Ayn Rand

The Trailer for the Atlas Shrugged Part One Movie Out


Rearden Metal Lives!:

Look for my feature article on the struggle to film Atlas Shrugged in a forthcoming issue of Reason magazine. Subscribe today!

NEXT: Ron Paul Mainstreams Radical Monetary Economics

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Hey that looks pretty good. Too bad it will probably never see the light of day.

    1. Whoah, looks like I spoke too soon, wiki says it is being released in a month. I thought the general consensus was that this was one of those “fake” films that only got released to re-up the IP rights.

      1. The general consensus, like so many general consensuses, was wrong. I’ll be relating the entire story of the making of the movie at length in a feature in an upcoming issue of Reason.

        1. I was under that false impression too.

          I have to say I’m generally pessimistic about any book adaptation translating well to film–and I don’t know why Rand’s work would be impervious to that.

          …but damn, that trailer looks good!

          1. pessimistic about any book adaptation translating well to film

            Many (if not most) film adaptations favorably supercede their sources, because most sources (to use a common adjective) suck. When the original source (in the case of Atlas Shrugged) doesn’t suck, then the pressure is really on to not “suckify” the project. Can Atlas Shrugged be successfully adapted to the screen? Sure. Will it be? Perhaps.

            1. Look…uh…any film that’s better than the book? Isn’t a faithful adaptation.

              I’ll never physically assault anybody for saying the movie was better than the book–in part because I doubt anyone will ever say that!

              Name a movie that was better than the book. Go ahead.

              Show me a great film, and I’ll show you something that was written for the screen. I’ve read a number of books that seemed to be written for the screen–and they were all worse books for it.

              Off the top of my head? McEwan’s “Amsterdam”. …seems like worse of a book for being written for the screen to me.

              Now you try. Name a movie that was better than the book.

                1. Carrie.

                  That is a valid call, though one must point out that it was one of King’s earliest works and the movie was by Brian DePalma during the height of his talent. Got any more?

              1. Show me a great film, and I’ll show you something that was written for the screen.

                I have heard that Conrad wrote Heart of Darkness with Brando in mind.

              2. Name a movie that was better than the book

                Wow. Really? Too easy. Your question presumes that fiction is always superior to film. It’s the classic error of purists. If I took you seriously, and if I desired to waste my time arguing with strangers on the internet, I could name hundreds of films that better their source material. But comparing film to literature is like comparing apples to oranges. Speaking of oranges, ever read A Clockwork Orange? Of course not. Few have. But I have, and I would argue that the film is superior to the novel. But the argument is pointless. They are two different media. The topic here is whether the film version of Atlas Shrugged might be successful on its own terms.

                1. “Speaking of oranges, ever read A Clockwork Orange?”
                  Lots of people have read A Clockwork Orange. Anthony Burgess is quite a famous and well-respected modern writer. The book was excellent, and the movie famously ignored the last chapter, which prompted Burgess to disavow the film, whose horrors (the rape in the house) were based upon his own experience with intruding thugs – his wife and unborn child had died from injuries suffered during a rape.

                  From Wiki: In 1998, the Modern Library ranked A Clockwork Orange 65th on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.

                  1. You might be on to something with Clockwork Orange, but as I recall, the novel was originally–and for a long time–published without the last chapter.

                    I believe I remember when the last chapter was finally published, and it wasn’t that long ago. …after the film was made.

                    However–if the film was better than the book AND it went against the book? Then I’m gonna say I was still on…

                    But let’s go ahead and say you got one there!

                    That’s ONE.


                    1. I for one will say that A Clockwork Orange is amidst my top 5 all time favorite books and the movie was a letdown. Read the book years before seeing the movie, and I was wholly disappointed. Need to go back and watch again, just in case…

              3. Gone With The Wind

                1. Wrong.

                2. I was wondering if the book was any good because the movie is one of the worst pieces of shit I’ve ever endured. Rhett Butler’s character was admittedly great in the the first half.

              4. The Hunt for Red October

              5. Most of the Bond flicks are better than the books

                1. Again, it’s not about finding the shittiest books possible–so that no film could be half as bad…

                  …maybe I should amend the original statement to say that we’re talking about good books here.

                  I thought it went without saying, but I think we’re looking for movies that were better than good books.

                  And the James Bond books suck.

              6. “Now you try. Name a movie that was better than the book.”

                The Ten Commandments?

              7. Fight Club

              8. The Manchurian Candidate. The original, not the dull remake.

                To your point, some reviewers believe it was written for the screen.

                1. Precisely.

                2. Clifford the Big Red Dog, the book, paled in comparison to the movie Klifford: Blood in the Street. Klifford is such a gritty, realistic tale(tail?) about a life growing up in the hood and rising to be top dog of the Bloods street gang before it all came crashing down and Kliff had to spend the rest of his life earning redemption for the injustices he had done as a young pup.

                3. The Manchurian Candidate, by the way, is the closest thing we have to “Oedipus Rex”. I don’t think modern audiences can really understand “Oedipus Rex” until they understand The Manchurian Candidate.

              9. M*A*S*H the movie was better than the book.

              10. The entire Twilight series of films is better than the books, although both suck. The Godfather. Jaws. True Grit. The “True Blood” TV show. The “Dexter” TV show. Forrest Gump. Silence Of The Lambs. Psycho. Most John Grisham movies. Dr. Strangelove (lots of Kubrick films in this category, potentially). Shawshank Redemption. The Green Mile.

                I think that “I” above has it correct. The perception that “the book was better than the film” only comes about when it’s a book people are familiar with. Lots of films are based on books that suck, yet somehow transform it into something watchable. This is why you’ll never see a good film version of 1984.

                Or Atlas Shrugged.

              11. Godfather Iⅈ

              12. Under the Tuscan Sun. The book was alternating sour arrogance and sunny Italy. The movie was only sunny Italy, and kept the spirit of that much of the book. The spirit of the rest of the book was pathetic.

                1. “Under the Tuscan Sun”

                  I think it’s great that gay people participate in these threads.

              13. Interview With the Vampire?

                1. “Interview With the Vampire?”

                  Ann Rice was right about Tom Cruise being cast in that part…

                  Regardless, not better than the book.

                  The film hardly even brings up the same themes as in the book!

                  1. Speaking of which…

                    “Children of Men” was–bar none–the worst adaptation of a book I’ve ever seen.

                    I know a lot of people who said they like the movie–none of whom ever read the book…

                    The both start with the same premise and have almost nothing in common after that!

                    I’m glad too. …because the theme of that book is the most anti-libertarian theme I think I’ve come across in literature.

                    Written by a lifelong bureaucrat, and it all boils down to a response to critics of the Nanny State…

                    It’s saying, “If you knew what we knew, you’d do the same things we in the bureaucracy do!”

                    That film couldn’t have been a bigger disservice to the book–and I love it for that reason alone!

              14. Lord of the Rings was at least as good as the books, although it has been a while since I read them.

                1. “Lord of the Rings was at least as good as the books, although it has been a while since I read them.”

                  Yeah, subtract the poetry and half the story line?!

                  What’d you read, the Readers Digest condensed version?

                2. There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year old’s life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs.

              15. In its way, The Mothman Prophecies. OK, not better, but different and as good. I say the same of Starship Troopers. Probably James Bond movies. The best movies use the book as inspiration rather than adapting them closely. I haven’t read the source books of Wag The Dog (American Hero) or of Dr. Strangelove (Red Alert), but from what I’ve heard they follow that pattern.

                Oh, of course, an easy one: The Wizard of Oz, which breaks the mold above.

              16. Lord of the Rings

              17. Lord of the Flies

              18. The Kite Runner. Movie got rid of the bullshit plot elements (like Assef being a descendant of Nazis)

              19. Now you try. Name a movie that was better than the book.

                The Wizard of Oz
                Doctor Zhivago
                The Fountainhead
                Gone with the Wind
                Little Big Man
                Rising Sun
                Jurassic Park
                Primary Colors
                The Manchurian Candidate
                A Christmas Carol (any version)
                Lord of the Rings

              20. Now you try. Name a movie that was better than the book.

                I think it depends sometimes on which is experienced first. I saw the movie The Sand Pebbles before I read the novel and then upon reading the book, I thought the movie was better. Many years later though, I thought the book was better. Go figure.

                1. Did not scroll down before I posted.

                  Pretty funny that it is 9 hours later and it ended up just beneath your post.

              21. Movies better than the book (in ascending order of betterness):
                Taxi Driver
                Straw Dogs
                First Blood
                LA Confidential
                The Godfather

            2. Many (if not most) film adaptations favorably supercede their sources

              WHAAAAAAAA??? You cannot be serious.

            3. The Lord of the Rings.

              Though I certainly wouldn’t say most movie adaptations are better.

              1. That’s ridiculous.

                The Lord of the Rings was not better than the books.

                It just wasn’t.

                Fer Cripe’s Sake, where’s Tom Bombadil?!

                Go stand with your nose in the corner for the rest of the class.

                1. I figured that someone was gonna point to Bombadil. That is one of only 2 thinks that were I liked about the books more. The other was that there was no skateboarding elves.

                  1. In an anonymous sort of internet way? If I don’t know anything else about you, and I know anything at all about Occam’s razor?

                    Then the simplest explanation for someone liking the The Lord of the Rings films over the books? Is that they never read the books.

                    It really is the simplest explanation–and hey, don’t feel bad about it or anything. This isn’t an English Lit class, where everybody has to pretend they’re “re-reading” everything because they can’t admit they’ve never read it before…

                    There’s no way those movies are better than those books.

                    No way. It isn’t a pirates vs. ninjas thing at all. Taste doesn’t even enter into it.

            4. The Ten Commandments?
              Made me laugh.

              This is why you’ll never see a good film version of 1984.

              I thought that the John Hurt version from 1984 was excellent, personally.

              … Hobbit

              1. Coraline
                Last of the Mohicans

                1. Forrest Gump

                2. “Last of the Mohicans”

                  Anybody who can read more than five pages of James Fenimore Cooper without falling asleep face first into the binding?

                  That’s somebody whose taste in film shouldn’t be trusted.

                  Seriously, the object isn’t to try to think of a book so awful that no one could make a film half that bad!

                  …and that’s what you’re doing.

                  Yes it is.

                  1. I reject your after the fact attempt to change the rules!

                    Bridges of Madison County
                    Wizard of Oz

                    1. Shrek

                    2. Both of those books were better than the movies.

                      Hell, The Wizard of Oz was stripped of all its meaning when they put it on film. And, by the way?

                      Unless Dorothy sang a freaking musical number in the book just like Judy Garland? Then it “…Isn’t a faithful adaptation” and “it wasn’t written for the screen”.

                      You’re comparing musicals to books now?!


                  2. By the way, there’s a reason why so much of what’s coming out Hollywood isn’t worth watching these days, and it has to do with movies not being made unless they have a built in audience.

                    There’s generally two ways to tap a built in audience. One of them is a bankable star. The second one is doing something that’s either based on a book people have read–or toys and superheroes.

                    That’s right. Every time you go see a movie ’cause it has a superhero you like? …or because it’s based on action figures from when you were a kid?

                    A screenwriter somewhere kills himself.

                    1. You’re probably right, and I think it has a lot to do with how expensive movies are to make. Without a built in audience or James Cameron, it’s hard to make any money.

                      Exit to Eden

                    2. First of all, ANY movie version of Atlas Shrugged will be better than the book. While I agree with the politics, it is not a piece of art.
                      Secondly, what is this obsession with comparing movies and books? They are two entirely different forms of art. It’s like comparing a painting or artful photograph of the Eiffel tower with the real thing and saying the architect’s version was better.
                      Was the movie Lawrence of Arabia better than his biography? How does it compare to the real thing?
                      And making ‘faithful adaptations’ is impossible without a 10-hour-movie — someone is going to be unhappy with something you left out.
                      That being said, here are a few movies I enjoyed more than reading the books that inspired them:
                      The Godfather movies
                      The Orchid Theif
                      Apollo 13
                      About a Boy
                      The Lord of the Rings movies
                      The Princess Bride
                      The Iron Giant
                      The Wizard of Oz
                      Friday Night Lights
                      9 1/2 Weeks
                      Stand By Me
                      Blade Runner
                      Das Boot
                      LA Confidential
                      The Shawshank Redemption
                      Die Hard
                      The Ten Commandments
                      Books and movies are

                    3. My Bad — there is not a movie or book called ‘Books and movies are’

                    4. 9 1/2 Weeks



                      We’re comparing movie porn to books now?!


                    5. Ken Shultz|2.11.11 @ 7:30PM|#
                      Name a movie that was better than the book. Go ahead.

                      Happy now, Ken? Or feeling even more foolish?

