Long treasured as a masterpiece of camp, THE FOUNTAINHEAD stars Gary Cooper as architect Howard Roark. A paragon of integrity, he refuses to create buildings that violate his sense of aesthetic value, choosing instead to work as laborer until he can find funding for his own projects. He becomes involved with wealthy Dominique (Patricia Neal), a woman who combines sexual aggressiveness with an abiding belief that a woman must be subdued in order to love. Roark accepts a commission to build a public-housing project provided that no changes be made to his radical design. When a team of architects is employed to humanize his work, the enraged architect blows up the entire complex. He's placed on trial and is forced to defend the extremity of his action. One of the most unusual artifacts ever to emerge from Hollywood, Ayn Rand's adaptation of her novel is a contradictory hodgepodge of sub-Nietzschean musing, so laden with wooden rhetoric and hysterical ranting that it could never be mistaken for any speech ever uttered on this planet. The bizarre miscasting of Cooper as an arrogant Ubermann and Patricia Neal as a mildly sadomasochistic intellectual only add to the fun. In the legendary scene in which Dominique watches Roark pound his pneumatic drill into the quarry rockface, there's no mistaking the beatific look on her face for intellectual excitement.
Gary Cooper - Oscar-winning actor, HIGH NOON, SERGEANT YORK
Frank J. Cooper - Oscar-winning actor, HIGH NOON, SERGEANT YORK
Paul Harvey - American Character Actor
Henry Hull - American Character Actor
Thurston Hall - American Actor
Robert Douglas - British actor/director, THE FOUNTAINHEAD/NIGHT TRAIN...
Kent Smith - American Actor
Raymond Massey - Canadian actor, ABE LINCOLN IN ILLINOIS
Jerome Cowan - American Actor
Patricia Neal - Oscar winning American actress, BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S
Ayn Rand - Author/Philosopher
Henry Blanke - Producer, THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE (1948)
King Vidor - Director/Actor/Screenwriter
Max Steiner - Score composer
David Weisbart - American Producer/Editor
Moroni Olsen - American Character Actor
Harry Woods - American Actor
Ray Collins - American Character Actor
Edward Carrere - Art Director
THE FOUNTAINHEAD is a cinema monolith based on Rand's 1943 monolithic tome about an idealistic architectural genius who battles with his corporate sponsors over the designs for a housing project. When he learns that the plans were changed over his objections, he destroys the finished building and is forced to defend his unyielding position in court.
Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal were involved in a relationship during shooting.
"[I]t's a radiant fever dream with striking set design and an erotic undertow..." -- Grade: B+ - 11/17/2006 Entertainment Weekly, p.107