HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
Gentlemen Broncos
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Angelfish
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Convoy
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Rabid
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Ema
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
Westward the Women
Demonwarp
Man Who Killed Don Quixote, The
Chloe
Jojo's Bizarre Adventure
Murder Inferno
Extraction
Overlanders, The
Can You Keep a Secret?
Women in Revolt
   
 
Newest Articles
Who Watched The Watchmen?
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
   
 
  Fountainhead, The Fools! You Shall Bow Before My Magnificence!
Year: 1949
Director: King Vidor
Stars: Gary Cooper, Patricia Neal, Raymond Massey, Kent Smith, Robert Douglas, Henry Hull, Ray Collins, Moroni Olsen, Jerome Cowan, Morris Ankrum
Genre: DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  3 (from 1 vote)
Review: Ever since he was a student, architect Howard Roark (Gary Cooper) was told his ideas were unworkable, that he should bend to the demands of the masses and design buildings their way instead of his - people just were not prepared for a vision as startling as his. But he felt a keen sense of his own worth, and ploughed ahead, determined that his notions of what made a great building would be realised in his way or not at all - he was prepared to starve rather than buckle to what any, lesser minds might have wanted him to do. So when he meets a veteran architect (Henry Hull) who recognises his talent, it could be the start of something big...

The Fountainhead is a book which has foiled all but the more determined readers, but the essential philosophy of its author Ayn Rand was embraced by a small number of nevertheless influential thinkers, an outlook which was derided as utter selfishness by its critics, but Rand would say, what's wrong with that? If I know I'm right, who are you to judge me? If you don't recognise my genius, I'm going to carry on anyway! You would have thought such a blinkered view would be ripe for parody, but there is a minority who saw themselves as holding up Rand's pathologically individualist torch for the ages for whom this was their gospel.

But nobody parodied Rand better than Rand herself, as seen in her self-scripted version of this, her first novel. While the book had been a bestseller, the movie as brought to the screen by the longsuffering King Vidor was regarded as a laughing stock as her ideas failed to translate from the page to the screen, this in spite of - or more likely because of - the writer being so involved with its creation. It was she who insisted on the casting of the plainly overage Cooper (who infamously claimed he didn't understand what Rand was on about), and she who insisted not one word of her screenplay be changed, which led to acres of deadening talk and characters more mouthpieces than living, breathing human beings. The result was a laugh riot for those in the mood.

Yet the fact that such self centered preaching was the basis for so much neo-conservative politics of the coming era meant that The Fountainhead, as a film, was held dear by those who thought Rand was the bees' knees, and you will still get those willing to overlook the chasm of ludicrous missteps found in it simply because it championed their favourite girl. Which makes it rather more problematic when you take a look at what you're meant to swallow as both entertainment and lecture, not least because this grand hero Roark turns out to be a rapist and a terrorist, and all down to his massive ego. Obviously, with such a humble performer as Coop guiding us through this, the temptation would be to think, well, maybe he's not such a bad guy, but like everyone else in the story, Roark is patently insane.

Such is the characters' rabid adherence to their ideals that none of them come across as anything but raving lunatics, and getting the worst of it was poor Patricia Neal in what was hoped to be her breakthrough role. So committed to the self is her Dominique Francon, a wealthy heiress and newspaper columnist, that she puts herself through absolute hell with masochistic relish: she belongs in an institution, but we're meant to see her suicide attempt, for example, as an admirable lack of compromise. The supposed baddies are led by Robert Douglas's media commentator who considers mediocrity as the best method to ensure he can control the masses, a ridiculously cardboard incarnation of Rand's horror at the thought of teamwork and just plain getting along as a fruitful way of getting through life. Nobody in this convinces as remotely authentic, never mind worth basing your politics on, and yes, it's unintentionally funny, but you worry for the minds who found it an inspiration. Architecture as a sexual fetish? Really?! Bombastic music by Max Steiner.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2133 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: