ltopomcfly’s review published on Letterboxd :
This film is the biggest credit to Ayn Rand's somewhat toxic existence on this Earth. Because this film takes her novel's uniquely original and epic narrative of intense romance & obsessive individualism and eliminates all of the heavy rightwing propaganda. So the film is also a credit to the style and adaptive skill of director King Vidor.
The story is weird because its ironically such an unironic anticapitalist narrative. The villain who speaks in ridiculous monologues to explain his psychotic motive is essentially a postmodern capitalist who hates individualism of workers and wants commodity based on popularity, not function. This is a huge tenant of communism and Rand would have to know that growing up in Leningrad. She must've been one of these "capitalism isn't perfect but socialism just doesnt work" type anarchists having experienced the violent dictatorship of Stalin. The protagonist is singled out by this insane rich guy because he refuses to serve the mediocre rich and sacrifice himself to indentured poverty? Oh, you mean he's a socialist!
If she were a good Marxist she would have denied the completley unrealistic, idealistic ending where a terrorist becomes a hero because his intentions were good. Howard Roark's agreement to design a building is with Keating and no one else, so he has no objective right to destroy it later. He agrees to break the law and accept that its in Keating's name, so its not his property. Only in communism would that private property be his personal property. So Rand undoes her whole argument for capitalism in some huge Freudian slip or Vidor being some communist sympathizer.
This is why Slavoj Zizek praises this film as one of the greatest ever and I agree with him.
The biggest controversy of this film is an elitist attitude that rejects democracy. The point being democracy is toxic with an uneducated majority. Communists agree with this and I wish Rand believed in socialising education, resources, etc so you end up with a few million individuals instead of one pissed off Howard Roark in a sea of capitalist collectivists. His climatic speech is as big an attack on state capitalism as it is on state communism.
How Ayn Rand inspired this film is as big a mystery as how the writer of "American Psycho" is now a Donald Trump lover.