7.1/10
8,619
208 user 33 critic

The Fountainhead (1949)

Approved | | Drama, Romance | 2 July 1949 (USA)
Trailer
2:18 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Prime Video

ON DISC
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)
Reviews

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Fountainhead (1956)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Director: Masaki Kobayashi
Stars: Ineko Arima, Keiji Sada, Yôko Katsuragi
Bright Leaf (1950)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

In 1894, Brant Royle shocks the aristocratic tobacco growers of Kingsmont by planning to mass-produce cigarettes.

Director: Michael Curtiz
Stars: Gary Cooper, Lauren Bacall, Patricia Neal
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

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.

Director: John Putch
Stars: Samantha Mathis, Jason Beghe, Esai Morales
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Railroad executive Dagny Taggart and steel mogul Henry Rearden form an alliance to fight the increasingly authoritarian government of the United States.

Director: Paul Johansson
Stars: Taylor Schilling, Grant Bowler, Matthew Marsden
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  

In a post-apocalyptic America, the iron fist of the totalitarian government seeks to crush one mysterious man named John Galt, who has the power and influence to change everything..

Director: James Manera
Stars: Kristoffer Polaha, Laura Regan, Rob Morrow
Animation
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Stars: Keely Cat Wells, Mitchell Cockman
Dallas (1950)
Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A former Confederate officer hunting for an outlaw who wronged him finds him in Dallas, but now as a wealthy, respectable citizen.

Director: Stuart Heisler
Stars: Gary Cooper, Ruth Roman, Steve Cochran
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Beautiful half-breed Pearl Chavez becomes the ward of her dead father's first love and finds herself torn between her sons, one good and the other bad.

Directors: King Vidor, Otto Brower, and 5 more credits »
Stars: Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten, Gregory Peck
We the Living (1942)
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

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 »

Director: Goffredo Alessandrini
Stars: Alida Valli, Fosco Giachetti, Rossano Brazzi
Certificate: Passed Drama | Romance | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The pacifist attitude of a Quaker family is tested as a result of the American Civil War.

Director: William Wyler
Stars: Gary Cooper, Dorothy McGuire, Anthony Perkins
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Five years after George Radcliffe was the chief witness in a high profile murder case, his wife receives a blackmailing letter accusing him of the crime.

Director: Michael Anderson
Stars: Gary Cooper, Deborah Kerr, Eric Portman
Drama

Feature adaptation of Ayn Rand's novel about a young architect battling for his own artistic integrity.

Director: Zack Snyder
Edit

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
Edit

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:

Monumental Best-Seller! Towering Screen Triumph! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

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 »

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Barbara Branden's biography, Ayn Rand was furious when the courtroom speech was edited without her approval and refused to ever work with Warner Bros. in the future. 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

Ellsworth Toohey: Artistic value is achieved collectively by each man subordinating himself to the standards of the majority.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Identity Thief (2013) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Strange adaptation of the best-selling book
19 September 2007 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

Ayn Rand adapted her own famous novel, "The Fountainhead," for the screen. Filmed in 1949, the outcome is odd, to say the least, but it has its interesting moments. "The Fountainhead" concerns an architect, Howard Roark, who, despite controversy, sticks to his designs without altering them to please anyone. Because of this, he becomes the brunt of a hate campaign by a tabloid newspaper, The Banner.

It's obvious from some of the comments on this board that many people are unfamiliar with the book. Unfortunately, the way the book was adapted, if you don't know it, I'm not even sure you can follow what goes on. The buildings, Roark, Dominque, Wyand et al. are all symbols - the buildings are what man can achieve, Roark is the selfish artist whose work has integrity, playing into one of Rand's main philosophies - man has a right to live for his own sake, without altruism, without bowing to the masses. Wyand is the brainwasher who cares about power; his architecture columnist believes in suppressing genius, as it is threatening - etc. Rand's novel itself is extremely prophetic (the tabloid inferences and the rise of mediocrity being just two examples) and therefore is timely today. It just didn't transfer well onto the screen. Symbols don't. There was too much material cut, and the screenplay was adapted, seemingly, with the supposition that everyone knew the book. On top of that, many of the scenes look almost fake from the use of a lot of process shots, giving the movie a bizarre sensibility.

Patricia Neal is astonishingly stunning and wears gorgeous fashions as Dominique, the sexually repressed turned sexually charged woman who gets turned on by Howard and his work. When I first read "The Fountainhead," I kept picturing Dominique as Faye Dunaway, and with her cold beauty, Neal is certainly the '50s Dominique. Raymond Massey is excellent as Gale Wyand, the Rupert Murdock character, and Kent Smith does a good job as a weasel architect friend of Howard's.

Now we come to Howard himself, Gary Cooper. Ayn Rand was one of Cooper's biggest fans from the time she emigrated from Russia and worked in Hollywood as an extra. She was of course thrilled beyond belief when he agreed to play Howard. There is a photograph of the short Rand gazing up at the chiseled, handsome Cooper, and she's practically drooling. After Rand worked - I can't remember if it was months or years - on Howard's big speech in the courtroom, Cooper told her after he finished filming it that he never understood the speech. I'm fairly certain he didn't understand the rest of the role either and that he had never read the book. A more glorious-looking, charismatic man to play Howard you couldn't have found, but did he understand this role the way he understood Lou Gehrig? I doubt it. Did Rand, for all her artistic integrity care? I doubt it. In the end, that great philosopher, that giant intellectual Ayn Rand was, in reality, a woman like any other.

If you must see "The Fountainhead," read the book first, which is fantastic. If you're not going to read it, I'd skip the movie, even though, like Rand and Neal, I love Gary Cooper.


13 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 208 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed