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THE FOUNTAINHEAD... any opinions about this weird movie??


FredCDobbs
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You really don't know what the book was trying to say?

 

Just look at a current political movement that looks to said author as one of their hero; do NOT compromise. Instead stand firm based on one?s principles.

 

As for the movie itself: I like it but it is a stange movie. I just find Neal so appealing in this film (and yes I admit that that is also very stange!).

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> You really don't know what the book was trying to say?

 

> Just look at a current political movement that looks to said author as one of their hero; do NOT compromise. Instead stand firm based on one?s principles.

 

> As for the movie itself: I like it but it is a stange movie. I just find Neal so appealing in this film (and yes I admit that that is also very stange!)

 

I knew the first time I saw this it had been underrated. What's not to understand? The individual against the collective. What kind of doofuses appropriate another architect's work and claim it as property for the masses? All for one and one for all? Not in Howard Roark's world. Roark's genius? All they hadda do was ask. Whatta they think he studied architecture for? :)

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>What kind of doofuses appropriate another architect's work and claim it as property for the masses?

 

Well, a person or a company hires an architect to design a building for them. They pay the architect to do this, several thousand or several million dollars. They have meetings with him and discuss what kind of building they want, BEFORE he begins his design.

 

This movie gives the false impression that the architect designs a building for free and the people who ask him to do it have no idea what kind of building he will design, until he turns in the final designs. This is not how it works.

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?What kind of doofuses appropriate another architect's work and claim it as property for the masses?

 

> Well, a person or a company hires an architect to design a building for them. They pay the architect to do this, several thousand or several million dollars. They have meetings with him and discuss what kind of building they want, BEFORE he begins his design.

 

> This movie gives the false impression that the architect designs a building for free and the people who ask him to do it have no idea what kind of building he will design, until he turns in the final designs. This is not how it works.

 

I agree with you, Fred. That doesn't make too much sense.

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It a movie about a newspaper that has two architectural critics, one who is so disgusting that you can't say his name without saying Toohey, like a kid would say when spitting something out.

 

Said critic manages to get a whole city upset about a building being built which ruins the potential for the architect. Happens every day in NYC.

 

The whole thing, like the book, is preposterous, but it's a glorious train wreck that one can't help but watch in fascination. Vidor thought the whole premise was ridiculous. He asked Jack Warner "If I throw the movie into the fire, would the court forgive me?"

 

Warner replied "The court might, but I won't."

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>The whole thing, like the book, is preposterous, but it's a glorious train wreck that one can't help but watch in fascination.

 

Hi clore,

 

That's the best review of this movie I've ever seen. :)

 

I watch it nearly every time it is on, and I gripe about it every time I watch it. :)

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Thanks Fred, nice of you to say. I've seen the film at least a dozen times. I read both THE FOUNTAINHEAD and ATLAS SHRUGGED with feelings of ambivalence. One turns the pages but almost hates himself for doing so, but you have to see what jaw-dropper will come next.

 

How can one not laugh at scenes as ridiculous as the old society dame and her napkins declaring that the Banner must be stopped? Meanwhile her friend fired her cook because she caught her reading the Banner.

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Fred C. Dobbs wrote:

You mean like Democrats and Republicans?

 

Fred, jamesjazzguitar meant the members of the Tea Party, willing to shut down the federal government and take us over the fiscal cliff rather than compromise. They also "primary", run TP candidates against fellow Republicans that are more pragmatic and ccmpromise witb Democrats.

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> How can one not laugh at scenes as ridiculous as the old society dame and her napkins declaring that the Banner must be stopped? Meanwhile her friend fired her cook because she caught her reading the Banner.

 

Substiute "Fox News" for "the Banner". Alternatively, I know a lot of people in the UK make a point of saying contemptuously that they don't read the Daily Mail.

 

The funny thing is, there's a fair bit that I think Rand got right in The Fountainhead, such as the slow capture of the media by an interested party, or her attacks on modern "art" (which are in the book but not in the movie). That having been said, she definitely didn't know how to write a good screenplay, which is where the film ultimately fails, although most people want to blame the movie having the wrong political philosophy.

 

Imagine a variation on The Fountainhead in which the Roark character were a movie director/screenwriter who mapped out everything for a movie: let's call the movie *The Magnificent Ambersons* for the sake of a hypothetical. And then the studio goes and edits the movie beyond recognition, so the director responds by destroying all the rushes. It's still somewhat unrealistic, but I think a lot more people would be championing the individual who stands up against the view of mass culture than champion Howard Roark.

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>but I think a lot more people would be championing the individual who stands up against the view of mass culture than champion Howard Roark.

 

I think he went a little too far when he blew up the building. I don't think a jury would find him "not guilty" of blowing up a building in a big city.

 

Stuff like that makes the movie silly.

 

Also, if he wanted to design those ugly buildings, he should have paid for them to be constructed. Nobody would hire a guy like that to design a building without having some input as to what the building should look like.

 

Except, of course, the Marin County officials in California.

 

Ugly building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for Marin County Civic Center:

 

sf4.jpg

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What I like about The Fountainhead has nothing to do with its story or screenplay, which people love to criticize.

