Ayn Rand, aka Ann O’Connor, poured her daddy-issue-fueled “rugged individualist” fantasies into a series of riotously awful novels that have become fetishes of some American conservatives; signs referring to Atlas Shrugged were seen at the Tea Party rallies. Her breakthrough novel, The Fountainhead, was about studly architect Howard Roark, who dynamites a building project when his design is changed without his consent. When he’s tried for this epic act of adolescent petulance, his impassioned defense is simply that he had to fight for his individual vision at any cost. He’s acquitted.
The book was turned into a sleek & sparkingly glamorous film in 1949, directed by King Vidor from Ayn Rand’s own screenplay, & starring Gary Cooper & Patricia Neal. Though a laugh-riot in its own right, it’s a comparatively well-crafted, engaging laugh-riot. Predictably, Ayn Rand hated it. So my question has always been this: Did it somehow slip her mind to dynamite Warner Brothers Studios?
RIP to comedian David Frye, briefly famous in the ‘70s for his impression of Richard Nixon, passed on at 77, & to composer John Barry, famed for his 007 scores, also departed at 77.