Ayn Rand's masterpiece novel loses none of its plot and pace in this, somewhat shorter, film production. The theme of the film is: the individual verses the collective. And the individual, in this case played by Gary Cooper in the form of Howard Roark, is brilliantly portrayed through a sense of self-belief, determination and sheer ability. His ideological opposite, Elsworthy Toohey, is also well acted and personifies the evil collectivist who renounces all individual achievements and believes that men should act as their brother's keepers. Then there are in-between characters too - those of mixed premises - such as Gail Wynand and Dominique Francon. All of these dramatic individuals play their part in a compelling and well thought through story.
Perhaps one of the most impressive (although unsurprising given the author) facets of the film is that it actually has an underlying message: it's not merely a concoction of disjointed and pointless scenes. The climax and meaning to the whole story can be found in Roark's own testimony at his court case: his statement and explanation that man exists for his own sake, not for the sake of others.
This is definitely a film for those who believe in the hero of man the creator, though it will, almost certainly, be too close for comfort for the collectivist crowd!