Atlas Shrugged: Is A (the Movie) Really A (the Novel)?

The film should please fans, but might not please everyone.

The official release of the movie Atlas Shrugged Part One, based on Ayn Rand’s controversial 1957 novel, is not until April 15. It then begins a limited theatrical rollout in 11 American cities (which the producers hope will grow from there).

It has already been previewed to selected audiences in Los Angeles, D.C., and New York. I saw it in Los Angeles, on the Sony Pictures lot, in a screening regretfully marred by technical problems (with a projector that put thin blue vertical lines throughout the film image).

Still, the film’s qualities—both good and bad—came through. Anyone with a passionate interest in Ayn Rand and her opus will want to see, and will surely appreciate on many levels, this film version of a third of the novel.

Early word is encouraging for the film’s producers, John Aglialoro (CEO of the Cybex exercise equipment company and sole financier of this independently-produced film) and Harmon Kaslow. The world of Objectivist fans, those with a passionate attachment to their own vision of the book, seem likely unsatisfiable by anything that doesn’t spring directly from their imaginations to the theater of their minds.

But the early reactions from Randians has been positive, with adulation from Rand’s closest friends and disciples during the years she wrote Atlas, Nathaniel and Barbara Branden, who were both blown away, and love from the Atlas Society’s philosophical linchpin David Kelley (who advised Aglialoro in every step of the process, to ensure the resulting script passed Objectivist muster). By the same token, some people who don’t care for Rand have also hated the film.

When I interviewed him for a forthcoming May feature story in Reason, producer Kaslow told me that they knew expectations were low for the movie because of its relatively small budget and rushed production schedule (reported frequently as $5 million, though the shoot ended up costing $10 million). Indeed, some reviewers based their admiration for the finished product somewhat on their hideous fears about it based on early reports.

The end result is definitely better than merely “not a disaster.” Atlas Shrugged the novel is divided into three parts, all named for different statements of Rand’s beloved Aristotelian “law of identity.” (A is A.) Part one is “non-contradiction.” So, is Atlas Shrugged Part One (the movie) equal to Atlas Shrugged (the novel, Part One)?

To give a mealy-mouthed answer, one that would cause Rand to condemn me as a mystical whim worshipper: It is and it isn’t. This movie has some of the same flaws I saw in another attempt at a faithful adaptation of a work of fantastic literature long thought unfilmable, Zach Snyder’s 2009 version of Watchmen, based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (which had its own Objectivist angle). That is, it struck me as a series of filmed recreations of scenes from the famous novel, with as much faithfulness to the source as the time limits of a commercial film allow. But that doesn’t necessarily add up to a well-conceived movie that stands on its own. Despite its virtues as a filmed adaptation of the novel, the movie qua movie doesn’t have enough to offer those not familiar with the source material, even if they aren’t inclined to hate Rand for her message.

Atlas is a densely thought out and constructed work that takes its characters on a full and exhilarating arc, through a plot and theme and mystery with a dynamite resolution. This movie only takes you a third of the way, and I can’t imagine anyone not dimly aware of the book's premise feeling anything but empty or puzzled at the movie’s ending (which is precisely the ending of Part One of the novel).

I am not trained to judge cinematography, but from a basic perspective this looked like a real professional film, with everything from the offices to the train rides to the parties looking how they needed to look—better than I expected from my three days on the set during the shooting, thanks to the magic of post-production and sharp editing.

As far as acting goes, I was not as impressed as others have been with Taylor Schilling as Dagny Taggart, the heroic railroad executive fighting to keep her company alive and the bloodlines of American oil pumping (and to make a buck, like a good Objectivist). She had moments where she conveyed the lithe, restrained, passionate steel of Dagny, but didn’t do so every moment. Some of her line readings fell flat, some of her expressions were too blank or sometimes too light and sunny. In what might count as a backhanded insult, she sometimes seemed too much like a normal human being for a Randian romantic heroine.

Grant Bowler as Henry Rearden, inventor of the wonder amalgam Rearden Metal, held down by his needy and contemptuous family and a government prepared to crush any industrial success, was more consistently solid. He manages, in a few seconds of screen time, to communicate something of the unspoken and complicated joy in his own creation that Rand took pages to explain.

Bowler especially shines in his interactions with his ne’er do well family and friends, and complicatedly hateful wife Lillian (Rebecca Wisocky), who I found the most perfectly acted role. (Bowler coped less well with the very slow-burn passion and eventual affair with Dagny.)

Smaller roles like former business genius turned dissolute playboy Francisco d’Anconia (Jsu Garcia) (all of whose backstory flashbacks from the novel were cut), Rearden frenemy Paul Larkin (Patrick Fischler), and striking philosopher Hugh Akston (Michael O’Keefe), shone as well in a way that felt very much right from the novel.

Matthew Marsden has a great, but more distinct, take on Dagny’s brother James Taggart. He reinvented a character that, in the novel, feels a harried pathetic wreck into something of a douchebag smoothie (Marsden plays younger and more handsome than I expect most imagined James to be), making it more clear and believable that he would be a successful empty shell in a world run by pull, not achievement.

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  • Old Mexican||

    Brian, let's not be so hard on the movie - it almost was never to be, for crying out loud!

  • Spencer||

    Come on up to DFW and I'll buy you a beer after the movie.

  • Spencer||

    Oh, NO HOMO.

  • ||

    This has been an extraordinary week. The unions were slain in Wisconsin, and soon to be many other states. NPR was brought down by a kid that looks like he's in high school. Colonel Qaddafi is on the run, and Obama is still back-peddling 10 months from the Iowa caucus. It's been a great week to be a conservative!

  • Tom||

    Pat, you're adorable. Do you even know what site you're on?

  • ||

    LOL, you think he was being hard on the movie?

  • Linear Actuator||

    but more distinct, take on Dagny’s brother James Taggart. He reinvented a character that, in the novel, feels a harried pathetic wreck into something of a douchebag smoothie (Marsden plays younger and more handsome than I expect most imagined James to be), making it more clear and believable that he would be a successful empty shell in a world run by pull, not achievement

  • e||

    Are the two stars in the picture about to get on a High Speed Rail train? Where's the Cato Institute telling them that no one wants to ride them?

  • ||

    They changed it in the movie to freight trains...the ones that actually make a profit. But you already knew that, didn't you?

  • "Randroid"||

    The railroad is just a metaphor, of course. When the novel was written, rail was still an important means of passenger traffic. The novel preceded the rise of economical jet air travel and a mature interstate auto system. And yes, rail freight is a critical industry today.

  • JoshINHB||

    When the novel was written, rail was still an important means of passenger traffic.

    No it wasn't.

    Rand was just a nut that idealized the late 19th century.

  • Greer||

    My first thought when reading the book was that it seemed really odd to be writing in 1957 about rail and steel, 2 dying industries.

  • ||

    Were you thinking this in 1957, or thinking it in the 1990s with 20-20 hindsight?

  • ||

    I was thinking it when I was reading Atlas in the early 60s and put it down to Rand's being buried for 12 years writing the book. But, indeed, her literary style connotes the 19th century and Russian lit in particular.

  • ||

    Uh...yes it was, though it was beginning its decline. The interstate highway system was not authorized until 1956 and commercial aviation was still massively expensive thanks to CAB.

    Rail was also an excellent example of an industry crippled by inflexible regulations written for a different era, and by the fact that managerial training was based on those regulations being permanent.

  • JoshINHB||

    Passenger rail began declining in the early 20s with widespread automobile ownership. Any idiot could have seen that it was doomed to extinction by the mid 1950s.

    Rail was also an excellent example of an industry crippled by inflexible regulations written for a different era, and by the fact that managerial training was based on those regulations being permanent.

    And also an example of an industry benefiting from government subsidies.

    Technology killed passenger rail, not the government. If anything, government prolonged its death.

  • -||

    Any idiot could have seen...

    Nice.

    Logic 101. Learn it, know it, live it.

  • e||

    And yet passenger rail continues to hobble along in technologically backwards regions such as Japan, France, Germany and China.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H.....by_Country

  • John||

    and soon to be california - thanks to the morons running this country

  • crodgers||

    http://mises.org/daily/2317

    Interesting article that has some details on how regulation destroyed the rail system. Primarily by setting prices so that the government subsidized rails could compete. They were being soundly beaten by private rails until that time.

  • crodgers||

    I guess what I'm saying is this, "knowledge is useful." You should utilize it before you begin casting aspersions.

  • e||

  • Millicent Bystander||

    A very classy freight train, to be sure.

  • e||

    Very classy indeed, as long as your freight is the approximate dimensions of a human body.

  • the lizard overlord||

    It's a cattle car, damn it! We are very good to our cattle. Any kind of unpleasant stress would spoil the delicate flavor of the meat.

  • e||

    "But you already knew that, didn't you?"

    No. No I didn't. I'm pretty Atlas Shrugged-ignorant; feel free to clue me in.

  • Bill||

    The premise of the movie is that gasoline is $30 a gallon. Trains would be far more important than trucks under those conditions.

  • e||

    Good thing that'll never happen right? Drill baby drill!

  • ||

    Any word on the cities they are opening in? I really don't want to have to go to LA or the Bay Area to see it, but I'm willing to bet those are my options.

    Also, are they in production for Part 2 yet?

  • Spencer||

    From the Atlas Shrugged distributors: "Right now we have the Studio Movie Grill on Royal in Dallas, the Harkins in Southlake and the Cinemark theatre in West Plano."

  • lol||

    From the 21st century: www.google.com

  • ||

    http://www.atlasshruggedpart1.com/theaters

    You've probably found this already, but there you go.

  • BakedPenguin||

    From one of the negative reviews:

    ...which is to say nothing of the anachronistic trouble of hinging the future of the world on the railway system...

    Well, the guy obviously isn't a Randian, but he also apparently doesn't care much for Obama, either...

  • Really?||

    I am not trained to judge cinematography, but from a basic perspective this looked like a real professional film

    Don't worry - Episiarch will set you straight based on a two-minute trailer.

  • ||

    My god you're stupid. You really don't even know what cinematography is, do you. Why don't you take five minutes to go learn rather than making an ass of yourself

  • Really?||

    Gary Gunnels, is that you?

  • ||

    You can't even make a coherent point when your idol is the subject, can you. Does it ever bother you being a cultist? Do you even understand how obvious it is?

  • Really?||

    Jesus you are easy to wind up.

    Anyway, I am wondering when you are going to do your point-by-point takedown of Brian Doherty here on why he is wrong about the cinematography and how he must be a Rand cultist not to see your obviously superior viewpoint.

  • ||

    Jesus you are easy to wind up.

    Oh, irony and projection...coming from the Randroid who goes apeshit over a cinematography critique of the Randroid bible put to film. You people really are impossible to parody. Hey, can you obsess over the cinematography critique some more? I don't think you've gone past FULL RETARD yet, and I want to see that.

  • Really?||

    I would hardly call it "apeshit". All anyone ever asked you was to outline specific objections, something which you have consistently failed to do.

  • ||

    I don't give a fuck what you would call it, you obsessive freak. You've shown with every statement you've made that you don't even fucking know what cinematography is, but you are such a cultist douchebag that you cannot handle even a mild criticism of a fucking movie made about the book written by your god. It's fucking pathetic, dude. You can demand an outline when you show that you can even understand it.

  • Really?||

    That has to be one of the more obvious displays of evasion I have ever seen. You are extraordinarily amusing.

  • ||

    What part of "it looks like it was shot on Betamax" didn't you understand the first time, oh obsessive one?

    Oh, I know: all of it. Hey buddy, can you tell me what I mean by that? Do you understand why I would say that? Don't be evasive, now. Let's hear it.

  • "Randroid"||

    I don't give a fuck...you obsessive freak...you don't even fucking know what cinematography is...you are a cultist douchebag...It's fucking pathetic...

    Ladies and gentlemen, the essential nature of "Episiarch."

  • Really?||

    All of that for one simple request:

    "outline specific objections"

    Wow.m

  • Old Mexican||

    What the fuck are you guys fighting about?

  • Really?||

    OM - in the comment thread to the Welch review of this movie, Episiarch claimed that the cinematography was "laughable" (based on his viewing of a two-minute trailer of the movie). A few people asked him to define his terms and tell us what he meant by that.

    This temper-tantrum and blind lashing-out you see here is a good representation of his response there as well.

  • ||

    Hey buddy, still waiting for you to answer the film vs. video lighting question.

  • ||

    A while back I said that the cinematography for the Atlas Shrugged movie (I saw some clips on Stossel) looked like shit. The Randroids went fucking apeshit, of course. Being cultists and all.

  • Really?||

    By "apeshit" he means "deigned to ask him what his specific objections were".

  • ||

    By "apeshit" I mean "act like obsessive cultists who cannot stand the slightest criticism of their god".

    The hilarious thing is that I also said I would go see it in the theater to support it with my dollars in the very same comment, but you were so blinded by cultist rage over any criticism that all you could do was go apeshit.

    Not thinking for yourself makes life easier for you, doesn't it.

  • SomeDude||

    Would the two of you please just do it and get it over with?

  • prolefeed||

    Epi -- you're great, dude, I like you, but you're off base on this. In the prior thread, you made some vague statement and got all pissy when people, including me, asked for specifics.

    OK, now you've given one specific criticism. Good. Any more?

  • Obvious||

    Epi got his ass kicked.

  • Epicurus's Beard||

    You mad?

  • ||

    You really don't even know what cinematography is, do you.