 

I enjoy the film for its fevered depiction of passion, as presented by director King Vidor. There's the famous stone quarry scene, of course, Cooper holding that phallic drill, as Neal eyes him from the top of the quarry, with Max Steiner's remarkable score beautifully conveying the animal desire transmitted between these two.

 

There is also the scene, of course, in which Cooper later bursts into Neal's bedroom and rapes her. Well, maybe she's partially going along with it, as well, and we don't,of course, see the act. But we know, just as we knew in that moment in which Rhett carried Scarlet up those stairs in GWTW what was about to happen.

 

And don't forget, too that this was Gary Cooper playing this very sexually aggressive role (at least in this scene), something that he had not dared to tamper with in regards to his wholesome screen image since Von Sternberg had cast him in Morocco almost two decades before.

 

Every bit as remarkable as these two scenes, too, is the combination of direction, camerawork, editing, and, perhaps above all, Steiner musical accompaniment, of the virtuoso final sequence. That has Neal in the external construction company elevator ascending the outside of the towering building under construction.

 

The city below falls dizzyingly away, becoming smaller and still smaller, the images of the building quickly slipping past the camera, as Neal peers around, downward and then looks upward. Steiner's magnificent score builds and builds, the music finally reaching a crescendo as the camera closes in on Cooper standing triumphantly at the top of the building. It's an emotionally overwhelming scene, if you allow it to be, symbolically ending with the two lovers about to be united - on top of the world.

 

These scenes, in my opinion, are a masterful tribute to all studio craftspeople involved, but probably director Vidor deserves special mention for their effectiveness., But, also, not enough can be said for Max Steiner's powerful score, one of the composer's best, in my opinion.

 

So while people love to tear apart Ayn Rand's take on individualism versus the collective philosophy, let's also not forget the impressiveness of the studio craftsmanship that makes a few of scenes of this admittedly uneven production memorable.

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSyAg2KKyGQCWaZFQ_7tfI

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSllGFELsRdkxC_NURl7_e

 

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSxOJdkzyhkzhjAVgZI2ye

 

No matter what you may think of Ayn Rand's novel or the film version of The Fountainhead, I think this closing sequence is a breath taking piece of virtuoso filmmaking excellence. And Max Steiner's score, particularly here, is quite magnificent.

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>So while people love to tear apart Ayn Rand's take on individualism versus the collective philosophy, let's also not forget the impressiveness of the studio craftsmanship that makes a few of scenes of this admittedly uneven production memorable.

 

Don't ever apologize to the collectivist who criticize men

of action who take risks and make something happen

while they only react in occupations that report and

observe after all the action and events have taken place.

 

The Individual built this country.

 

Jake in the Heartland

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Jake, while many love to attack this film for Ayn Rand's individual over the collective stance, you take the opposite viewpoint.

 

My point, instead, is to take a look at the superb craftsmanship of a couple of the scenes of this film that make it memorable. Above all, for me, the ending.

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There is an ingenuity and irony in the film's ending that I quite admire - if it goes down as I imagine. Cooper's summation to the jury sets up the whole premise of the individual vs the collective quite well. I can imagine each juror going into the jury room thinking "I'm going to be the one individual with an independent mind and I'm going to vote this man innocent."

 

Ironically, that each one casts a paper vote revealing his decision, ends up with the collective finding him innocent.

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That's an interesting idea. :)

 

But the guy blew up a downtown building. That has to be illegal everywhere, all the time, and for a bomber to give a little speech about being an "independent individual" and receiving a "not guilty" verdict for blowing up the building is ridiculous.

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I thought it was a construction site, not a finished building. And the scene of Neal driving up to it makes it look like it's one of those outskirts of the big city housing project type buildings, not a downtown building.

 

The bigger point I was trying to make is that if we look at it as a creative type against some horrible corporation -- which is why I mentioned a director going up against the studios, although I could also have mentioned *Heroes for Sale* -- a lot of people get the point and side with the individual. When it's somebody going up against the government, suddenly everybody's views change.

 

Also, my understanding is that Ayn Rand based Howard Roark on Frank Lloyd Wright, whose buildings can be fantastically useless in spite of their beauty or originality. (Falling Water being a prime example.) There were people who wanted Wright's stuff, so I'd guess there would really have been people who wanted Roark's stuff too.

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Well, of course, if his stuff was wanted, then that is different. But his stuff wasn't wanted, yet he expected other people to pay for it.

 

That's like asking you and me to pay for something that is ugly and that we don't want.

 

When I hire someone to make something for me, I want it to be something I like and I want.

 

Anyway, the building was not his. The company had already paid for it. It wasn't his to blow up. Individuals going around blowing up buildings that they don't own, happens to be a big problem right now.

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The "philosophy" behind The Fountainhead is about as twisted and screwy as that behind Gabriel Over The White House, though IMO the latter movie is infinitely more entertaining.

 

OTOH given Gary Cooper's general ignorance of anything outside of skirtchasing and lassoing horses, it's kind of fitting that he was cast as the leading simpleton in one of the more simplistic movies ever.

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