                    6. I’ve seen one or two that might be keepers…

                      I never bothered to read “Carrie”, but anything Stephen King wrote couldn’t possibly be better than that film. …and maybe, maybe Clockwork Orange.

                      I don’t see much else that even comes close–most of these suggestions are laughable.

                    7. Das Boot was an excellent movie – but so was the book. A tie, I think.

                    8. The Princess Bride was an excellent book and movie.

                      Magic was maybe a better movie.

                    9. By the way, there’s a reason why so much of what’s coming out Hollywood isn’t worth watching these days, and it has to do with movies not being made unless they have a built in audience.

                      That explains why that Matrix story flopped.

                      And Shrek

                      And the Fokker’s fables

                      And WallE, Juno, Slumdog, Avatar, Up, District 9 etc. etc.

                    10. Some of the films you’re talking about weren’t Hollywood films. Some of them were made in the third world countries by third world directors (Slumdog, District 9), and some of those were art house flicks…

                      Shrek?! If those characters and plots aren’t a built in audience, I don’t know what is. …If recycling characters from the Middle Ages isn’t a built in audience…?

                      And, for Pete’s sake, I am talking about a general rule here.

                      If the list of films that were better than the book only includes three that I see–all made in the ’70s? Godfather, Carrie, Clockwork Orange…I’m equivocating on Blade Runner since it departs from the book so heavily–it was rewritten for the screen…

                      Anyway, if I’ve got three or four exceptions to a rule over a period of 40 years or so? That means it’s a pretty good rule.

                  3. Anybody who can read more than five pages of James Fenimore Cooper without falling asleep face first into the binding?

                    I managed to read all five of the Leatherstocking Tales while still in high school – when I wasn’t required to read any but Mohicans. I thought they were pretty good in an escapist sort of way – certainly just as good as Ivanhoe. But then, I’m also the sort that read Galt’s speech all the way through everytime I read Atlas. 😉

                    1. Episiarch|2.11.11 @ 7:34PM|#
                      “Many (if not most) film adaptations favorably supercede their sources”

                      WHAAAAAAAA??? You cannot be serious.

                      Where’d you go, “Epi”?

        2. Oh god you’re not going to do it with 100 page orations!?!?

        3. Brian Doherty|2.11.11 @ 5:49PM|#
          The general consensus, like so many general consensuses, was wrong.

          There goes the blogosphere!

          Or not.

        4. You mean my pet theory that this was like the Roger Corman “Fantastic Four” movie became the general consensus? No wonder I ended up being wrong.

          I’ll say this, based on the trailer, the Joh Galt Line CGI looks a bit dodgy, as I feared, but Paul Johansson seems to have done a commendable job for a first-time director in using real-world locations to give the movie at least some sense of epic scope, which I really feared would be lacking without enough money and time to build some pretty big sets on some pretty big sound stages.

          Also, I wondered how they would update the rail industry, and it looks like they went for a straight update of passenger rail to freight rail. (Dagny refers to her freight line.) It’s not that romantic, but it’s the easy way out.

          1. It’s been a while since I read the book, but didn’t Taggart have a freight line too?

            1. Same here, and probably. And, watching the trailer again, the John Galt Line is clearly passenger (which does make sense given that it’s also high-speed rail).

  2. Hey, Patrick Fischler’s in this! All right!

    Is this the Rand book with all the rape in it, or is that the other one?

    1. That’s the other one. This is the one with rough sex in the railway tunnel.

      1. What about the fifty page, tedious monologue? (Personally not a fan of Rand’s writing style).

        1. If I were a director, I would cut down the speech quite a bit, then to spice things up so it wasn’t 5 minutes of straight speech I would cut to the statists talking amongst each other and generally being pissed off that the speech was happening.

          1. How ’bout some statists getting whacked during the speech, like the baptism scene from The Godfather?

        2. That will be in Part 3.

        3. Read the Council of Elrond chapter (yes, the minutes of that meeting fill a full chapter) in “The Fellowship of the Ring” and compare it to the film’s version. A competent screenwriter could probably do the same with Galt’s speech if he or she isn’t worried about the wrath of the book’s fanbois.

          1. Randroids make Tolkienites look like Shakespearenauts in comparison.

            There will be wrath even if the speech is word for word.