    No, and frankly I don't care. Generally when someone raves about a film's cinematography I assume it's like a guy trying to set me up with a girl with "great personality", ie, stupid and ugly.

  • ||

    Be careful that you don't say anything about the film that could remotely be construed as negative, Brian, or the Randroids will swarm you like a pack of Scientologists.

  • "Randroid"||

    No serious person here takes you seriously.

  • ||

    GRR RANDROID SMASH! RANDROID CANNOT HANDLE ANY CRITICISM OF GOD-RAND! ARRGG GRR! MOVIE WILL BE PERFECT JUST LIKE GOD-RAND! ARRGGGGGGG!!!

  • "Randroid"||

    That's funny every time!

  • ||

    GRR RANDROID THINKS SAYING SAME THING AGAIN AND AGAIN MAKES IT TRUE! GRR RANDROID DELUSIONAL, BUT NOT REALIZE BECAUSE RANDROID IS CULTIST! ARRGG GRR!

  • "Randroid"||

    Keep writing. Just when I think you can't make a bigger fool of yourself, you prove me wrong.

  • ||

    GRRR RANDROID SMASH! RANDROID BELIEVE SOMETHING SO HARD, RANDROID THINK IT MUST BE TRUE, BECAUSE RANDROID WANT IT SO BAD! RANDROID NEED SEE SHRINK ABOUT DELUSION AND BIPOLAR DISORDER! ARRGGG GARRRRRR!!!

  • "Randroid"||

    I cannot justify any more time with you.
    Good luck with your psychosis.

  • ||

    GRR RANDROID VERY ORIGINAL! WHEN RANDROID TOLD TO GO SEE SHRINK, RANDROID RESPOND WITH PSYCHOSIS! ARGGG! RANDROID ULTIMATE IN PROJECTION! GARRR!

  • DDavis||

    When is Reason going to get an "ignore user" option?

    How I yearn to *plonk*.

  • I can help you||

    Might I suggest not reading the comments of those who so offend you?

  • ||

    They do have one, it's called a scroll bar.

  • -||

    +1

  • ||

    Definitely. I see what you mean. It's like being back in the third grade.

  • -||

    "Third"? That's generous.

  • Dooby Skoo||

    ^THIS. In the end it doesn't really matter whether the movie is any good or not, since the Randroids will praise it as the Greatest Cinematic Venture Ever Produced, just like they hail the shitty-assed excuse for a novel it's based upon.

  • ||

    Uh, oh, dude, you just made their list! Maybe they can stalk you now too?

  • Mike||

    Back here in reality, everyone I know of who is an Objectivist thinks the film looks like crap. There is no swarm of "Randroids" waiting to praise the film regardless of its merits here.

  • One Objectivist||

    I think the film, from the trailer, looks like a really good TV movie. I wish it had gotten a much bigger budget, but you can't expect hollywood to make a movie that demolishes the ideology of everyone in hollywood.

    I'm grateful for the man who put up the money, and I hope he makes great returns.

    The thing is, the movie doesn't have to look great or have A-list stars. Rand was not a famous novelist when she wrote it, and for many years after it was published.

    If the movie conveys the ideas, it will do well in the long run.

  • JoshINHB||

    Endless reruns on the Lifetime and SciFi networks?

  • 35N4P2BYY||

    Spike TV?

  • Really?||

    I have plenty of critiques of Atlas Shrugged, as do plenty of Objectivists, but we do not share them with Rand-haters because they use it as an excuse to categorically discount her (any excuse will do). We would rather not lend ammunition to our enemies, thanks.

  • ||

    Hey buddy, still waiting on that Betamax answer; you need a little help? Maybe you can pray to the Rand in the sky for guidance?

  • Really?||

    Let me hazard a guess:

    Referencing Betamax is one of those cheap and easy ways to show how "hipster" and "indie" you are with respect to this subject?

    Let me help: there are aspects to cinematography - field of focus, lighting, aspect ratios, framing. All of these are subject to criticism or review on any particular film.

    You, on the other hand, are saying "DERP! Sounds like an 8-track! And if you don't know why, you're an idiot!"

    That really advances the discussion, you know?

  • ||

    So you went to the wikipedia page and read up, huh, big guy? So tell me...what is the difference between lighting 35mm film and video? Does the wikipedia page tell you that, buddy? If you get it right, we can go get you a Happy Meal! Would you like that?

  • Really?||

    Cute, but still does absolutely nothing but evade the question.

  • ||

    So when you evade my questions, it's actually me evading yours.

    Fucking Randroid logic; how does it work?

  • I can help you||

    Randroid logic; how does it work?

    For one thing, it avoids logical fallacies such as ad hominem (your favorite) and stolen concept.

  • Epicurus's Beard||

    lol, you mad.

  • JoshINHB||

    I have plenty of critiques of Atlas Shrugged, as do plenty of Objectivists, but we do not share them with Rand-haters because they use it as an excuse to categorically discount her (any excuse will do). We would rather not lend ammunition to our enemies, thanks.

    BWWWHHAHAHAHHAHAHAAHHAAHAHHA

    Is this self parody?

  • I Heart Capitalisms||

    Since the movie is backed by Kelley/TAS, the Objectivists from the Peikoff/ARI faction would actually enjoy tearing it down.
    (And I liked Watchmen, but then I also see comics as a lower form of literature)

  • Fiscal Meth||

    This is what Yaron Brook, President of ARI, had to say about it.

    http://arc-tv.com/atlas-shrugg.....institute/

  • "Randroid"||

    Thanks. Brook obviously has no ill feeling toward the film. Objectivism is not about "tearing [things] down." (That's what "libertarians" do best.) There is no silly feud amongst the various Objectivist organizations over something so (comparatively) inconsequential as a movie adaptation. He understands that no adaptation, however successful or disastrous, can elevate or diminish the achievement of the original work. Rand's detractors are hoping and praying for the movie to fail, as if the independently produced adaptation of Atlas Shrugged can somehow tarnish the value of the novel and undo what Rand achieved as an artist and a philosopher. It can't.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    I know. It's almost as if Brook was judging the film on its own merits. These randriods are so technologically sophisticated, they're actually seem human.

  • ||

    As a fan of Rand's work (although not her, for obvious reasons), I am going to walk into the theater honestly expecting the movie to suck. Some of the reviews I've seen thus far have left me moderately hopeful, but I'm trying not to get my expectations up.

  • ||

    I do not know how the America cinemas work, but what I can gauge from other comments this movie will not be shown in most places there. So is it safe to assume it will not be shown anywhere else in the world, unlike a "Lord of the Rings" or "Toy Story" blitz.

  • ¢||

    in a world

    Oh Jesus.

    not until the writer of record is ready and willing to dramatize Atlas Shrugged in total silence, will he be able to adapt the novel

    Silent-film silence, or Nietzche-in-space-reading-Nova Express silence? I don't get it, but the hernia I got from laughing at it is also laughing.

