THE FOUNTAINHEAD ( 1949 )

They say there’s no frigate like a book. But what happens when you turn a frigate into a movie? Whatve you got then?

BLOGATHON ( BOOK-TO-COVER ) 4 : 8 - 10 : 2016

Now Voyaging and Speakeasy have partnered up again to host this weekend’s BOOK TO COVER: Books to Film Blogathon. It’s pretty self-explanatory: “This blogathon is your opportunity to focus on great cinema that started as words on a page.” In her blog, Christina Wehner asks an interesting question: “Should You Read The Book First Or Watch The Movie?” Luckily there’s no requirement in this blogathon to have read the book one’s movie choice is based on. (Besides, I need books with big print and lotsa pictures. That aint Ayn Rand.) Yes, my choice is a film from the book of controversial author whose name is a lightning rod of polarization: Ayn Rand.

THE FOUNTAINHEADstars Gary Cooper, Patricia Neal, Raymond Massey, Robert Douglas and Kent Smith. Music by Max Steiner. Directed by King Vidor.

FOUNTAINHEAD ( I )FOUNTAINHEAD ( II )FOUNTAINHEAD ( III ) FOUNTAINHEAD ( IV )

It took me a while to warm up to this movie and now I seem to have a handle on it. It is a film about Absolutes ( with a capital “A” ). People seem to represent Big Ideas. Are they recognizably human? Well, in that heightened way humans are represented in movies. At it’s core we have a triangle. Twisted; overlaping of purpose and agenda.

All three points of this triangle want what they want. Uncompromising. Can entitites like this co-exist in Nature? Probably not in a cohesive way. Intersect …yes. Co-exist…nah. There’s no yield…there’s no give. A bough that doesn’t bend, breaks. And it makes for good movie drama.

FOUNTAINHEAD ( X )We’ve got The Architect: Howard Roark, played stoically by the great Gary Cooper. He wants to design buildings HIS way. He wants his vision running through the entire structure. His designs are a bit unconventional for the times and anyone who hires him has to know and accept this. It’s tough for Roark to get hired. It’s not that his designs are so outlandish, but they are so very different from the other cookie cutters buildings out there designed by “committee.” Roark would rather blow up his design than change a thing.

* * * * * * * * * * *

FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXI )The Newspaper Magnate: Gail Wynand, played by Raymond Massey. He’s got a great booming voice. And he wants his newspapers to affect change. His newspaper, which he built from scratch is the paper of record which makes and breaks opinions. It not only reports the news, it IS The News. He’s against Roark until he is FOR Roark. He’s an imperious sort, used to getting his way. And what he wants his way is to marry Dominique.

* * * * * * * * * * *

FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXXXXII )The Love Interest: Dominique Francon, socialite and Woman both men love. Love might be a stretch. Both men want to possess her. She is played by a new and exciting actress: Patricia Neal in this her second movie. Roark wants her but he’s going to wait for her to come TO him of her own free will. And what does Dominique want? She wants what she can’t have. She wants what she doesn’t want. She doesn’t want to want anything. She hates herself for wanting Roark. She hates Roark for making her want him. You  can see how this all makes for a sticky wicket.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Their lives intersect. They’re all at cross-purposes:

  • Roark makes a deal to design a building but allow a lesser architect ( Kent Smith ) to  put his name on it. It’s the only way he can get his design ideas built.
  • Wynand wanting to tout Roark’s latest design when the public is against it. He’s married to Dominique ( who loves Roark ) and asks Roark to build a house for Dominique. She will live in a house filled with Roark touches…a constant reminder of him…who she’s trying to forget. Sort of.

FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXXXXXXIV )FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXXXXXXIII )FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXXXXXXV )FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXXXXXXIX )

  • Wynand and Roark become really good friends but Wynand doesn’t know Roark wants his wife.

FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXXXIX )I might have to leave out one component ~ /\ THIS GUY /\ ~ a bad guy who works right underneath Wynand’s nose. He’s an evil puppet master who insidiously engineers a lot of this. I want to talk about Ellsworth Toohey fully… ( played masterfully malevolently by Robert Douglas ) but I might need to save him for some future Great Villain blogathon. But hes a little hard to resist for this piece.

Understanding that these people represents Ideas helped me understand the film a lot better. Ayn Rand has big ideas.But do these big grand ideas translate to understandable human emotions. I think they do, for the most part. Big…overblown. Youve just got to take this elephantine plot and break it down to bite-size bits. In fact, you don’t need to eat the elephant. Here, just read my post. Its a lot less to chew. Here are some tasty morsels ( key moments ) in the film.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Roarke is told this by his school’s Dean:

“You want to stand alone against the whole world?
there’s no place for originality in architecture.
Nobody can improve on the buildings of the past. One
can only learn to copy them. We’ve tried to teach you
the accepted historical style. You refuse to learn. You
won’t consider anybody’s judgment but your own.
You must, in designing buildings that look like
nothing ever built before….it is my duty as your dean
to say you will never become an architect.”

* * * * * * * * * * *

But later he meets someone who does believes him:

FOUNTAINHEAD ( IX ) FOUNTAINHEAD ( VI ) FOUNTAINHEAD ( XI )
HENRY HULL

HENRY CAMERON: “I ought to throw you out of here right now before it’s too late. I wish I’d done this at your age. Oh why did you have to come to me. I’m perfectly happy with the drooling dolts I’ve got. I don’t want any fool visionaries staring around here. You’re an egotist, you’re impertinent. You’re too sure of yourself. Twenty years ago I’d have punched your face with the greatest of pleasure. You’re going to work for me tomorrow morning at nine o’clock.”

* * * * * * * * * * *

FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXXXXXII ) FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXXXXXIII )
GARY COOPER & RAYMOND MASSEY

ROARK: “I didn’t expect it to be easy. But those who want me will come to me…I don’t give or ask for help…I don’t build in order to have clients. I have clients in order to build.”

* * * * * * * * * * *

FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXIII ) FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXI )
ROBERT DOUGLAS & RAYMOND MASSEY


TOOHEY:  “I believe I’m failing to sell you Peter Keating.”

WYNAND:
“I give the public what it wants…including your column, Mr. Toohey.”

* * * * * * * * * * *

FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXXIX ) FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXXV ) FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXXVIII )
PATRICIA NEAL, ROBERT DOUGLAS, JEROME COWAN


COWAN:
“We need some excitement to boost circulation. I’ve got 
to invent a crusade and I don’t know what on earth to crusade about…I’ve wracked my brain and I can’t think of anything to denounce.”
DOUGLAS:
“I can.”

COWAN:
“What?”

DOUGLAS:
“This.”

COWAN:
“Who cares about a building.”

DOUGLAS:
“My dear Editor, depends on how you handle it.”

FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXXXV )

TOOHEY: “That building is an outrage against art and a threat to public safety. It might collapse at any moment. Nobody’s ever used that structural method before. Think what you could do with it. There’s that super luury apartment house going up and there’s all those people who have to live in the slums.”

* * * * * * * * * * *

FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXXX ) FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXXXXIII )

The courage of two men to build and own something that’s different from the norm. They don’t care what people think.

* * * * * * * * * * *

FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXVI ) FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXVII ) FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXVIII )

WYNAND:  “I’d like to find something you could want.”

DOMINIQUE:  “Don’t try to Mr. Wynand. I’ll never want anything. Do you know what I was doing when you came in? I had a statue which I found in Europe. A statue of a god. I think I was in love with it. But I like it. I threw it down the air shaft so that I wouldn’t have to love it. I didn’t want to be tied to anything. I wanted to destroy it rather than let it be part of a world where beauty and genius and greatness have no chance. The world of the mob and of the Banner.”

* * * * * * * * * * *

FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXXXVI ) FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXXXVII ) FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXXXX )

ELLSWORTH M. TOOHEY: “Artistic value is achieved collectively by each man subordinating himself to the standards of the majority…You are architects. You should realize a man like Howard Roark is a threat to all of you. A conflict of forms is too great. Can your buildings stand by the side of his?”

* * * * * * * * * * *

FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXXXXI ) FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXXXXII )

DOMINIQUE: “That building is a magnificent architectural achievement. Is that of no importance?”
WYNAND: “None.”

DOMINIQUE: “You’re willing to destroy it just to please the mob? Just to give them something to scream about?”

WYNAND: “That is the policy that has made the Banner the newspaper of larger circulation. Don’t expect me to change it.”