            1. I don’t think we have to worry about some Randoid going all Fountainhead on some theater that dared to compromise on her artistic magnificence…

              …too much.

      2. Rape! Monologue!*

        *OK, that’s all I know about Rand.**

        **Don’t hate me because I’m stupid!

      3. > This is the one with rough sex in the railway tunnel.

        The train accident in the Taggart Tunnel is obviously a metaphor.

  3. Hey, it’s got Quark!

    1. I saw that too. Bonus points.

      Unfortunately he is on the side opposing the ferengi. Traitor.

      1. Where’s Sisko?

      2. Unfortunately he is on the side opposing the ferengi. Traitor.

        Rule of Acquisition #33: It never hurts to suck up to the boss.

        1. My favorite (and I don’t know the number) was always, “You can’t free a fish from water.” This applies to the Atlas Shrugged villains, as well.

    2. It has the Black Mormon dude from that was on House.

      1. That’s right! As the mentally deficient capitalist.

        1. From the wiki article:

          Presently, the producers are adapting the book so that the movie will have a similar plot to part one of the book, however with Eddie Willers having a far smaller part to play

          Effin’ racists.

          1. Eddie was a retarded good guy. Not sure how much smaller the role can get than that.

            1. Eddie was a retarded good guy

              If by “retarded” you mean average, you are correct.

              1. As portrayed in the novel, I’m surprised he could feed himself.

                1. We don’t know that he could.

                  I recall no passages in the book where Eddie autonomously and successfully masticates food.

                  1. So you’re saying that Galt (literally) fed Willers all those times they met in the cafeteria? That’s some interesting slash potential.

              2. Have you ever met an average person? They’re not far off.

                1. Aren’t most people average? Isn’t that what is usually meant when someone uses the term?

                2. hint: YOU ARE AN AVERAGE PERSON

                  1. And you, Ike, are obviously a below average person – as well as being below an average person. 🙂

    3. And Principal Snyder!

    4. I noticed that, as well. Too bad his character us working the other side on this occasion. Speaking of “the other side” in Star Trek’s “Mirror Universe,” Ferengis are freedom fighters. What we see in the Mirror Universe is the result of certain past choices made differently. I wonder if, somewhere back in time, Ferengis forgot their own devotion to liberty and ended up being crony capitalists. In “our” universe, this led to Ferengi culture as we know it from TNG and DS9. In the Mirror Universe, the subjugation of the Ferengi and many other races may have helped them rediscover their roots. Had there ever been a Deep Space Nine movie, I would hope that it would have touched on those roots, perhaps in a plot thread that had Quark discovering his inner Libertarian, as the result of his rejection of the liberal/progressive turn that Ferengi politics had taken by the end of DS9.

  4. The movie will begin rolling out in theaters in 8 American cities on April 15. This is “part one,” covering the events of part one of the novel, which is itself in three parts. The long speech doesn’t become an issue until Part III….

    1. The movie will begin rolling out in theaters in 8 American cities on April 15.

      On income tax day? Ha! Ha! What could be more appropriate?!

  5. Needs more rape.

    1. That’ what Steve Smith said.

  6. Looks terrible.

    1. Really? I thought it looked decent. Seems to cover part 1 of the book reasonably accurately (at least as much as I can tell from a trailer).

      1. I thought the same thing, it looks true to the book, at least from what I can glean from the trailer. I thought Rearden was going to be Sean Penn as a Senator fighting for dental plans or something.

      2. Seems to cover part 1 of the book reasonably accurately

        I think that’s what he meant by “terrible”.

  7. Without Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in the title role, I’m not interested.

  8. Looks great. Randroid that I am, I hope they find some creative way to keep the speeches in tact but I don’t ex

    1. I’d drop the speeches altogether. It’s a movie.

      1. They don’t really belong in a novel either but It was intended to be an introduction to her philosophy as well. But I’m not all worked up about it. Even if people just come away with a more romantic sense of capitalism and don’t really turn any of it into practical knowledge, that’s still a big improvement.

      2. Nah, they’ve at least got to keep Francisco’s Money speech. Verbal smackdowns do translate well to the screen.

    2. …ect they will so here’s hoping they got someone who understands the philosophy to chop them up. Especially d’anconia’s money speech.

  9. I wonder if the lefty websites will go ahead and publish their pre-scripted negatives reviews ahead of time. I’d sure to love to read a few of them early, to set the mood.

    1. They can just reprint the Whittaker Chambers review of the book.

      “To the gas chamber, go!”

    2. More likely, they will just ignore the movie as if it doesn’t exist.

      1. I second that. The lefty playbook of late seems to be “nothing to see here”, not “let me explain why you’re incorrect”. Which I guess is better than the other lefty playbook that says “Here’s a bullet to the base of your skull”.

  10. RE: comically long speeches.

    I hope they go whole hog and let ’em rip all in one loooong close-up. Anyone ever see DOWN WITH LOVE? That’s what I’m talking about…

    1. The speeches will make perfect DVD extras.

      1. Reading is hard.

  11. Battlefield Derp.

    1. I lol’d.

      1. Yeah, threadwinner right there.

  12. zOMG!!! High-Speed Rail!!!!

    This is gonna be so awesome!!!

  13. Seems strange to set this in the modern day but against the backdrop of the locomotive industry. Not exactly the same as it was in Rand’s time. I would have thought this would either be a period piece set in the 1930s or they would modernize the choice of industry in which this drama plays out to better match the 21st century world.

    This trailer was kind of cringe-inducing. Maybe it all works in the film and makes sense as a whole package.

    1. I was thinking that myself, but I think they can make it work. The real problem is that when people see modern passenger trains, they think of statist epic fails like Amtrak instead of ye olde trains, which people would associate with tophat and monocle industrialists.

      But, switching the time period would cost money, so I imagine they are going for the feel of prohibition-era America while keeping things modern.

      1. Good point, I wasn’t even thinking of that. I was just thinking that the thrust of Rand’s plot is around the great industrialists all “going Galt” and taking the economy down with them. Would anyone notice if Amtrak shut down tomorrow? Are we building so much today that the steel industry is the cornerstone of our economy?

        In the modern time that this movie is apparently taking place (they have cell phones), it would make more sense to have the great industrialists be people like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs saying “screw it, the Chinese are stealing our work product, let’s shut it all down”.

        The suspense of wondering if a new rail project is going to be built or not is like wondering whether The Who will have a 15th comeback tour or not (i.e. not suspenseful at all). But if someone said all the computers in the world – in our homes, communication satellites, cars, cell phones, you name it – were shutting down at midnight, you’d have my attention.

        1. > In the modern time that this movie is apparently taking place
          > (they have cell phones)

          “Operator, send a text message to PENNSYLVANIA-6500 for me…”

        2. I went to one of the Who comeback shows. The music was great, the replacement band members were awesome, Daltry hit the high notes in signature pieces such as “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” and my family and I thoroughly enjoyed the evening. That said, with two of the four founding members gone, they probably need to entitle any subsequent tour, “Who’s Left?”

      2. No doubt it’s the money, but it would be awesome if rail was updated to private space industry, Rearden metal to nanotech composites, and stuff like that.

    2. Well…The problem is, Rand never really named a definitive time period for the story. There’s a mixture of both contemporary (for her time) and futuristic technologies in the novel. It could take place in the 1950s, or it could take place in the near future, or it could be a completely different alternate time period altogether.

      Rand probably did this because she was aware of the potential anachronisms in her work, so she left the time period vague on purpose to try and keep it perenially relevant.

      1. Passenger rail was already obsolete in the 1950s.

        1. I’m not so sure about that. In 1958 I rode a train all the way from Houston to Chicago and then back again several months later. I don’t know the name of the station or terminal we came into or through in Chicago, but the railyards there were really something to see. I’ll never forget the image of a steam locomotive pulling a train of cars, out of a building, along a trestle several hundred feet or more up above the rest of the yard, with more trains everywhere one looked. (Talk about a kickass experience…there is, or was, nothing like a train ride to really see the country.)

          As a kid I remember seeing lots of passenger trains and people riding them – this was before passenger jets were common. I suppose though, that by the middle sixties they were nearly obsolete.

          1. Steam locomotives in 1958? Really? You sure it wasn’t a diesel?

            1. They weren’t very common, I’d guess, but they were still around. This was an old-fashioned, black-painted, coal-burning locomotive with the wheels that had arms on them (or whatever they were called.) And not to be confused with the final iteration of steam locomotives either – the streamliners.

              The trains I rode on were pulled by diesels though – like the SanteFe Super Chief, if I remember correctly. I was only eight at the time. We lived in Chicago when I was five and six. I remember seeing electric buses with the power connection arm above them and elevated trains, too. I also remember standing on the sidewalk somewhere in the city with my ma and watching a train come chugging right down the middle of the boulevard. Gotta reach way back for that memory.

  14. I didn’t see fransisco in there anywhere. Does anyone know who they cast and if he’s any good?

    1. The drink-splash from Dagny around 2:10 is in Francisco’s face. Jsu Garcia.

  15. My god it looks awful. So wrong to put this in modern time period, but really what kills this is the cable access channel quality of the acting. I mean really who the fuck greenlit this? I read Atlas Shrugged once a year and it really pisses me off that such a sub par representation of Ayns work is being sold to the public. No it doesn’t need big name actors, but really, this looks awful, almost as if someone in Hollywood wanted to smear this great work.

    1. That’s the first thing that jumped out at me while seeing the trailer. The acting looked rough. Sadly so, considering I remember Jolie and Theron possibly having roles. But it was a message book more than anything, so maybe it’ll carry anyway. Regardless, I’m still going to see if it is released to a theater nearby me or if it is one of those limited releases you can see on cable while still in the theaters.

      1. I thought it looked reasonable.

        Any production of Atlas Shrugged that does not come across as silly or preachy will be a good thing.

        High-speed rail is quite appropriate since we don’t have it in the US and Obama is pushing for it, it will come across as quite timely.

        And people understand what metal is more than nanoparticles and composites. It will work fine.
        Besides, that is one easy thing to do to stay faithful to the book.

        I always wanted Gregory Peck to play Hugh Akiston (even though he was a democrat) but he’s dead now.

        I hope they keep the sound wave weapon plot line.

    2. Wow – I totally have to agree. It was completely wrong to put it in a modern time period. Trains are such an anachronism that the movie-going public won’t give a rip about a movie about trains (and that’s all they’ll think it’s about).

      …and where did they get that Lifetime TV-movie reject to play Dagny Taggart? She’s got no spunk (even tho Lou Grant hates spunk).

  16. So, the bad guy’s crowning moment of evil is impotently complaining about being interrupted?

    Say what you will about Michael Bay, but at least he knows how to make a trailer.

  17. Ellis isn’t the bad guy.

    1. Sorry, I don’t know the novel well enough to recognize characters, and assumed since he was fat and pockmarked and loud he had to be bad.

      1. Also, the person he was yelling at was obviously meant to be a protagonist.

        1. Yes, Ellis thought Dagny was corrupt like her brother in the book. So he basically threatened her until she proved herself. Because of Jim Taggert’s lobbying/rentseeking, Ellis Wyatt lost his primary carrier and was forced to use Taggert. And was not at all happy about it.

    2. Of course, that’s a problem for the trailer too. Most people AREN’T going to recognize characters from the story, and are going to be immensely confused about who’s on which side. It’s a chaotic jumble of minor characters.

  18. I’m in.

  19. Fuckin’ Ragnar Danneskj?ld, how does he work?

    Best name evah.

  20. Apologies to the Rand folks, but that book was freaking tedious and preachy.

    Now, if they kept the storyline, but added in a superhero and some hardcore Asian porn, then we’ve got ourselves a movie.

  21. I thought Angelina Jolie had signed on to be Dagny. I guess they couldn’t afford her.

  22. Looks pretty good to me. I think that the modern timeframe is fine as it will make the movie appeal to a wider audience.

    It’s been over 25 years since I read Atlas Shrugged and it’s in the to-read pile. Will have to get thru at least Part I before I see the movie.

    … Hobbit

    1. There and Back Again started filming recently…

      1. One of the promises I made to myself was to read The Hobbit to my children.

        Looking forward to Jackson’s version.

        … Hobbit

  23. I’m the rarest of creatures: a libertarian who has never read a single Ayn Rand book and has no plans to.

      1. He seems proud of the fact that he doesn’t.

      2. Despite being a product of the Chicago Public Schools I am at least miniomally literate. I generally don’t read fiction though.

        If what I heard of her books made me think I’d enjoy it, maybe I would. But most of the time it sounds like the literary equivalent of eating your vegetables.

        1. I tried desperately to spell ‘minimally’ correctly, but it just didn’t work out for me.

          1. being a product of the Chicago Public Schools I am at least miniomally literate

            Once you said you were a product of the Chicago Public Schools, no further explanation was necessary.

        2. I understand why you assume that it would be rare to come across people who weigh in on books they have never read and never intend to. Because it should be rare. It’s not.

    1. I’m right there with you. I’m more of a Heinlein fan myself, and never read any Rand at all.

      All the same, Rand’s legendary rambling speeches can’t possibly be worse than the fifty page speech that ended Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle”.

      1. The speeches don’t necessarily ramble. The longest one is pretty hard to get through in one sitting or at all without skipping a bit here and there. But I always thought the minor “speeches” fit in pretty well.
        The Frisco money speech in particular.

        We the Living is very good and is the most like a “normal” novel with few speeches. Semi-autobiographical, set in 1920’s time-frame as I recall or just after the 1917 revolution in Russia.

        Ellsworth Toohey in The Fountainhead is just like Zizek today.

    2. My brother had Anthem on his required reading list in high school. Didn’t do him any good, he turned out to be a progressive, anyway.

      … Hobbit

      1. Another victim of cliff notes.

    3. I’d say you are not the ”rarest of creatures” but unfortunately one of the many who like to call themselves “libertarian” but have no clue what the word means. A libertarian who hasn’t read Rand? Give me break!

  24. Dude, as much as I love the book, there can be no denial: This movie is gonna suck, and become a critical failure of gigantic proportions.

    1. Looks that way to me too. But I’m not a fan of modern digital film gloss and bad acting. A movie like this should be a classic epic filmed in a classic style, but from the trailer it looks mediocre at best. Then again, I said the same about The Social Network’s trailer and that’s supposed to be a good movie…

  25. Oh, is that the high speed rail they’re talking about these days? What’s in Colorado? Some sort of national park or something?

  26. This is the “Left Behind” of libertarian movie adaptations.

    1. This seems about right. Furthermore, the slacktivist gave some credit to the LB movie for being better than the book, because the nature of film allowed them to dump the worst aspects of the book. It is possible the same will happen here.

  27. Acting looks really shaky, especially the leads. There are some very good character actors among the secondary roles, they’ll probably be fine. I was surprised by the apparent production values. It looks pretty good.

    Liberals are undergoing a wave of nostalgia for mid-20th century tech, so who knows? Maybe a few will be tricked into watching it.

  28. the content articles are continually beneficial for me!

  29. A much better movie. Atlas is wonderful and all, but it’s no Lemmy Kilmister….


  30. Dude! Principal Snyder, the Mormon from House season 4, and Eyebrows McGee from Mulholland Drive! I’m there. … and that’s not sarcasm.

  31. The senator looks like Barney Frank.

    1. The dude with the cigar in his mouth looks like Waxman.

  32. I’m a fan of the book, but this looks terrible.

    1. You can’t always tell a movie by its trailer.

  33. I’m don’t hold out much hope for a good movie by intermediate or advanced libertarian standards…but it’s still possible that we might end up with a solid piece of agitprop capable of reaching people who’ve otherwise been rendered illiterate by public schooling.

    No political movement can accomplish much without them, in the long run. And even a bad movie has got to be better than the NeoCon trick of bamboozling people with religion, which a.) doesn’t work anymore, b.) caused more trouble than it could ever possibly have been worth, and c.) never worked anyway.

    BTW – I lack the skills required, but I’d love to see someone throw together a parody trailer for Human Action: The Movie. “In a world of distorted price signals, one woman understands the implications of marginal utlity…as she’s choses between the love of three great economic theorists. One of whom she’s never met.”

  34. I can’t wait to download it for free.

    1. looter!

  35. Possibly OT: Okay, the spirit of The Romantic Manifesto come to life? Also, check the announcer and his reference to money. One of the greatest sporting things I’ve ever seen. Rooney bicycles Man City, and I don’t even really love soccer.


  36. They should have remade We The Living. In difference to Atlas Shrugged, here we’re talking about an engaging story with believable characters people can relate to and a plot people can enjoy without buying into every last aspect of strict Objectivism. With a good screenwriter, they could have produced a movie with starring A-listers, scoring favorable reviews and make millions. Hey, I think Ayn Rand would have preferred that!

  37. Trailer looked good. I am seeiked.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.