    π) In Atlas, there's an idea for a good story buried under...the whole thing. Twice. Someone who hates the book, a lot, but without malice toward it—and who knows how to make a movie that doesn't look like the world's least convincing internet prank—could make a fine film of it.

    This will never happen.

  • Spencer||

    From the Atlas Shrugged distributors: "Right now we have the Studio Movie Grill on Royal in Dallas, the Harkins in Southlake and the Cinemark theatre in West Plano."

  • prolefeed||

    They've got three movie theatres in Texas?

    Wow.

    Doesn't look good for it making it to Hawaii, much as I'd like to see it. Hopefully it will show up on DVD.

  • Spiny Norman||

    Be a looter -- torrent it.

  • Mike||

    Seriously? David Kelley and the Brandens approve, so it must "pass Objectivist muster"? You'd have gotten better opinions and guidance by asking this discussion thread than from any of those cranks.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    I posted a Q&A with Yaron Brook on the movie down stream.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    "Linked to" not "posted".

  • DDavis||

    "By the same token, some people who don’t care for Rand have also hated the film."

    Sounds like a recommendation to me!

    Doherty says that only people who have already read the books will likely enjoy the movie. I think that will work fine. Anyone who read the 1k pages of Atlas Shrugged will go to the movie. That's already quite a large and dedicated market.

    Anyone who goes and likes the movie, or even wonders how it ends, will likely read the book, priming them for the next two movies, and maybe a rewatch of the first.

    If Objectivists liked it, I predict a big winner.

  • ||

    Will the movie be more entertaining than Epi and Randroid fighting on the H/R threads? Lets hope so.

  • Millicent Bystander||

    To be fair, cheap Ad-Hominem attacks can be rather diverting every now and then, especially when you can't make it out to a movie.

  • ||

    You sound like a moron. Congratulations.

  • One Objectivist||

    So was that irony? Doing what he accused you of, as a form of humor? Or were you just so angry at being accused of doing it that you reacted as you seem to normally react, and the irony is thus completely unintentional?

    I don't care.

  • ||

    Are you purposely obtuse, or just unbelievably stupid?

  • Epicurus's Beard||

    You definitely mad.

  • One Objectivist||

    Whatever I am, i'm capable of more than calling people names. Why aren't you?

  • Adonisus||

    I have such a strong love/hate relationship with Atlas Shrugged its not even funny.

    The book is filled with brilliant ideas and concepts. Plotwise it has a great story.

    But it's ruined by one major flaw. The prose. Ayn Rand simply COULD NOT WRITE. Reading it was both a pleasure and absolutely painful. There were moments of sheer brilliants surrounded by walls of utter shit.

    It's like being stuck in a bad relationship. It keeps hurting me, but I just can't leave it.

    I detest her followers, though. Not all of them, mind you. But unfortunately her philosophy attracts a lot of assholes who suddenly find a justification for their assholeness.

  • $||

    And then again there are all of those assholes who don't seem to need any justification at all.

  • ||

    Ayn Rand simply COULD NOT WRITE.

    Her earlier work in Anthem and Fountainhead were pretty good. But AS is an example of a "mature" writer who has fallen back on beating you over the head with the message.

  • One Objectivist||

    If the philosophy is brilliant, does that not make you a follower?

    To be honest, confidence appears as arrogance, and I detested her followers back when I was a clueless, insecure, leftist. I see people who are still stuck in that position get really angry at me for making logical arguments that they cannot refute. I think that makes me an "asshole" to them.

  • -||

    confidence appears as arrogance

    Primitive cultures react to superior ones with suspicion, anger, violence, and finally submission. Some of the remaining H&R "liber-anarcho-capitalists" here are stuck in the anger and violence (in the form of ad hominem attacks and obscenities) stage. Their frustration and rage is familiar and identifiable. Anyone who has witnessed the behavior of a two-year-old will recognize the model.

  • One Objectivist||

    I don't understand why Reason, or any libertarian, anarchist or capitalist, would have a problem with objectivism.

    Objectivism is a libertarian, anarchist, capitalist philosophy.

    Libertarian: Believes the initiation of force is immoral. This is an objectivist principle as well.

    Anarchist: One who believes that governments must initiate force to exist. Objectivists should recognize this obvious fact, and it must be noted that galts gulch was an anarchist society.

    Capitalist: People engaging in free trade with each other based on their own values and preferences. These are core principles of objectivism, as you must find your own values, and use your own best judgement to make decisions according to objectivism.

    It is true that Ayn Rand rejected "anarchism" and "libertarianism", but at the time, the "anarchists" were marxist (many still are) and "libertarianism" was not a well established word under the new meaning (or maybe she was using it in its prior socialist meaning.)

    It doesn't matter. Ayn Rand took some positions inconsistent with her philosophy. But this doesn't change what the philosophy says, or its relevance to genuine capitalists, anarchists, and libertarians.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    She was opposed to anarchism of all brands. She insisted that there must be government to extract force from society by the retaliatory use of force. Her negative views on libertarianism and anarchism may have been harsh but they were not based in ignorance on her part that these can be pro-capitalism and are not contradictory to her philosophy. Any time I think I've found a contradiction in her work, I look into it and eventually find out that I'm wrong...so far.

  • ||

    (or maybe she was using it in its prior socialist meaning.)

    Or maybe you don't know what you are talking about. rand was deranged enough to pretend that she invented laissez-faire/liberalism.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Nope. False.

  • CE||

    Ayn Rand simply COULD NOT WRITE.

    Odd then, that she wrote one of the best-selling books of all time. Your argument sounds like that of the movie critic who condemns those who produce movies that people actually pay to see.

  • zoltan||

    Argumentum ad populum. You might as well say Stephanie Meyer (the writer of the infamous Twilight series) is a great writer because her books sell by the millions.

    (Disclosure: I enjoyed Atlas Shrugged and the Fountainhead when I read them several years ago.)

  • $||

    A writer who sells a great number of books and who greatly influences a great number of people doesn't qualify as a great author? Then what sort of writer does?

  • ||

    Rand was the only one to write about the entrepreneur as protagonist/hero. It's too bad there aren't any others. If there were, we could afford to ignore her overly long, terribad writing. But there is no one else.

    I'd settle for half the pages, and half the John Galt rant.

  • -||

    She wrote other books. Short stories. Plays. Lots of nonfiction. Did you know that?

  • tarran||

    Rand was the only one to write about the entrepreneur as protagonist/hero.

    Well, there was this obscure writer named Robert Heinlein...

  • $||

    There was also a novel, King Rat written by James Clavell, with an "entrepreneur" as a protagonist.

  • $||

    Likewise with several other of his novels.

  • -||

    It isn't a contest or a zero-sum game. Of course there have been other writers who have attempted to elevate man above the helpless, irrational, sex-motivated adolescent so common in the Naturalist school of film and fiction.

