The Fountainheads

Wright, Rand, the FBI and Hollywood

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About the Book

Speculation abounds about the relationship between Frank Lloyd Wright and Ayn Rand. Was he the inspiration for Howard Roark, architect hero of Rand’s The Fountainhead? What can be made of their collaboration on the book’s failed 1944 movie adaptation, and what can be gleaned from the 1949 film version of The Fountainhead? Where does harassment by the FBI (Wright was dubbed a communist sympathizer and Rand was called before the House Un-American Activities Committee) fit into the story? Art, architecture, philosophy, film and politics come together in this book, which relies on the writings of Wright and Rand, FBI files, visual evidence and more to cement their connection. There are set designs and architectural images from the 1949 film; several appendices supplement the text, and a filmography, bibliography and index are included.

About the Author(s)

Donald Leslie Johnson, who retired from Flinders University, is presently an adjunct professor of architectural history at the University of South Australia. An honorary fellow of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects and former member of the American Institute of Architects, he is the author of several books and numerous articles. He lives in Kangarilla, South Australia.

Bibliographic Details

Donald Leslie Johnson

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 243
Bibliographic Info: 60 photos, notes, appendices, bibliography, filmography, index
Copyright Date: 2012 [2005]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6614-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments      vii
Preface      1

Part I: Wright
1. Frank Lloyd Wright      5
2. Spring Green, Chicago, Tokyo, Los Angeles      7
3. Southwest Architecture      12
4. Spring Green, Scottsdale, Moscow, London and Beyond      20

Part II: Rand
5. Ayn Rand      31
6. St. Petersburg, Petrograd, Leningrad, Chicago      32
7. Hollywood      36

Part III: Wright and Rand
8. New York City      43
9. Roark and Wright      54
10. Rand’s Neutra House      60
11. Wright’s Rand House      66

Part IV: Filmland, Wright and Rand
12. Preproduction 1944      73
13. Redding, New York City, Hollywood      76
14. Washington, D.C., Hollywood, Paranoia and HUAC      82
15. The Movie Revived      100
16. Hollywood Clients      110
17. Hollywood Friends      121
18. The Fountainhead’s Visual Images      132
19. Hollywood Clients, the 1950s      159

Part V: Fountainheads
20. Conclusions      173

APPENDICES
A. Film Outline      179
B. Book Synopsis      181
C. Film Credits      184
D. Frank Capra’s Bleeding-Heart Liberals      185
E. Mrs. Walsh’s Extracts      187
F. Red Charge, Marin County, 1957      188

Chapter Notes      191
References      207
Filmography      215
Index      221

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “carefully researched…thoroughly engaging analysis”—Architecture Australia
  • “[this book] needed to be written…extensive research”—Curledup