* * * * * * * * * * *

FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXI )  FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXII )  FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXIII )

DOMINIQUE: “I suppose I’m one of those freaks you hear about. A woman completely incapable of feeling. I was engaged to Peter because he was the most safely unimportant person I could find and I know I’d never be in love.”

WYNAND: “Haven’t you ever loved anyone?”

DOMINIQUE: “No. And I never will.”

FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXIV ) FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXV ) FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXVII )

WYNAND: “I want you to marry me.”

DOMINIQUE: “If I ever decide to punish myself for some terrible guilt, I’ll marry you.”

WYNAND: “I’ll wait. No matter what reason you choose for it.”

Tried and true method. Play hard to get…and win the person of your dreams ev’ry time.

* * * * * * * * * * *

FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXXXXXIV )

FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXXXXVIII ) FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXXXXIX )
THURSTON HALL ( BUSINESSMAN ) & ROBERT DOUGLAS ( Ellsworth Toohey )


TOOHEY:
“Don’t ever have an architect who’s a genius. I don’t like geniuses, they’re dangerous.”


BUSINESSMAN:
“How’s that?”


TOOHEY:
“A man abler than his brothers insults hem by implication. He must not aspire to any virtue that cannot be shared.”


BUSINESSMAN:
“I wouldn’t now about that intellectual stuff. I play the stock market.”


TOOHEY:
“I play the stock market of the spirit. And I sell short.”

* * * * * * * * * * *

FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXXXII )

DOMINIQUE: “You know that this Enright House is a great building.”
TOOHEY: “Perhaps one of the greatest.”
DOMINIQUE: “Ellsworth what are you after?”
TOOHEY: “I daresay nobody knows what I’m after. They will though. When the time comes.”

* * * * * * * * * * *

FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXI ) FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXX ) FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXII ) FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXIV ) FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXV ) FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXVI ) FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXVII )

DOMINIQUE: “Why do you always stare at me?”

ROARK: “For the same reason you’ve been staring at me.”

DOMINIQUE: “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

ROARK: “If you didn’t, you’d be much more astonished and a lot less angry, Miss Francon.”

DOMINIQUE: “So you know my name.”

ROARK: “You’ve been advertising it loudly enough.”

DOMINIQUE: “You’d better not be insolent. I can have you fired at a moment’s notice.”

ROARK: “Shall I call the Superintendent?”

DOMINIQUE: “No of course not. But since you know who I am you’d better stop looking at me when I come here. It might be misundetstood.”

ROARK: “I don’t think so.”

Dominique…who are YOU kidding?

* * * * * * * * * * *

FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXXXXXXX )

WYNAND:  “There is no honest way to deal with people. You have no choice except to submit or to rule them. I chose to rule.”
ROARK:      “A man of integrity would do neither.”
WYNAND:  “There are no men of integrity. I have many years behind me to prove it. I was born in Hell’s Kitchen. I rose out of the gutter by creating The Banner. It’s a contemptible paper, isn’t it? But it has achieved my purpose.”
ROARK:      “What was your purpose?”
WYNAND:  “Power.”

* * * * * * * * * * *

There’s more than ONE way to skin an architect. When doors and avenues are closed to him, Howard Roark devises a plan to get HIS designs out there by using the weak-willed second-rate architect: Peter Keating.

FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXXXXXXII )
KENT SMITH AND GARY COOPER


ROARK: 
 “Before you can do things for people you have to be the kind of man to get things done. But to get things done, you must love the doing…not the people. My reward, my purpose, my life is the work itself. My work done my wayNothing else matters to me. Now here’s what I’ll offer you. I will design Cortlandt. You’ll put your name on it. You’ll keep all the fees. But you will guarantee that it will be built exactly as I design it. No changes by you or by anyone else. That’s the thing I demand for my work. My ideas are mine. Nobody else has a right to them except on my terms. Those who need them must take them my way or not at all.”

See. All Peter has to do one thing. Just that one thing. Piece of cake. Everybody wins.

* * * * * * * * * * *

FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXX ) FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXXI ) FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXXII ) FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXXIII )

DOMINIQUE: “I admire your work more than anything I’ve ever seen. You realzie that this is not a tie, but a gulf between us; if you reconsider what you read in my column.”
ROARK: “I remember every line of it.”
DOMINIQUE: “I wish I’d never seen your building. It’s the things we admire and want that enslave us and I’m not easy to bring into submission.”
ROARK: “That depends on the strength of your adversary Miss Francon.”

* * * * * * * * * * *

FOUNTAINHEAD ( VIII )ROARK & DOMINIQUE ( I ) ~ THE FOUNTAINHEAD ROARK & DOMINIQUE ( II ) ~ THE FOUNTAINHEAD ROARK & DOMINIQUE ( III ) ~ THE FOUNTAINHEAD ROARK & DOMINIQUE ( VI ) ~ THE FOUNTAINHEAD  ROARK & DOMINIQUE ( IV ) ~ THE FOUNTAINHEAD ROARK & DOMINIQUE ( V) ~ THE FOUNTAINHEAD ROARK & DOMINIQUE ( VII ) ~ THE FOUNTAINHEAD

DOMINIQUE: “I didn’t know your name. You knew mine, but you didn’t try to find me in all these months.”
ROARK: “I wanted you to find me and have to come to me.” DOMINIQUE: “It gives you pleasure to know that you’re breaking me down. I’ll give you no further satisfaction. I love you Roark. Would it please you to hear I’ve lived in torture all these months hoping never to find you again and wishing to give my life just to see you once more. But you know that, of course. That’s what you wanted me to live through.”
ROARK: “Yes.”
DOMINIQUE: “Why don’t you laugh at me now. You won. I’ve no pride left to stop you. I love you without dignity, without regret. I came to tell you this and to tell you you’ll never see me again.”
ROARK: “You want to know whether you can make me suffer, don’t you? You can.”
DOMINIQUE: “Roark, you’re everything I’ve always wanted. That’s why I hoped I’d never meet anyone like you. I’ll give you up now myself than watch you destroyed by a world where you have no chance…Has any other client come to you?”
ROARK: “No.”
DOMINIQUE: “They won’t. They hate you for the greatness of your achievement. They hate you for your integrity. They hate you because they know they can neither corrupt you nor rule you. They won’t let you survive. Roark, they’ll destroy you. But I won’t be there to see it happen.”

ROARK & DOMINIQUE ( VIII ) ~ THE FOUNTAINHEAD ROARK & DOMINIQUE ( IX ) ~ THE FOUNTAINHEAD

Twisted you might say? I dunno. On some level, I do get it. Sometimes hello is goodbye. 

* * * * * * * * * * *

No one understands the Devil, Ellsworth Toohey. He giveth and he taketh away.

FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXXXXXV ) FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXXXXXVII )

KEATING:  “I’ve been slipping since Guy Francon retired. I’ve had less work each year. People are dropping me. Why?”

TOOHEY:  “You were a fashion, Peter. Fashions change.”

FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXXXXXIX ) FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXXXXXX )

KEATING:  “But I was at the top. Why did I fall like that without any reason…You used to say I was the greatest architect.”

TOOHEY:  “Well I could have had two reasons for saying it. Maybe I wanted to honor you and maybe I wanted to dishonor and discredit all greatness.”

KEATING:  “I thought you were my friend.”

FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXXXXXXI )

ELLSWORTH TOOHEY:  “Of course I’m your friend. I’m every body’s friend. I’m a friend of humanity.”

With friends like this…who needs enemies.

* * * * * * * * * * *

  • Fighting what you want 
  • Fighting for what you want
  • Throwing your [ veritable ] lover in your husband’s face

FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXVIII )FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXXIV )

FOUNTAINHEAD ( XXXXXXXX )

DOMINIQUE:  “Roark knows he’s won. He can afford to be generous. I never thought he would win against you. He has. Maybe we’re wrong about the world, you and I. He’s the one who’s earned the right to despise us.”
WYNAND:  “Has he? That’s the right I’ll never grant to anyone on Earth.”
DOMINIQUE: “There’re no men of integrity are there? Well you’ve met one.”
WYNAND: “There aren’t. And he’s not any better than the rest of us.” 
DOMINIQUE: “What if he is?”
WYNAND: “If he were, I’d break him.”
DOMINIQUE: “Nobody can break him.”
WYNAND: “I’ll find out.”

Poor Wynand. He didn’t have the courage of his convictions to stick up for the man he admired. He feels he has to break him.

