and his quest to retain his individuality against a society that abhors everything about individualism could have been unraveled on screen in a much better way. It is no surprise that Ayn Rand criticized the film.
Lastly, I wouldn't recommend watching this film if youâ(TM)re a fan of the book as it would be a thoroughly disappointing experience.
I am sympathetic toward many of the ethics espoused here by Rand, not least of which is individualism. However, the ethic that one should never do something for another without concern of pay is one I do not share. Despite this, our 'collective' hatred of class/ability-envy, & mooching/forced confiscation in the name of a common good allows unity in opposition toward the film's antagonists.
I appreciate Roark's integrity. But Cooper is rather wooden. The character, himself, should be considered heroic. I doubt that Hollywood will hold him as high in regard as Peter Fonda in Easy Rider. He is an excellent character, which is a deviation from most of those featured in this film.
It is a strong indictment against collectivism, even if the supporters are portrayed as one-domenisional. The romantic relationships in rand novels are quite nauseating. But Neal delivers her best performance, here.
Yet somehow, despite the aforementioned flaws, it is watchable, and I always want to see what will happen next; not because of the flaws, but in spite of them. Rand's work completely negates any notion of love or human value, other than for oneself. As such, it lacks heart.
Unlike rand, I see sacrifice as a noble thing. Like her, I believe it is the most ignobelest of all when it is forced.
Though heavy-handed & somewhat self-important, the film does deserve kudos for trampling the pervasive Hollywood mantra of collectivism & centralized power, & does so in a respectably engaging manner. The story is well developed. The film, a worthy one.