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?The Fountainhead?, best comedy of 1949


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I was just about to start a thread about The Fountainhead being the funniest comedy movie of 1949, but first I looked around for a pre-existing thread and I found and old one.

 

But I thought the topic was worthy of a thread in General Discussions.

 

Watch it carefully... this film is a put-on, a very wry comedy.

 

Here's an old thread about the same topic:

 

http://forums.tcm.com/jive/tcm/message.jspa?messageID=7863941#7863941

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> {quote:title=kimpunkrock wrote:}{quote}

> What do you think is funny about it?

 

All of it.

 

The ugly buildings.

 

The guy who doesn?t want to design buildings for the company he works for, or what the public wants.

 

The dame that loves him but he refuses to marry, for some unknown reason about teaching her some kind of ?lesson?.

 

So she goes out and marries a guy she doesn?t love, then that guy asks the architect to design a weird house just for her. This guy hates the house but his wife loves it, so he has the eccentric architect go ahead and build it.

 

Later, the eccentric guy blows up some new housing project, then when he is arrested and goes to court, he lectures the jury about how he had a ?right? to blow up the building because it had some ugly balconies on it, and the jury finds him ?not guilty?.

 

That is a comedy.

 

And then there is the thing about his large drill.

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Oh, Fred,

You are such a card. I'm not sure which was more luridly comical:

 

Cooper getting the old riding crop across the cheek from Ms. Neal, followed by that hilarious "seduction" scene, the angst on the faces of those "other" architects who were hellbent on destroying Roark, or the 119 close ups of Patricia Neal's lovely flaring nostrils.

 

*The Fountainhead* and *Duel in the Sun* win my vote as the best comedies of the '40s. Jeez, I wonder what King Vidor was like around the house while making these movies? If only Preston Sturges could have kept his creative juggling act going long enough to have done a parody of these movies. Maybe he could have called it "Ants in Your Pants of 1949"?

 

Thank you for making me smile in recognition.

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Of course I realize the movie wasn?t intended as a comedy, but it was so silly and so filled with silly concepts, such as the newspaper publisher throwing his entire business away by giving editorial support to the anarchist architect who blew up the housing project just because it had some balconies on it that he didn?t like.

 

And then when Neal says to Coop, ?I love you. I?ll work for you, I?ll slave for you, I cook meals for you.....? and then he said something like, ?Nope, I?ve got to teach you a lesson first....?

 

Lesson?? What lesson?? How to become an anarchist and blow up buildings? Cooper was no young guy, and Neal was gorgeous, and she was throwing herself at him.

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Kim,

 

I think Fred has a very hard time taking the film seriously. From the dialog to various situations in the movie, this is one film that you either really love or just have to take with a grain of salt and a smile.

 

I think Fred prefers the smile.

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> {quote:title=kimpunkrock wrote:}{quote}

> Holly do you think this movie is a comedy?

 

Well, I can see Fred's point, it is definitely a movie that can be enjoyed as unintentional comedy. Whether or not the filmmakers intended it to play that way, I really don't know.

 

But I can totally see it from that point of view - even though I tried to take it totally seriously the first time I watched it. You gotta admit, the tone is a bit arch, isn't it?

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Interested by the thread, though I couldn't get into the book. I thought the movie pretty campy unintentionally.

 

I believe the movie could be summed up thus..

 

Roarke: "I'm the important one."

 

Wynand: "I'm the important one."

 

Dominique: "I'm with the important one."

 

It is an interesting movie where the characters seem to be simultaneously the protagonists and the antagonists. But then, that's Ayn..

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> {quote:title=FredCDobbs wrote:}{quote}

> I was just about to start a thread about The Fountainhead being the funniest comedy movie of 1949, but first I looked around for a pre-existing thread and I found and old one.

>

> But I thought the topic was worthy of a thread in General Discussions.

>

> Watch it carefully... this film is a put-on, a very wry comedy.

>

I thought it was terrible considering the talent involved. I don't really ever want to see it again, but if I find I ever have to I will try to look at it as a comedy. It could only help.

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I like it. Not a perfect script; Cooper's ill-at-ease moments are mostly in the courtroom speech. Kent Smith is great; Massey and Neal are great. Robert Douglas is a cartoon and always was. Henry Hull went a bit over the top but always did. It would have been a much better picture under Curtiz. Best of all was Max Steiner's score and that final elevator ride. We released the soundtrack a few years ago and, I'm glad to say, it sold very well.

 

fountainheadcover.jpg

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Yessss...especially Coop and his "drill."

 

As if the general public would get all worked into a lather about the hubris behind some guy's ugly building.

 

All those Ayn Rand asides thrown in...."the stock market of the human spirit; and I sell short!"

 

Patricia Neal absolutely dying for...well, you know.

 

Some Rand enthusiasts believe Cooper ruined her masterpiece.

 

Still, something addictive about it. I loved the photography and the interior of Ray Collins' penthouse.

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Dobbsey, I could not agree with you more. In fact the only movie I can think of from the 1940's that is funnier is Tomorrow: The World!

 

It is quite ironic to me that the theme of the movie: "I am an artiste, so HANDS OFF, no collaboration, no messing with MY STUFF, IT'S MINE MINE, MINE! " Is hampered by the script, which if Ayn Rand had allowed someone else to work on, would maybe not have been so laughably ridiculous.

 

Major props to Cooper and Neal, who handle the ham-fisted dialogue brilliantly and shine in rather odd and thankless roles.

 

Ray Massey is a hoot and I also love the eeeeeeeee-ville architect who rips on Cooper's stuff.

 

Edited by: JonnyGeetar on Jan 21, 2010 11:16 AM

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> {quote:title=JonnyGeetar wrote:}{quote}

> I have to add that I watch The Fountainhead every time it is on and it keeps getting funnier every single time I see it.

 

Yes, I do to.

 

There was a time in the past when I refused to watch the movie. But later I began to watch portions of it again, and that?s when I began to find it very funny. Especially when Neal helps Coop blow up the buildings because of its balconies, and when she slashes her arm with the broken glass.

 

Just ask yourself, would a dame really do something like this?

 

Would a high-class dame, wearing an expensive and fashionable dress, go to the site of an impending bombing, run and jump in a dirty ditch, on purpose, so she wouldn?t get killed in the explosion, then she runs back to her destroyed and blow-up car, jumps inside it, and slashes her arm with the broken glass, so she will seem to have been wounded during the explosion, and she did this to help Coop at the trial so he would be found ?not guilty??

 

These people didn?t belong in jail, they belonged in the psycho ward of a major hospital (hopefully, one without balconies).

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I have elevator scenes in a screenplay, but I would not have a scene where my lady lead is climbing *exposed* to the top of a *HUGE* building to her love. Who is *LOOKING DOWN* on her. Calling Dr. Freud..

 

Elevator scenes are best used as metaphors for confessionals. IMHO, Ayn sucked at screenwriting, and yet on the level of The Towering Inferno, delightfully and unintentionally amusing..

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