Saturday, April 14, 2012

Screen Gem Saturdays: The Fountainhead

"The Fountainhead" by Ayn Rand ranks as one of my very favorite books. You can imagine how excited I was to learn that it had been made into a movie with Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal in 1949, six years after the publication of the book. Apparently, author Ayn Rand agreed to sell the rights to Warner Brothers under the condition that not a word from her book be changed. Needless to say, this resulted in a few problems during production.

Rand also insisted that the architectural drawings of Howard Roark (played by Cooper) must resemble those of Frank Lloyd Wright. Edward Carrere did the designs seen in the film when the studio balked at Wright's asking price for the assignment. Rand was less than thrilled with what he created. She did commission Wright to design a summer home for her, but the project was never built.

I was deeply disappointed by the film; it seemed overly dramatic and poorly acted. Original audiences agreed, as it lost money when it was released. It has picked up somewhat of a following over the years, which can most likely be attributed to its sense of retro style. Interestingly enough, although Gary Cooper protested the casting of Patricia Neal, the two ended up having a torrid affair during the making of this movie (she was 21; he was 46 and married) that resulted in a few nasty headlines.

For a lighthearted moment in your day, Dastoli Digital has come up with another fun video, "Cats In Space," which will especially appeal to Sci-Fi fans as well as Disneyland buffs. From Dastoli Digital themselves came this info:

Like most of our films, there is a small connection to Disney theme parks, as a photo of the Matterhorn serves as the background for one of the stills during the credits, and a close up shot of an alarm flashing uses part of a photograph of the caution light on the inside of the door of the Mark VI monorails in Disney World. The Disney parks are so rich with diverse exotic locations that it is the greatest resource for visual effects heavy filmmakers like ourselves.

and a behind-the-scenes video of how it was made:

See more Classic Movie & TV photos on my Classic Movies & TV web page.


Connie Moreno said...


Love the cat videos!

Mike, Studio City said...

That was fun.

Douglas McEwan said...

The Fountainhead is an evil, toxic work. Ayn Rand was flat-out evil, and the whole shebang, book & movie, and Rand's entire repulsive "philosophy," is anti-altruism and pro-selfishness. It and she are vile.

Daveland said...

Doug - Your comments are vague; how do you REALLY feel?

outsidetheberm said...

Hmm, I'm going to agree with Dave on this one. Both The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged are great works. They are widely considered masterpieces. In fact, as a college professor I can tell you they both are regularly assigned to students who are looking for serious thought.
In the western world, bold ideas and free individuals -coupled with a healthy dose of self interest (Walt Disney, Walter Knott) have routinely lead the way to better societies. The alternative - Intrusive government and forced altruism, rarely have. An evil book? Hardly.

Okay, lecture over. Great post, Dave!

D. McEwan said...

The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged are NOT "widely considered masterieces" except among the mindless Randroids that worship the Evil Ayn Rand. In literary circles (and in homes where common decency prevails) they are considered abominably badly written screeds scribbled by an overwriting Fascist in praise of her own immense selfishness (and her own explicable love of rape) while remaining blind to her own innante hypocrisy. The Fountainhead in particular is a mass of hypocrisy.

They are trash pure and simple. They appeal only to resentful adolescents because it feeds their inner hope that they are "superior" to "the masses." The genuinly intelligent kids outgrow them and toss them in the trash where they belong. Those whose development arrests at adolescence stay Ayn Rand fans.

They are evil books, and catnip to the deluded, the shallow, and the selfish.

But hey, Ron Paul loves them. Is that the kind of moronic loony you want to agree with?

Daveland said...

Douglas - I am sure there are just as many moronic loonies that share your opinions, so for now, how about being respectful of other's opinions and moving on? I think your opinion was made clear in your first rant. Two rants is more than generous (this is MY blog after all). The third one will get deleted.