When Rand first arrived in New York as an immigrant from the Soviet Union in 1926, she was greatly impressed by the Manhattan skyline's towering skyscrapers , which she saw as symbols of freedom, and resolved that she would write about them.   In 1927, Rand was working as a junior screenwriter for movie producer Cecil B. DeMille when he asked her to write a script for what would become the 1928 film Skyscraper . The original story by Dudley Murphy was about two construction workers working on a skyscraper who are rivals for a woman's love. Rand rewrote it, transforming the rivals into architects. One of them, Howard Kane, was an idealist dedicated to erecting the skyscraper despite enormous obstacles. The film would have ended with Kane standing atop the completed skyscraper. DeMille rejected Rand's script, and the completed film followed Murphy's original idea. Rand's version, however, contained elements she would use in The Fountainhead .