  • dhex||

    Rand was the only one to write about the entrepreneur as protagonist/hero.

    this isn't true in the slightest.

    maybe for didactic novels with entrepreneurs as heroes...i don't know? getting yelled at in print isn't my bag.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    Hell, 2 of Clavell's other books Tai-Pan and Noble House follow the travails of entrepreneurs(Opium Dealer/General trader and a the Head of an expanding corporation respectively) as they navigate Asian affairs and sustain Hong Kong against Chinese and Russian threats. They aren't "perfect", but Noble House at least has some blatantly anti-communist/socialist sentiments. However, this is probably more of the product the Author's penchant for Thatcherism than anything else, since (spoiler) daddy government sort of saves the day.

  • Raven Nation||

    Definitely. And also a lot of Poul Anderson's novels featured the Anson Guthrie character who was in that "entrepreneur as hero" role.

  • ||

    Not to mention Nicholas van Rijn.

  • zoltan||

    I love that nasty, old, fat guy!

  • ||

    What do you mean, there aren't any others? Robert Heinlein, as mentioned already, did so. Victor Hugo did so. There are probably loads of others.

  • ||

    Even Asimov (who was a socialist) had Hober Mallow in Foundation and of course the entrepreneurs of US Robotics.

  • St. V||

    BRUCE WAYNE?!

  • 35N4P2BYY||

    True, but to be fair, Bruce Wayne was born into money. He was not a "rags-to-riches, built-it-with-my-own-two-hands," kind of entrepreneur.

  • ||

    Rand was the only one to write about the entrepreneur as protagonist/hero. It's too bad there aren't any others.

    The protagonist of Greg Costikyan's sci-fi novel First Contract is very clearly a heroic entrepreneur.

  • Christina||

    This sounds very much like every Harry Potter movie: faithful, but less than the sum of its parts. I guess it's a good thing I loved AS.

    Also, am I the only person enjoying the irony of a bunch of asshole libertarians calling randroids assholes? I mean, really, can't we all agree that we're ALL assholes?

  • ||

    Libertarians bite the Rand that feeds them.

  • One Objectivist||

    I'm a libertarian and an objectivist. I don't see how any libertarian who has heard of objectivism can reject it-- it is the essence of libertarianism itself.

    IF the initiation of force is immoral - the central tenant of libertarianism- the rest of objectivism follows.

    I think it is silly to spread the idea that one is not compatible with the other.

    In fact, I think libertarianism is simply the act of taking objectivism into the political realm.

  • ||

    Yeah. Maybe this will help: All objectivists are libertarians, but not all libertarians are objectivists. Put another way: Objectivism is adult life, libertarianism is junior high school.

  • Rock Action ||

    Adult life with all of its fury, didacticism, ostracization, dogmatism, and cynicism? Embodied in approved hierarchies that insist on fidelity to a cause and enforced through a politics of power? Sounds like voluntary life in a politburo.

  • ||

    By "adult" I mean mature, rational, self-confident human beings. You are free to view mankind through the lens of your own particular misanthropy. Objectivism looks at humankind as it could be and should be.

  • Rock Action||

    Heh. I wasn't romanticizing childhood, I was pointing out how Ayn and her acolytes used to act. From what I've read -- and from her own diatribes, readily available on the internet -- you ought not question Ayn, or you'll get booted from her cabal and personally smeared while she unleashes a new polemic directed at all of her followers. Maybe she'll honor you by wishing a death fantasy upon you in a novel. Or order you to divorce your wife. Or something like that...

    What's sad is that I have a deep respect for Rand, but her and her acolytes displayed (and continue to display) an intellectual rigidity and a personal intolerance that was glibly embodied by your "junior high" comment.

  • One Objectivist||

    The one lacking integrity here is you. You are the one who is being intolerant of people. In fact, you are rejecting a philosophy you apparently are ignorant of, because you found some hateful things said about the writer on the internet. Oh, how tolerant of you!

    Liberals love to write long diatribes about how Ayn Rand is evil, and can't write, etc. It is hilarious to watch them attack her, because she's dead. She's not exactly on the scene! They are attacking her because they cannot attack her philosophy.

    You are calling people who follow the philosophy a bunch of names, and then using the fact that you called them names as a rationalization for rejecting the philosophy.

    This is simply an expression of prejudice on your part.

    I suggest you read Atlas Shrugged. Then if you disagree with objectivism, you'll at least have some arguments that address objectivism itself to make.

  • Rock Action ||

    Don't go to motive. You'll just sound like an intolerant asshole. Oh, wait...

  • zoltan||

    By "adult" I mean mature, rational, self-confident human beings.

    Mature, rational, self-confident human beings like Rand, who kicked Nathaniel Branden out of the movement after he wanted to end their affair? I would think any rational human being could understand why a man in his thirties would stop being attracted to a woman in her fifties and instead want to get with a woman in her twenties. The fact that people treat Objectivism as the only right lens makes it just as rigidly ridiculous as religion.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Dude. Who? fucking? cares?

    Affairs and being rude and being exclusive and ending working relationships over disagreements and wearing a cape are all things musicians get away with every day and don't involve the use of force so they don't really matter and even if she deserves to be made fun of, when you're done laughing, the ideas are still there, undisturbed. A philosopher is not great because of how fun he was to be around and he isn't wrong because he was a dick or strange. It's the ideas stupid! Heller is the only one who gets this, though he stands up for you guys and pretends you don't do this same shit every time.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Make that Heller AND Rock Action

  • One Objectivist||

    This characterization does not address a single tenant of objectivism. It amounts to nothing more than calling a philosophy names.

    In fact, objectivism opposes dogmatism, and most all of your other "isms" because they get in the way of using your *own* personal judgement and knowledge to make decisions. Objectivism illuminates the impossibility and inefficiency of centralized decision making because nobody can have the necessary information.

    I suggest that you might want to read Atlas Shrugged and see if it advocates any of these things, and when you discover that it does not, you'll find that what I said is true.

    "Adult life with all of its fury, didacticism, ostracization, dogmatism, and cynicism? Embodied in approved hierarchies that insist on fidelity to a cause and enforced through a politics of power? Sounds like voluntary life in a politburo."

  • Rock Action||

    Tenant?

  • $||

    I think he meant tenet.

  • Rock Action ||

    don't see how any libertarian who has heard of objectivism can reject it-- it is the essence of libertarianism itself.

    If you're not an atheist? If you can distinguish between the personal and political? If you disagree with the use of "force" on entirely different grounds than self-interest? If you're more of a constitutional libertarian? If...

  • One Objectivist||

    You think objectivism requires you to be an atheist?

    If you had a disagreement with the philosophy, you'd be able to make it. It sounds like you're not aware of what the philosophy says.

  • Rock Action ||

    It does. It calls people who believe in religion "mystics." I wrote an undergrad thesis on Ayn Rand. I own so many Ayn books, you'd be surprised. You're a...

    a...

    douchebag of incompetence.

