Re: Gary Cooper movie info request. (Peter Ibbetson and The Fountainhead)

From: David P. Hayes
Newsgroups: rec.arts.movies.past-films
Date: Saturday, December 13, 1997 4:24 PM

FilmGene wrote in message <>…
>> Gary Cooper starred in a movie as an architect who refused to
>> change his plans
>> when he was requested to. Had an affair with the wife of the man
>> who hired him.
>> Does this sound familiar to anyone out there?
> [responded to by someone else:]
>>The A[y]n Rand thing, …The Fountainhead…

>Actually, that could also describe the plot of "Peter Ibbetson" (1935) with
>Gary Cooper and Ann Harding -- a little known masterpiece by Henry Hathaway.

A minor point:

Gary Cooper's character refusing to change his architectural plans does not occur in "Peter Ibbetson," but all of the other elements named are common to both films. Cooper's rhapsodic speeches about the value of architecture is so similar in both films as to be eery.

The 1935 film is indeed a little-known masterpiece. The story delves into two lovers' feeling so connected with each other that they meet in each other's dreams. Few if any other films so beautifully capture the sense that two people can seem soul-mates. In this story, the two have met as children, and meet again as adult without first realizing it. The movie seems like "The Twilight Zone" as performed in the romantic traditions of the earlier decade.

"The Fountainhead" is fascinating as one of the most intellectual of films. Characters don't speak in an everyday guarded manner, but instead speak as if the subconscious motives have taken to words and have poured out of the characters' mouths without the tongue having censored the outflow of the mind. It takes a little getting used to--sort of like "Annie Hall" or the "Superman" cartoons--but once you have, there is so much to glean about the conflicts between and among characters that you realize that you've traded naturalness for quickened development of theme.

-- David Hayes


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