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Fountainhead Movie

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Has anyone seen the old movie version of The Fountainhead with Gary Cooper, etc.? My local Blockbusters don't carry it. I'm debating on whether or not to buy it via the web. In some ways I think the book is probably all I need, but I love the story and want the movie for my collection. I'm also eager to see how someone would portray Howard Roark.

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In my opinion The Fountainhead movie is very disappointing. Especially if you expect something on the caliber of the novel.

Don't you have the TCM channel? They show it almost once a month, I think.

If you have spare cash, you'll be better off getting the Italian We the Living, the version edited with the help of Ayn Rand.

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While it's true that the overall effect is disappointing, I think that the Gary Cooper Fountainhead movie is well worth seeing. Just keep in mind when you're watching it that you should NOT expect a conventional presentation of "character development" and that kind of thing by which most movies are judged. And don't let yourself get interrupted or distracted during it -- it's a "talking head" movie and you really need to pay attention throughout to connect with it.

It's probably true that the director's technique was overly "stark" or "dark" or whatever, and I never fail to be disappointed by Patricia ONeal's portrayal of Dominique. But parts of the film are great, and I would include:

- the Gail Wynand character is well done, and the segment where he dictates his column in support of Howard Roark is excellent.

- the Ellsworth Toohey character is also very well done, and really conveys the pseudo-intellectual charactistics Rand was writing about.

- much of Gary Cooper's work in the movie is good, as is much of the music.

- I even like the Peter Keating character (maybe I should say, he plays it well, not that I "like" him)

And as I understand it, AR herself was deeply involved in the production, so you have to presume that the screenplay is exactly as she wanted it.

Regardless of whether / when a movie of Atlas Shrugged gets made, we have a screenplay that's exactly as AR wanted it, and I'd love to see a remake of her screenplay without the excesses that the director went to.....

But in the end, go in with the realization that the screenplay, but not the effect, is what AR wanted, and I bet you'll enjoy it.

PS - I also suggest LOVE LETTERS which has the unmistakeable AR treatment bubbling just beneath the surface of what most people probably see as just another chick flick.

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As I understand it, AR was disappointed by this movie when she finally saw it. It wasn't as romantic or strong as she hoped it would be.

Unfortunately, Rand has herself to blame.:)

I did feel very sorry for her and can somewhat understand what a herculaean effort it was for her to try to condense such a profound novel into a 1 1/2 hour movie.

Architects like myself face somewhat similar time and material constraints.

The Fountainhead was a great book.

The Fountainhead was a very good movie.

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Personally, I thought the actor (never can remember actor's names...) that portrayed Howard Roark was excellent, but it definitely did not live up to my expectations, nor meet the mental movie that went on in my head while reading the book. Fortunately my local Blockbuster did carry the film, but seeing as it was on VHS it was just my luck that the thing broke down right before the court's verdict. Extremely annoying. I think I told the Blockbuster people they might as well throw it out.

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I never fail to be disappointed by Patricia ONeal's portrayal of Dominique.

That surprised me, I saw that movie for the first time when I was 8 and thought she was the "coolest" woman. Since then I've come to see her as a lot more, but for an 8 year old to idealize Dominique is something I hope my daugher (if I have one) does.

She is a lot like my mother (personality-wise) in that portrayal and although I didn't become aware of Objectivism for another 10 years after seeing it for the first time it was a rental steady at our house.

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Elle:

There are parts where I thought Patricia Neal was fine. She was certainly very attactive, and looked the role, and in those scenes where she was talking calmly (such as discussing the upcoming campaign against the Enright House with Toohey and then Wynand) I thought she was very good. But in those scenes where she got -- shall we say -- "intense" -- for example (1) the scene in the Wynand house where she and Gail and Roark are discussing plans for the new house, or (2) the scene in Roark's room where she asks him to give up architecture, it just seemed to me that she crossed the line into almost seeming "mental".

That having been said, let me restate my main point -- I think the movie is very good overall, and I watch it regularly. The characters fit the "look" that I picture them as from reading the book, the story line conveys the heart of the book, and Roark's filmed speech is a good introduction to Rand's views for people who haven't read much of her work.

Seems to me that AR did in fact deliver a first-rate screenplay, and the problems with the movie were created by the director's methods and some of the actors failing to understand what they were dealing with. With those caveats, I would think that the screenplay could easily be redone almost "as is" with a new set of actors and a slightly less "stark" look ("Love Letters" did not have that problem), and produce a top-notch result.

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