    Here is Ayn's official sanction, from a quick search. From the Ayn Rand Institute:

    Is Objectivism atheistic? What is the Objectivist attitude toward religion?

    They claim that they perceive a mode of being superior to your existence on this earth. The mystics of spirit call it “another dimension,” which consists of denying dimensions. The mystics of muscle call it “the future,” which consists of denying the present. To exist is to possess identity. What identity are they able to give to their superior realm? They keep telling you what it is not, but never tell you what it is. All their identifications consist of negating: God is that which no human mind can know, they say—and proceed to demand that you consider it knowledge—God is non-man, heaven is non-earth, soul is non-body, virtue is non-profit, A is non-A, perception is non-sensory, knowledge is non-reason. Their definitions are not acts of defining, but of wiping out.

    Dude, I'm done. I know how Objectivists view religion, and I don't need your bullshit. You got any contra, then post it here, and I'll read it after basketball today. But I'm pretty sure...

  • Fiscal Meth||

    Objectivism doesn't require you to do anything. On the other hand, if you accept objectivism, you don't accept the arbitrary and you don't deal in faith or revelation as a means of gaining knowledge. In other words you are an atheist if you agree with objectivism.

  • Fiscal Meth||

    @one objectivist

  • ||

    I may see the movie, although it's unlikely, since I seldom see movies. However, it doesn't change the flaws in Rand's logic.

    To be specific: Rand wants to eliminate traditional morals and replace it with enlightened selfishness, so as to maximize the benefits of the capitalist system.

    The problem is that there is no reason to believe it would work out in such a way. Selfishness seldom creates John Galts. More often, when people get selfish, they attempt to enlist the government to steal for them, either directly through taxes, or indirectly through regulation of their competitors. The real world has 100 GE's and 1000 labor unions for every John Galt.

    To attempt to square the circle, Rand makes an alternate morality in which the only commandment is one that forbids the initiation of force. She does not, however, explain how we can enforce such a commandment.

    So, in the end, Rand's morals are as content-free as Divine Right. Divine Right didn't fail because it was mean. It failed because it was meaningless. Even if it was right in God's eyes for men of a certain lineage to rule, the fates of Charles I and Louis XVI proved that God didn't enforce that right. Similarly, the eagerness of selfish people in our selfish society to enlist the government prove that, even if Rand is morally right, her moral ideal will never be recognized.

  • One Objectivist||

    I think you'd have a better chance of defending your claim that there are errors in her logic if you read the book. You're knocking down straw men.

  • Hate Potion Number Nine||

    No, he's exposing the all-too easily exposed flaws in objectivist logic. Sorry, pal but it's all shadows on the boardroom wall.

  • ||

    the all-too easily exposed flaws in objectivist logic

    Objectivist metaphysics states that reality exists, that a thing is itself, that a thing cannot be itself and something else at the same time, that contradictions in the natural world do not exist. (Objectivist) epistemology is the science devoted to the discovery of the proper methods of acquiring and validating knowledge, based upon man's ability to consistently and non-contradictorily evaluate the facts of reality.

    If you can demonstrate the logical "flaws" in these brief definitions, feel free, and be specific.

  • CE||

    Objectivist metaphysics states that reality exists, that a thing is itself, that a thing cannot be itself and something else at the same time, that contradictions in the natural world do not exist.

    Objectivists must have a real problem with quantum physics.

  • Epicurus's Beard||

    Not really, they think the terms and definitions used are misleading to one who's not directly involved in Physics.

  • ||

    The phantom, random, metaphysical hair-splitting inherent in quantum physics has little to do with how most men view their physical world, and it's utterly irrelevant to their epistemology. Man does not live his life at the subatomic level.

  • ||

    Is quantum mechanics real, or not real?

    Either way, it's relevant to epistemology, which is the study of what makes real things real.

    If quantum mechanics isn't real, then how can you write comments using a computer? Are you writing on a house-sized computer that runs on vacuum tubes? No? Then you have empirical evidence that quantum mechanics is real, which you deny by calling it "phantom, random, metaphysical hair-splitting".

    If you are representative of Objectivist thought, then Objectivists are just as irrational and science-denying as any Christian creationist.

  • ||

    In addition, it's not true that quantum mechanics is only valid for subatomic phenomena.

    If Ayn Rand's notions of reality were correct, incandescent light bulbs would have fried her with gamma rays every time she turned them on. That's a pretty huge empirical consequence for what you sneer at as "metaphysical hair-splitting".

    But because Objectivists are mentally enslaved to their cult, they have to cut themselves off from mainstream physics. But hey, quantum mechanics is only in its second century, it could all turn out to be a fad, right?

  • smartass sob||

    If Ayn Rand's notions of reality were correct, incandescent light bulbs would have fried her with gamma rays every time she turned them on.

    Really? Since when do ordinary, tungsten filament, incandescent light bulbs radiate enough energy at the short end of the spectrum to "fry" anything? Gamma radiation? That's even shorter than x-ray. They produce a little bit of ultra violet, which mostly gets stopped by the glass envelope. These kinds of bulbs radiate nearly all their energy at the other, long end of the spectrum as infra red or heat. Comparatively little of it is even radiated as visible light near the middle.

    If you are trying to say that quantum physics explains why the bulbs produce infra red and visible light rather than gamma radiation, well that may very well be correct. However, if the theory were shown to be an invalid explanation, it still would not follow that one would be "fried" by gamma rays.

    Also, regarding the validity of quantum theory, although I'm no physicist, I do know that there are problems with it. On one hand, electromagnetic radiation exhibits the properties of waves and on the other it behaves as particles. I would suggest that a theory which doesn't explain such a seeming contradiction leaves a something to be desired. Quite likely we will find that electromagnetic radiation is neither a particle nor a wave ultimately. You may recall that Newtonian mechanics was accepted for a good many centuries before it was found inadequate.

  • One Objectivist||

    You guys are always such teases. You never say anything, and then when it is pointed out, you claim victory for exposing logical fallacies, as if you actually had.

    Frankly, I've seen enough of this that I'm really beginning to believe that you've been taught not to think.

  • ||

    Selfishness seldom creates John Galts.

    True, but it might, whereas centralized planning never does.

  • ||

    I agree about centralized planning. I just think that there are better arguments for libertarianism than Rand. Hayek comes to mind, as does Robert Heinlein.

  • JoshINHB||

    Selfishness seldom creates John Galts.

    True, but it might, whereas centralized planning never does.

    You don't get it.

    Central planning is an organizational structure.

    Selfishness is an intrinsic human trait.

    The two are complimentary, not contradictory. Demonstrated by Rand's attempted dictatorial control of her cabal cult.

  • One Objectivist||

    She exercised freedom of association. You want to characterize it like that because you can't make logical or philosophical arguments, and so you must make ad hominems.

