Lost Classic That Never Was – Part 5

Lost Classic That Never Was – Part 5

Dominique and Howard get together in this part. We learn a little more about Rosie, meet her parent’s and Mrs. Dubray, Edee’s grandmother. And Edee gets her spot at Totts.

Billie Holiday as Edee
Edee singing Can’t Get Started

So Howard and Dominique get together in this bit. Sorry for the spoiler but I kind of need to explain something… There are huge themes of dominance and submission in this movie and to be honest I was thinking, Janey even in the 1940s if you want to write a bestseller just adding a bit of BDSM seems to do the trick. In fact I had been planning on including a joke about – you know that old Bill Hicks’ joke about a waitress asking “Whacha reading fowar?” and I was going to say “maybe that waitress was more clued in than we thought…” – well, I thought it was funny…

Anyway, when I was looking for images for the last bit I found a book-club blog (sorry didn’t take note of the link, really wish I had now) and according to these readers, if you’ve read the book, the whole Howard-Dominique getting together isn’t so much a question of his breaking down her resistance as him forcing himself on her.  And it’s true that in the movie the characters are definitely a bit rough with each other but because everything after that suggests that Dominique is in love with Howard, I assumed that everything was consensual. I guess the easiest way to find out how the scene is supposed to be interpreted is to go by the author’s own words. Unfortunately, what she’s reported to have said is “If it was rape, it was rape by engraved invitation.” Oh Ayn Rand… I feel sorry for her now. Not because I think she was a victim of rape but just because she was a – well, an idiot.

So if anybody out there found it offensive that Dominique here is a dominatrix who just wants to be dominated by Howard, I’m very very sorry – I really thought that was the story.

Also, I found out that the character of Peter in the book is much worse. In the film you first see him trying to give Howard money (who is too much of a superman to accept help) and in the next scene he’s being humiliated at dinner with Gail and Dominique. In the film he seems like a soft sort of guy. In the book though it seems he’s just ruthlessly ambitious.

Douglas Fairbanks Jr looking downcast
Oh don’t worry Peter. We know you’re not like that.

So this daft little story is totally separate really from the original daftness that is The Fountainhead.

Handily enough, I found a clip from the original (or actual) movie with the Howard-Dominique scenes for this bit. In this reworked (or imaginary) movie there are new scenes spliced in between these.

Oh, and I went a bit mad adding new characters at this point. In case you think I’m writing this month by month – no, I wrote this on a week’s holidays in December – best escape ever. I added in Gene Tierney playing Laura – who is Ann’s advertising executive friend. I started wanting to add in all the characters I love – thankfully I reined it in. There was a point where I was going to add in Barbara Stanwyck as a tough chorus girl at the nightclub who falls for Peter and I wanted to add Nick and Nora (William Powell and Myrna Loy) to investigate the explosion at Cortlandt Homes (and even saying it now … I’d love if they were in it!) – but no this is the last bit where new characters are added. I think. I should possibly read the whole thing again. Hate re-reading stuff though.

You meet Rosie’s parents in this part, played by Lionel Barrymore and Spring Byington (the parents in You Can’t Take It With You). They’re as happy as the folks in the Capra film but they are much poorer. They are living in Hell’s Kitchen of the 1930s and I used a snap from Dead End (1937) for the image of Rosie going up the stairs to their flat. I ended up watching it again; it’s such a good film. And the perfect accompaniment to The Fountainhead (1949) because it makes all the points you want to make to Ayn Rand. I discovered another William Wyler film The Little Foxes (1941) which is also great and maybe Bette Davis’ best role – I say that as someone who loves lots of Bette Davis films.

Louise Beavers plays Edee’s grandmother. She was only in her 30s in the 1930s but I found a photo of her where it looked like she was made up to look older, so I decided to go ahead and use her.

Ginger Rogers as Rosie Mitchell.
Rosie walking up to her parents’ flat.
Lionel Barrymore as Mr Mitchell
Rosie! Come here girl till I get a good look at you!
Spring Byington as Mrs Mitchell
Don’t be silly Pop. He’s working, of course.
Louise Beavers playing Mrs Dubray
Still such a pretty child…
Gene Tierney as Laura in The Lost Classic That Never Was
You know Rose Red?

So here’s the next bit:

And all the previous bits: