Director: King Vidor
Year Released: 1949
Ayn Rand's "Objectivism" ("rigid self-involvement") is presented in black and white terms in this adaptation of her well-known novel; the only thing capable of producing 'grays' is the film stock itself. I have to admit that I honestly like the idea of remaining unbending as an artist - the way Gary Cooper does in the movie - and refusing to compromise at any cost, but when not compromising means engaging in sabotage, that's going a bit too far (the fact that Cooper wins the court case at the end because of a speech is really going too far; the fact that Cooper's supposed to be a genius architect is off-the-charts unfathomable). Most of the conversations have Cooper stating something to the extent of how he is gifted and how he refuses to conform while his detractors talk about how he has to conform, then he says he's not conforming, then they say he's going to conform, etc. - the masses, meanwhile, are just brain-dead minions that naturally detest changes in art and life. If only it were so simple....