  • -||

    Ad hom is by far the "libertarians'" most utililized logical fallacy, not that they are alone. It's the language of the blogosphere, after all. Yet "libertarians"* hold themselves to a higher standard of thought and reason, and fail miserably when they resort to ad hominem insults and obscenities. Is it any wonder why, after all this time, so many people still refuse to take them seriously?

    *H&R "libertarians", not honest and ethical libertarians.

  • .||

    *H&R "libertarians", not honest and ethical libertarians.

    Ahem. Yes. Speaking of ad homs, you were saying?

  • ||

    Who is that silly little drama queen who keeps spazzing over a lack of understanding of the word cinimatography or some such? Did I spell that right? I'll have to look it up. Hell I don't even know what it means.

  • $||

    No, you didn't spell it right. What does it mean? Consider cinematography as the moving picture equivalent of photography. You do know what photography means, don't you?

  • Tony||

    You libertarians continue to sing the praises of Ayn Rand, even though she is directly responsible for the current economic mess.

    Whoops, gotta go! No time to defend that last point, even though it's certainly true.

  • ||

    I don't agree with Rand's philosophy, but if you think the Bush policies were libertarian in any way, shape, or form, you must be indulging in some seriously libertarian pharmaceuticals.

  • Tony||

    Yes, but not a single libertarian complained about Bush ever throughout his entire presidency, yet they are all complaining about Obama.

    It's so obvious why this is, too.

  • Nicki||

    This argument is so annoying. Yes, we did. Go back in the archives if you don't believe it.

    And, by the same token, it's "so obvious" why all the Democrats stopped complaining about military spending, rendition, and the wars after Obama got in office. Most people aren't protesting the policy, just the letter next to the name of the person implementing it.

  • St. V||

    *whiff*

  • d||

    Turn on your snarky-textual-impersonation detector. You've been had.

  • ||

    Right. Tony would stick around trying to defend his argument while it is being invalidated by numerous posters.

  • One Objectivist||

    Typical socialst. You enact policies that require banks to loan money to people who can't repay it because to do otherwise is "racist".... and then you blame those who would prevent such government screwing of the economy for the results.

    This kind of claim is really pathetic. You don't actually make the argument, you make a smear.

  • ||

    Again with this. Look, hardly anybody knows her name even. When was the last time a new policy concerning the economy coming from any government was referanced to Ayn Rand?

  • ||

    Film is just another art form to some people. Try to imagine it in this context:

    "I enjoy [all] paintings of flowers"
    vs
    "I just like good paintings...some of them are of flowers."

    Or "I like [all] songs about drinking"
    vs
    "I like good songs...some of them are about alcohol"

    Or "I like [all] books with spaceships"
    vs
    "I like good (science) fiction...some of it involves spaceships."

    "I like [all] material based on Rand"
    vs
    "I like good movies."

  • ||

    If this movie is anything like the book it's a great time to have it out.
    No liberal will like it. It will stick in his craw. It has been a long time since I read the book. What is it about a politician is like a bully with a club or something like that. He will take and keep taking because he thinks you will keep producing anyway. He will keep taking untill all you have left is a cabbage and then knock you over the head and take that. Something like that in the book. That's the kind of man we have in the White House right now. That's the kind of union goons they have in Wisconsin. Union goons who just beaten back.

  • ||

    I agree. I just don't agree that Rand is a suitable argument against those goons.

    I actually think Rand has done as much or more harm as good to the cause of free enterprise. Free enterprise is not pure selfishness, regardless of what either Rand or the leftists say. It's an economic system that follows from the rule of law.

    I have some problems with Murray Rothbard, but at least he tried to deal with the system of enforcement through a series of competing vigilante systems. As far as I can tell, Rand's only solution was for all businesses to go on strike. Good luck with that; most businesses are to the left of their own employees.

  • ||

    Oh cone on. Almost nobody ever heard of either one of those people.

  • zoltan||

    Good luck with that; most businesses are to the left of their own employees.

    Citation, please. That sounds positively absurd.

  • ||

    not a single libertarian complained about Bush ever throughout his entire presidency

    Do you lie about everything, or just politics?

  • ||

    That was directed to Tony.

  • Tony||

    If we progressives say this enough times, it becomes true enough for all intents and purposes.

  • One Objectivist||

    The entirety of corrupt politics in the USA. Lie enough times and people start believing it. Global Warming is a great example.

  • ||

    To specify: I think Rand is the libertarian equivalent of blacks calling themselves n#####s. It may seem harmless in any one case, but over the long haul libertarians come to see themselves as selfish. They pass on this attitude to others who don't know squat about libertarian ideas, who then act selfishly by soaking the taxpayer for their own benefits.

  • J||

    Examples?

  • One Objectivist||

    You really think you can just make up what Rand advocated and then argue against it and expect us to fall for it?

    You sound like a liberal who doesn't understand how Rand advocated "selfishness" and why.

    If you read Atlas Shrugged, you'll find a lot of people who are being quite generous.

  • J||

    Or more specifically, examples of people who soak the taxpayers for selfish gain because they were influenced by libertarianism?

  • ||

    It's not about being influenced by libertarianism. It's about being influenced by Rand's philosophy.

    The idea that "capitalism is based on greed" is widespread enough (even though it is utter and total bullshit) that people who aren't familiar with libertarian philosophy act on it.

    For a purely selfish person, it is much less costly to steal something than to produce it or produce something to trade for it. It's also much less costly to have the government steal it than to risk prison by stealing it yourself.

  • J||

    I suppose. I haven't read Atlas Shrugged in a while, but I thought she went to great pains to point out that progressive, mystics, or whatever they were called then, try to cover their greed (greed as in wanting money transferred from the rich into their pockets) by calling the rich greedy (because they work hard and want to keep their money).

    I don't recall her referring to her protagonists as greedy, but maybe selfish. However, that seemed to be a preemptive defense mechanism. Perhaps that's why many rappers degrade themselves, to beat their critics to it.

    That having been said, as some who is largely libertarian, I do disagree with a lot of her philosophy.

  • J||

    A purely technical point: I consider greedy to mean taking whatever you can. I consider selfish to mean not wanting to give up what you have. From Rand's point of view, greed in unacceptable, but selfishness is morally defensible. The villains in Atlas Shrugged tried to conflate the two, ie, rich people not wanting to give up what they've earned is no better than stealing from the rich, if not worse.

  • $||

    For a purely selfish person, it is much less costly to steal something than to produce it or produce something to trade for it. It's also much less costly to have the government steal it than to risk prison by stealing it yourself.

    Right. Stealing doesn't cost one anything at all - except a rational basis for one's pride or self esteem. Nah, no one needs that to live - one will always act to preserve and further one's own life and interests, even if one doesn't have any good reason to hold oneself to be of much value. Oh sure.

