The Fountainhead

The Fountainhead

DVD - 2006
Average Rating:
Rate this:
An uncompromising architect refuses to change his designs, and when he discovers the plans for one of his buildings has been changed, he blows up the structure and attempts to defend his actions.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Jun 15, 2018

This is one oddball film but does give someone a good insight to the Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism through the trials of architect Howard Roark against the establishment tyranny rooted in the prison of the past. It is a philosophy that would seemed to be best suited to artists and geniuses with it's ideas of total nonconformity but may not be best suited to the average person with limited resources and opportunities. If it does one thing it does make you think about her ideas whether you like them or not. A critical and box office dud in 1949 but has seen a modern critical reevaluation which has elevated the movie's legacy. So much so that a remake of the film is being planned. A much better film of Ayn Rand is "We the Living" made during WW2 in Italy where Mussolini was tricked by the movie producers into thinking he was making an anti communist movie till he realized the movie makers were making an anti any kind of authority movie and banned the film from being shown. The copyright battle post war between Rand and the Italian studio also makes for interesting reading.

Jun 24, 2016

70 years later, THE FOUNTAINHEAD is more relevant than ever. The film and novel are a scathing condemnation of social conformity and mass consciousness which are the root cause of poor products, poor designs, and mass neuroses! If you are someone just going through the motions of life, happy in your safe pampered middle class existence, then this film is apt to give you a guilty conscience that could cause you to jump off a high building as you realize that, not only do you do nothing to improve society, you are exactly what’s WRONG with society! A deliciously subversive film. I’m surprised the U.S. Government hasn’t outlawed this film in all 50 states!

Jun 01, 2015

Not enough car chases and only one half-convincing explosion. 1949 really needs to step up its game if it wants to compete with the modern day blockbuster.

May 13, 2013

My biggest shock, in regards to this bona-fide klunkeroo from 1949, was to find out that its screenplay was written by none other than Ayn Rand, herself, who adapted it from her famous novel of the same name. Unbelievable!! - But true.

I don't know what the hell Rand was thinking about when she wrote the screenplay (it must've been her pay cheque), but this dumb flick completely misses the mark on all of the book's vitality, dynamics and character developement by a country mile.

This film's biggest disappointment was casting the 50 year-old Gary Cooper to play the 25 year-old Howard Roark character. Roark's love-interest in this film was played by actress, Patricia Neal, a woman who was young enough to be Cooper's grand-daughter, for crying out loud. The sexual-chemistry between these 2 actors on screen was just about nil.

Within the stifling limits of a plodding, heavy-handed script (thanks to Rand), The Fountainhead was, at best, mediocre entertainment. It really should have been a whole lot more than that. Indeed!

adering Feb 22, 2013

All the buildings in the film are concrete, steel, and glass. You see, all the wood is used in the actors. ...

Truly, one of the most shockingly bad movies I have ever seen. It isn't just the stilted, wooden acting. It isn't just seeing Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal mouthing lines that make no sense whatsoever.

The film fails because it is preposterous.

The courtroom scene where Roark delivers his "I had no choice" speech is not just legally ridiculous, it's also ridiculous within the universe of the film:

Roark (Cooper) does a deal with a no-talent architect. In exchange for complete control of the creative aspect of the project in question, Roark will let a no-talent hack of an architect take all the credit for Roark's brilliant, original designs.

As far as we can see on the screen, the deal is purely verbal. No contract is ever signed, witnessed, or notarized.

Roark then goes off on the only vacation he's ever had. And he stays away for months.

When Roark gets back, surprise, the weak-willed unoriginal architect who is "in charge" has let the committees bully him into significant design changes.

Roark blows the building up with dynamite. That's how Roark ends up in court.

In court, Roark calls no witnesses and makes a long, rambling speech about how he has the right to his work on his terms. Magically, he is found innocent by a jury.

Yes, we all have the right to our own work on our own terms. And to protect that right, we have something called a "contract." Contracts are binding and courtrooms frequently hand down penalties that side with the small victim in a contract dispute.

Simplistic, moronic, insulting.

Feb 10, 2013

Horribly stilted writing and acting. Stock characters paraded around on the screen like puppets. I couldn't get through this, gave up half way through.

EuSei Oct 19, 2011

A wonderful screen rendition of Ayn Rand’s great book The Fountainhead. Rand even helped in the production, being present during the whole making of the movie. 50 year-old Cooper looking wonderful as ever, is as Howard Roark, and makes the pro-Capitalism speech in an extremely convincing way. Worth watching—and if you didn’t yet, watch the excellent “Atlas Shrugged,” parts one and two, also extremely faithful to Rand’s book of same title.


Add Age Suitability

DebAK Mar 17, 2016

DebAK thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

rwh77 Jun 04, 2012

rwh77 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 15 and 17

EuSei Oct 19, 2011

EuSei thinks this title is suitable for All Ages


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at SLPL

To Top