Beautiful New York

A Celebration of the City

Top 50 Greatest NYC Movies — #41

The Fountainhead (dir. King Vidor, 1949)

06-19 The Fountainhead

“Rugged, preachy, selfish, controversial” are all adjectives that could be used to describe New York, New Yorkers, or Ayn Rand’s 1943 novel, The Fountainhead, and its film adaptation six years later. In the ultimate vertical city, this hymn to the glory of skyscrapers (and the people who build them) has as its main characters three quintessential New York City archetypes; an architect, a critic, and a newspaper owner. This third character makes much of having built his way to the top of his journalism empire from his youth in the streets of Hell’s Kitchen (back when that neighborhood earned its name). The Art Deco and Modern masterpieces that this film extolls are also coupled with some rare, beautiful shots of the Singer Building – once the tallest building in the world, before its demolition in 1968.

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