NEWSPAPER SMEAR in THE FOUNTAINHEAD

 Oh yeah…that he let his wife taunt him into going this route is not lost on me either.

* * * * * * * * * * *

TOOHEY & PETER ( I ) ~ THE FOUNTAINHEAD TOOHEY & PETER ( II ) ~ THE FOUNTAINHEAD TOOHEY & PETER ( III ) ~ THE FOUNTAINHEAD

TOOHEY: “Who designed Cortlandt?!”
KEATING: “Let me alone!”
TOOHEY:“It’s too later Peter.”
KEATING:  “Let me go.”
TOOHEY:“Who designed Cortlandt?”
KEATING:  “Why do you want to kill Roark.”
TOOHEY:  “I don’t want to kill him. I want him in jail, behind bars. Locked, strapped, beaten. He’ll move as he’s told. He’ll work as he’s told. He’ll obey. He’ll take orders.”
KEATING:  “Ellsworth, what are you after?”

TOOHEY & PETER ( IV ) ~ THE FOUNTAINHEAD

TOOHEY:   “Power. What do you think is Power? Whips, guns, money? You can’t turn men into slaves unless you break their spirit. Kill their capacity to think and act on his own. Tie them together, teach them to conform. Unite. To agree. To obey. THAT makes one neck ready for one leash.”

TOOHEY & PETER ( V ) ~ THE FOUNTAINHEAD

ELLSWORTH TOOHEY: “You’ve heard me preaching it for years but you didn’t have the wits to know what you were hearing. Why do you suppose I denounce greatness and praise mediocrity like you? Great men can’t be ruled. Why did I preach self-sacrifice? If you kill a man’s sense of personal value, he’ll submit. Can you do that to Howard Roark? No. Then don’t ask me why I want to destroy him. That’s what they mean, your noble ideas. You believed in me. Well what’s left of you now?”

Peter is one of those get-along types. He predictably caves in and tells Toohey whos really behind the design of the Cortlandt building.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Wynand has a change of heart and conviction. He now WANTS to defend Roark. Some times you want to break something more powerful than you. And then some times you want to honor…and emulate its strength. What is real power?

NEAL, MASSEY & COOPER ~ THE FOUNTAINHEAD

WYNAND:   “Let them say what they please about you. By the time you come to trial, no jury will convict you. The public will think what I want them to think. The Banner will save you. Dominique, do you see why I love The Banner? I hold power. You’ll see the demonstration of it for yourself. I rule that city. I’ve never lost a battle. I’ll fight for you if it takes everything I own.”

* * * * * * * * * * *

COWAN & MASSEY ~ THE FOUNTAINHEAD
JEROME COWAN ( ALVAH SCARRETT ) and RAYMOND MASSEY

SCARRETT:  “I can’t understand how Ellsworth go so much power. I never noticed how he got his gang in little by little and now he owns them.”

WYNAND:  “And I own The Banner.”

* * * * * * * * * * *

TOOHEY & WYNAND FACE OFF ~ THE FOUNTAINHEAD

“Do you Mr. Wynand? So you were after power, Mr. Wynand. And you thought you were a practical man. You left impractical to intellectuals like me. You left a whole field of ideas to corrupt as we please, while you were busy making money. You thought money was power. Is it Mr. Wynand? You poor amateur. You’ve never been enough of a scoundrel for your own ambition. That’s why I’ll be back on this job. And when I am, I’ll run this paper.”

TOOHEY FACES WYNAND ~ THE FOUNTAINHEAD WYNAND FACES TOOHEY ~ THE FOUNTAINHEAD

* * * * * * * * * * *

We all know how bad guys are. Youve seen James Bond movies. They cant create so they destroy. You’ve seen how villains feel the need to be recognized by the spy who hates them. They want the good guy to admire his dastardly schemes, or at the very least acknowledge how brilliantly he devised them. Toohey is no different.

