The Fountainhead | Chicago Reader

The Fountainhead

King Vidor turned Ayn Rand's preposterous “philosophical” novel into one of his finest and most personal films (1949), mainly by pushing the phallic imagery so hard that it surpasses Rand's rightist diatribes and even camp (“I wish I'd never seen your skyscraper!”), entering some uncharted dimension where melodrama and metaphysics exist side by side. The images have a dynamism, a spatial tension, that comes partly from Frank Lloyd Wright (whose life Rand appropriated for her novel) and partly from Eisenstein, yet the pattern of their deployment is Vidor's own: the emotions rise and fall in broad, operatic movements that are unmistakably sexual and irresistibly involving. With Gary Cooper, Patricia Neal, and Raymond Massey.



  • King Vidor


  • Gary Cooper
  • Patricia Neal
  • Raymond Massey
  • Kent Smith
  • Robert Douglas
  • Henry Hull
  • Ray Collins
  • Moroni Olsen
  • Jerome Cowan
  • Paul Harvey
  • Thurston Hall
  • Harry Woods
  • Paul Stanton
  • Bob Alden
  • Tristram Coffin
  • Roy Gordon
  • Isabel Withers
  • Almira Sessions
  • Tito Vuolo
  • William Haade
  • Gail Bonney
  • Dorothy Christy
  • Harlan Warde
  • Jonathan Hale
  • Frank Wilcox
  • Douglas Kennedy
  • Pierre Watkin
  • Selmer Jackson
  • John Doucette
  • John Alvin


  • Ayn Rand


  • Henry Blanke

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