The Lost Classic That Never Was Part 2
Ann and Peter meet again at a Masquerade Ball. There Peter sees a striking masked woman. We meet Bill and Rosie. And Howard is having difficulty getting work.
So quick introduction to this. There’s an old movie called The Fountainhead which is based on a book by Ayn Rand. I decided – eventually – to write a different version of it – for a bunch of reasons – and to split it up into 12 parts and each month to use a part to create a header image for this site. All clear so far? No? Well, that’s about as clear as this thing gets so…
This bit starts with Peter and Ann running into each other for the first time since they’ve left college at a masquerade ball. Peter is the rising star of his profession and Ann is tiring of not having her ability recognized. He’s about to give her a good pep talk but luckily he gets distracted by a woman in a mask.
The second half of this is pretty much cut and pasted straight out of the original.
By the way, I avoid giving characters a name where at all possible because if I give them a name my brain immediately starts working on a back story. It’s very annoying. So that would be why there are characters named things like Business Man 1, Business Man 2 and so on.
Oh yes, we also get a very brief introduction to Bill Kirby, Ann’s brother, and Rosie.
And we get introduced to Ellsworth Toohey, the emblem of society’s fear of the new and of inventiveness. Either society has really progressed or we just have much more serious things to be worried about. – Isn’t Ellsworth a nice name though? He’s not a nice guy in the original – very Machiavellian altogether. I became very interested in his character as I watched the movie because I thought it was being used to explain why some people seem to devote themselves to bringing others down – why people pick out someone who really has nothing at all to do with them and decide – not got much going on, why don’t I destroy that person?* – and there’s a scene and I was like – oh wow, they’re going to offer an explanation for that behaviour and considering the tone of the rest of this they just might be right – but it goes nowhere. So that was disappointing. And Ellsworth is desperate for Howard’s attention in a way that someone who is setting out to destroy you never would be – so my Ellsworth is quite a bit different really, but the early scenes with him are unchanged.
* If this theme interests you you should check out the Spanish film – Mientras duermes (Sleep Tight, 2011) – very good, quite dark though. It’s not an exploration of the behaviour, just a good twisted tale.
The character of Gail Wynand… I’ve left nearly all his dialog the same. I ended up liking this character a lot. If you’ve seen The Fountainhead you’ll know that there are comments about the “orgy of self-sacrifice” that apparently Ayn Rand considered typical mob/crowd behaviour of the 1930s/1940s. I can actually see how that point could be made – there was a lot of sacrificing oneself (and more devastatingly others) for some ideal – but I’m not at all sure that that is what she’s referring to – I think she’s referring more to failing to self-actualize. I think that’s the term used. Anyway, the only real participant in the orgy (of self-sacrifice, I quickly add, before everybody rushes off to find The Fountainhead – the uncensored version) is Gail Wynand. This proof-reading thing is definitely a good idea.
One thing I didn’t manage to fit in – there are lots of things – but one thing relevant to this bit would be someone standing up for The Banner saying it’s really not that bad a newspaper. It’s got two architectural experts on staff. What sort of gutter press publication has even one?
Or was the gutter so very different in those days? Could you still look up and see the stars, while today no one anywhere even close to a city can see them now? Oh, that’s a bit of a depressing thought… And clearly wrong. You couldn’t have seen the stars in those days either. The film’s not that old.
Well, after that little ramble, here’s the next bit. And I’ll stick up the first bit too. Save you looking for it.