Re: The Fountainhead

From: David P. Hayes
Newsgroups: rec.arts.movies.past-films
Date: Wednesday, June 17, 1998 8:32 AM

M. L. Shettle wrote in message <6m8dqn$jih$>…
>Read the book recently and had to see the movie. The movie was not
>too bad with screen play also written by Ayn Rand. Very interesting
>how she managed in the movie to avoid the two divorcies of Dominique
>in the book -- the mores of the times.

The Production Code deemed that were divorce to be shown, there had to be considerable justification and that the audience see through numerous details that another course of action wouldn't be prudent (either that, or the characters would have to come to regret the decision, a'la the Irene Dunne/Cary Grant "The Awful Truth"). In "The Fountainhead," when Dominique divorces Wynand, it's that she is giving up one man with some strong virtues (virtues which are finally winning out over the bullying which had been so ingrained in his personality until then) it's to be with a man for whom she has a greater passion. The censors -- following the Judeo-Christian ethics built into their code -- would not have allowed that.

Dominique's divorce (in the book) from Keating, had it been incorporated into the movie, would have taken screen time away from more urgent parts of the novel; the movie quite well intimates the unraveling of the non-relationship between Keating and Dominique by merely having them break off the engagement that, in the movie, never makes it to the altar.

> Was somewhat disappointed in
>the casting of Patricia Neal as Dominique -- she just was not quite
>right for the part. Dominique was supposed to be "knock-down
>beautiful" and Patrica Neal is not that! Been thinking of what
>actress of the time would have been better for the part. Does anyone
>have any suggestions?

Other actresses who pursued the part or who were seriously considered were: Barbara Stanwyck (who brought the book to the attention of Warner Bros.), Ida Lupino, Joan Crawford, and Gene Tierney. (I exclude from the above list Greta Garbo, who, although contacted about the role, was unlikely to leave retirement for something other than the splashy central role she nearly came back in with the canceled Walter Wanger production of that time.)

-- David Hayes


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