TOOHEY ( I ) ~ THE FOUNTAINHEAD  TOOHEY ( II ) ~ THE FOUNTAINHEAD TOOHEY ( III ) ~ THE FOUNTAINHEAD

TOOHEY: “Hello Mr. Roark. I hoped I’d meet you someday. Like this. Alone. You shouldn’t mind talking to me.”
ROARK: “What about?”
TOOHEY: “There’s a building that should have been yours. There are buildings going up all over the City…refused to you and given to incompetent fools. You’re walking the street while they’re doing the work that you love and cannot obtain. This City is closed to you. It’s I who’ve done it. Don’t you want to know my motive?”
ROARK: “No.”
TOOHEY: “I’m fighting you and I shall fight you in every way I can.”
ROARK: “You’re free to do what you please.”
TOOHEY: “Mr. Roark, we’re alone here. Why don’t you tell me what you think of me in any words you wish.”
ROARK: “But I don’t think of you.”

TOOHEY ( IV ) - THE FOUNTAINHEAD

Ow.

* * * * * * * * * * *

THE COURT OF PUBLIC OPINION

Holy cow, who knew there literally was a court of public opinion. Actually there isnt. Roark is up for some very real criminal charges for blowing up the Cortlandt building. When the consortium of architects ruin the design of his building ( that was going up under the name of second-rate, weak-willed architect Peter Keating ) Roark just had to make a point. You may think he’s a spoiled brat unwilling to compromise. But in his speechifying testimony, he makes a good point; one you might agree with if you are a creative being who wants to speak through your work.

COURTROOM SCENE ( I ) ~ THE FOUNTAINHEAD COURTHOUSE SCENE ( IV ) ~ THE FOUNTAINHEAD COURTHOUSE SCENE ( III ) ~ THE FOUNTAINHEAD

ROARK:  “My ideas are my own property. They were taken from me by force, by breach of contract. No appeal was left to me. It was believed my work belonged to others to do with what they pleased. But they had a claim on me without my consent; that it was my duty to serve that without choice or reward. Now you know why I dynamited Cortlandt. I designed Cortlandt. I made it possible. I destroyed it.

COURTHOUSE SCENE ( VI ) ~ THE FOUNTAINHEAD COURTHOUSE SCENE ( V ) ~ THE FOUNTAINHEAD

…I agreed to design it for the purpose of seeing it built as I wished. That was the price I set for my work. I was not paid. My building was disfigured at the whim of others. Took all the benefits of my work and gave me nothing in return. I came here to say I do not recognize anyone’s right to one minute of my life. Nor to anypart of my energy. Nor to any achievement of mine no matter who makes the claim. It had to be said.”

* * * * * * * * * * *

* * * * * * * * * * *

POWER. Wynand wants the power of his newspaper to mold pulbic opinion. Toohey was scared of power, the power of creativity. He masks it by trying to harness forces against it. Even Dominique wants power. She wants the power to NOT want things. They’re all Absolutes, Ideals. Hyper-humans. I believe in compromise. Roarks rigidity doesnt feel fair, at least where relationships are concerned. But hey, who doesn’t want to have his own way. I don’t know how the book ends. But you know this ending:

DOMINIQUE GOING UP ( IV ) ~ THE FOUNTAINHEADDOMINIQUE GOING UP ( V ) ~ THE FOUNTAINHEADDOMINIQUE GOING UP ( I ) ~ THE FOUNTAINHEADDOMINIQUE GOING UP ( II ) ~ THE FOUNTAINHEAD DOMINIQUE GOING UP ( VI ) ~ THE FOUNTAINHEADDOMINIQUE GOING UP ( VII ) ~ THE FOUNTAINHEADROARK AT THE TOP ( I ) ~ THE FOUNTAINHEAD
ROARK AT THE TOP ( II ) ~ THE FOUNTAINHEAD  ( BLOGATHON ) BEYOND THE COVER II

Click here for Day 1 ~ Day 2 and Day 3 of the Beyond the Cover Blogathon. Many great entries await. Thanks for reading mine.

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22 thoughts on “THE FOUNTAINHEAD ( 1949 )

  1. I heard that Ayn Rand was on the set for the filming – Yeesh! The film did a fair job of distilling the book – the screenwriters did a masterful job given the density of her prose. You’ve done a masterful job of dissecting the essentials.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Masterful.” Me??? Let me take that compliment and runnnnnnnnnnnn all the way to my next blogathon. Thank you so much Mike for reading and commenting. I appreciate that. Ayn Rand onset. Yeah. Yeesh! L0L!

      Like

    • It took me a few tries and a few years to get beyond my wanting to check out “The Fountainhead” to get a titillating thrill out of seeing some part of Gary Cooper’s and Patricia Neal’s real-life romance. ( Luckily for the movie’s sake, I don’t know the Carol Burnett spoof ) I think I’m getting it now. You took one more step towards the movie by reading my post. Thanks for stopping by.

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  2. Thanks for tackling this difficult film. I watched it about 15 years ago and just didn’t get it. With your wonderful dissection of it, I think I can get it, when I see it again, so thank you! Also, I’ve been watching Walt Disney’s The Swamp Fox and had no clue that the devil of The Fountainhead is General Cornwallis in the Disney show! Small world!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hiya Jennie. I’m glad you can use my post as a sort of crib note ( L0L! ) to understanding this long and dense film. At the heart of it, it’s just about a guy who wants his creative work to stand untouched. Thanks for reading and thanks for commenting. Appreciate it.

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  3. This movie always leaves me helpless with laughter. I actually did read the book—after seeing the movie, I think, some years ago, and still the opening sentence always gets me: “Howard Roark laughed.” My favorite scene is the quarry, Patricia Neal rolling her eyes, the whites showing like a horse about to bolt. Paging Dr. Freud! I also find Rand’s character names hilarious, especially Elsworth Toohey. And the idea that you could start a public furor over…architecture—Ha! Anyway, all of this got less funny when it turned out a lot of people take Rand’s *Ideas* very damned seriously, including a bunch of senators (Paul Ryan, for one). But this movie still gives me the giggles every time. Thanks for a great writeup, I needed the laughs!

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    • Lesley you are incorrigible: “My favorite scene is the quarry, Patricia Neal rolling her eyes, the whites showing like a horse about to bolt. Paging Dr. Freud!” Easy there 21st century Erica Jong. Look, if you were at a quarry in the hot baking sun wearing a long-sleeved blouse, and you saw the size of Coop’s drill ~ you know…that he used to break down those rocks ~ I daresay you’d head for the hills too. The names are big, ( and wacky ) and the ideas are big. But I think there is a kernel of something in there re: controlling one’s creative ideas.

      As for the “Speaker” of the House…WHEW! He needs to get his ideas from somewhere ~ Lord knows there’s not one good idea coming from his side of the aisle.

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  4. Good stuff, this was one that just seemed so “important” before I knew a thing about Rand, but got me curious to learn what she was all about. Whatever viewers get from the story or philosophy put forward, I love staring at Cooper and Neal, so attractive and –fitting for this movie–statuesque! Thanks so much for joining the blogathon! Nice to have you be part of it.

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    • So glad I could join the blogathon. I know Rand is a sore point for folks but I really haven’t read her work. And all I know from Rand is what I learned from Helen Mirren. But I finally “got” this movie and I hope my bite-size review helps others enjoy it too.

      Oh hell…we can just stare at Cooper and Neal. Nice work, if you can get it. Thanks for reading, Kristina.

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  5. I’ve never seen this and have heard mixed reports, but you certainly make it sound intriguing! Also as a Cooper fan I’m hoping to see all the films of his I can eventually.

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    • Judy ~ I would recommend the movie. Yes, it’s big and ponderous…but at its core it’s just about a guy who wants to build his buildings HIS way and all the forces that try to stop him. I hope you do. Thanks so much for reading…and stopping by to comment.

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    • I’m just happy I finally “get” this movie. All the characters are certain Types. Neal probably needed the most psychological help. Oh lets face it, they all did. I’d say watch it again…and thank you for stopping by to comment.

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    • Wendell…this is a great big ol’ classic. Put it on your list to check out. I’m promising you, me breaking it down will be a big help. Thanks for reading and commenting.

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  6. Terrific entry as always! I tried to read this book in high school and stopped about halfway through but now I am intrigued to see if I would have the same reaction to the film. Thank you for joining us!

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  7. The movie captured the book so well because the screen play was by Ayn Rand. And, CineMaven, your abstract of the film was excellent. I’d love to have you read the novel, and then give it the same, perceptive treatment.

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    • It’s quite an art to be able to write a book AND the screenplay. They’re two separate beasts, so kudoes to Rand for that. It took me years to understand the movie…to like the movie. And now…I’m a big fan. Thanks for the compliment James…and the suggestion to read the book. I don’t know if time’ll permit. Right now because of current events, I’ve got to read “1984” and “Animal Farm.” Thank you for your comments.

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