    You know, there are essentially only three ways to obtain anything in this world. You can beg it, or receive it as a gift; you can steal it, or have someone steal it for you; or you can create it yourself, or produce something to trade to another who has. Thing is, without the last sort of people the first two sorts are shit out of luck, aren't they? They're freaking losers. Wonder what that does for their self esteem?

  • Tom||

    "For a purely selfish person, it is much less costly to steal something than to produce it or produce something to trade for it."

    Rand was never about blind selfishness, but rather about rational self-interest. There's a huge difference.

  • Tom||

    Nevermind. $ beat me to it, and did a much better job.

  • CE||

    For a purely selfish person, it is much less costly to steal something than to produce it or produce something to trade for it.

    Perhaps for a single instance, but over repeated efforts stealing is very dangerous -- people tend to shoot back or send someone after you with guns to kill you or lock you up. Producing something of value earns you a good reputation, one which makes future sales easier to come by.

  • One Objectivist||

    Since the initiation of force is immoral, both in libertarianism and in objectivist philosophy, neither would honestly think that "selfishness" supports theft.

    So, this not only is a lie on your part, it is a transparently foolish one.

    It makes you look desperate and stupid. Not to mention, shows you lack integrity.

  • d||

    I don't care if the movie is good or not, if it's true to Rand's vision or not, if it's about basket weaving or topsoil erosion, how to properly solder a bronze brooch so that it looks smashing with your teddy-bear-holding-a-candy-cane Christmas sweater, or whatever. Taylor Schilling is in it. Me wants to see it!

  • I can help you||

    Taylor Schilling is in it.

    You could jerk off to her online images and save $10. Just sayin'.

  • d||

    Ah, there you go! Cheapening my adoration for her thespian prowess by insinuating that I just want to..um..where did you say those images are, again?

  • ||

    I'm greedy. I want to get rich by providing a product that people want, need or desire. The person looks at the dollar he has in hand and decides he wants the other thing instead. No theft involved. I'm moral. The government on the other hand takes money from me at the point of a gun and gives a fraction to the "needy" after spending the rest on government salaries. In effect making me a slave. This is socialist greed which by another name is legalized theft.

  • CE||

    Not only is greed good, profit is good. Profit represents the difference between what consumers freely value a good or service at, less the cost of materials and effort consumed to produce that good or service. The companies with the highest profits are those that produce the most things or services of value at the lowest total cost to society.

  • One Objectivist||

    And they ones that benefit society the most are also the ones that profit most handsomely. This is the "selfishness" that Rand advocated and that people like Ken and liberals cannot understand.

    I think it is because they are used to advocating theft, and thus "selfishness" would mean more theft.

  • Argosy Jones||

    ...Nathaniel and Barbara Branden, who were both blown away...

    May they rest in peace.

  • .||

    Why?

  • CE||

    I always thought Dagny represented America. Her first lover (D'Anconia) was wealthy due to raw materials (his silver mines), like America. Her second lover (Rearden), was a leading industrialist, which America became. And her final lover (Galt) was an engineer, who created wealth through mind power. And what is more American than the railroads, leading west to the promised land?

  • Correction||

    D'Anconia's wealth came from copper.

  • CE||

    I'm guessing the guy who funded this is going to make out like a bandit, and have plenty of cash left over for parts 2 and 3, from DVD and online rentals, if not from theatre receipts, and the theatre owners who passed it up just pissed away what could have been a good haul, for purely philosophical objections.

  • One Objectivist||

    I think theater owners are not concerned about philosophy in deciding which movies to show. The production seems to lack a distributer and thus hasn't been able to market itself to theater owners in the traditional manner. I think they might have done really well by going to sundance (if they could get in) or other festivals and tried to get some distribution.

  • Theater Owner||

    Show me the $. Period.

  • gdfgdt||

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  • Ayn Rand||

    The reason the movie isn't influeneced by the non-sensical hack writer fraud Brian O'Toole is becasue he didn't write the the shooting script - it was re-written almost entirely by the director - who is strangely absent from publicity, promotions and news articles. There's a story someone should scoop and get to the bottom of this disconnect...?

  • Me myself||

    I imagine he's busy working on the final cut.

  • John Sexton||

    While I enjoyed the book and the film, I wouldn't call myself a Randian. I'm extremely sympathetic to her take on collectivist politics, but as a Christian her take on religion doesn't jibe with mine.

    I agree with the screenwriter that the near future setting of the film was handled satisfactorily but not perfectly. Faced with the need to rid the planet of air travel for the sake of Rand's plot, the obvious move would have been to make air travel the casualty of carbon restrictions. The British and Euro press have been full of complaints about air travel's carbon footprint for years. The idea that some Randian villain would make air travel more or less illegal on these grounds would have suited her vision better. But that's a fairly minor carp.

    In the wake of Wisconsin, the material certainly seems timely. I expect few reviewers who see it will fail to note the connection. I think that in itself says a lot for Rand's 55 year old novel.

  • air max 90 noir||

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  • ||

    "Atlas Shrugged" the movie will be a flop just like that old dried up twat Ayn Rand was. No one wants to waste their time watching a movie about that bitch's stupid rants.

  • $||

    No one wants to waste their time watching a movie about that bitch's stupid rants.

    Demonstrably not true. A number of people have already seen the movie, apparently because they wanted to do so. And judging from the comments above and on other boards quite a few others are looking forward to viewing it.

    So essentially you are spouting bullshit like a frigging geyser. Hell, it's probably even coming out that big snozzola of yours.

  • ||

    This is the kind who is going to go absolutely nuts in the coming revolution.

  • air max 90 homme||

    so nice.

  • ||

    I thought the film, "Pacific Heights" was pretty cool. I'll probably go see Atlas Shrugged if the weather is bad.

  • Burton||

    All the philosophical debate is nice, but how does this stack up as a movie? Film is a different medium than print. Rather than characters making speeches, Rand's philosophy ought to be shown via the characters doing something interesting.

    http://home.earthlink.net/~jamiranda/mramovies/

  • sophie||

    Film is a different medium than print. Rather than characters making speeches, Rand's philosophy ought to be shown via the characters doing something interesting.

  • DDavis||

    "This movie has some of the same flaws I saw in another attempt at a faithful adaptation of a work of fantastic literature long thought unfilmable, Zach Snyder’s 2009 version of Watchmen...That is, it struck me as a series of filmed recreations of scenes from the famous novel, with as much faithfulness to the source as the time limits of a commercial film allow. "

    What always strikes me is that movie makers take a fantastically successful narrative, often with decades of success in the market, and decide it is all wrong and they'll "fix it up".

    Why do these jokers think they are smarter than decades of evaluation by the market?

    I loved the Watchmen movie. Faithful recreations of a book seem to work for me, and it's still a puzzle as to why anyone would think otherwise. If Atlas Shrugged "shares the same flaw", of giving us the story we liked in th first place, I'll be very happy with the film.

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