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Atlas Shrugged Movie

I didn’t hear anything about this until today, but it looks like a movie based on Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged” is opening today in select theaters. I haven’t seen the movie, so I couldn’t comment on the quality, but below is a trailer for the movie. It appears to not be a high-budget blockbuster, so we’ll see how it does. Most of the leftwing media is panning the movie, but I would fathom that is based on ideology rather than the movie itself. I would suggest asking someone you know who might have seen it for a real critique. Many people are intrigued by Rand’s work, but the prospect of committing to read such a long book is daunting, so this may be a way of getting a glimpse of her art, and if it seems interesting enough maybe they will pick up the book (I would never suggest a movie is better than a book).

I don’t really like the site, but you can find theaters that are playing the movie here:

Also, here’s piece about Ayn Rand in yesterday’s WSJ:

Remembering the Real Ayn Rand
The author of "Atlas Shrugged" was an individualist, not a conservative, and she knew big business was as much a threat to capitalism as government bureaucrats.

Tomorrow's release of the movie version of "Atlas Shrugged" is focusing attention on Ayn Rand's 1957 opus and the free-market ideas it espouses. Book sales for "Atlas" have always been brisk—and all the more so in the past few years, as actual events have mirrored Rand's nightmare vision of economic collapse amid massive government expansion. Conservatives are now hailing Rand as a tea party Nostradamus, hence the timing of the movie's premiere on tax day.

When Rand created the character of Wesley Mouch, it's as though she was anticipating Barney Frank (D., Mass). Mouch is the economic czar in "Atlas Shrugged" whose every move weakens the economy, which in turn gives him the excuse to demand broader powers. Mr. Frank steered Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to disaster with mandates for more lending to low-income borrowers. After Fannie and Freddie collapsed under the weight of their subprime mortgage books, Mr. Frank proclaimed last year: "The way to cure that is to give us more authority." Mouch couldn't have said it better himself.

But it's a misreading of "Atlas" to claim that it is simply an antigovernment tract or an uncritical celebration of big business. In fact, the real villain of "Atlas" is a big businessman, railroad CEO James Taggart, whose crony capitalism does more to bring down the economy than all of Mouch's regulations. With Taggart, Rand was anticipating figures like Angelo Mozilo, the CEO of Countrywide Financial, the subprime lender that proved to be a toxic mortgage factory. Like Taggart, Mr. Mozilo engineered government subsidies for his company in the name of noble-sounding virtues like home ownership for all.

Still, most of the heroes of "Atlas" are big businessmen who are unfairly persecuted by government. The struggle of Rand's fictional steel magnate Henry Rearden against confiscatory regulation is a perfect anticipation of the antitrust travails of Microsoft CEO Bill Gates. In both cases, the government's depredations were inspired by behind-the-scenes maneuverings of business rivals. And now Microsoft is maneuvering against Google with an antitrust complaint in the European Union.

The reality is that in Rand's novel, as in life, self-described capitalists can be the worst enemies of capitalism. But that doesn't fit in easily with the simple pro-business narrative about Rand now being retailed.

Today, Rand is celebrated among conservatives: Rep. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.) insists that all his staffers read "Atlas Shrugged." It wasn't always this way. During Rand's lifetime—she died in 1982—she was loathed by the mainstream conservative movement.

Rand was a devout atheist, which set her against the movement's Christian bent. She got off on the wrong foot with the movement's founder, William F. Buckley Jr., when she introduced herself to him in her thick Russian accent, saying "You are too intelligent to believe in God!" The subsequent review of "Atlas Shrugged" by Whittaker Chambers in Buckley's "National Review" was nothing short of a smear, and it set the tone for her relationship with the movement ever since—at least until now.

Rand rankled conservatives by living her life as an exemplary feminist, even as she denied it by calling herself a "male chauvinist." She was the breadwinner throughout her lifelong marriage. The most sharply drawn hero in "Atlas" is the extraordinarily capable female railroad executive Dagny Taggart, who is set in contrast with her boss, her incompetent brother James. She's the woman who deserves the man's job but doesn't have it; he's the man who has the job but doesn't deserve it.

Rand was strongly pro-choice, speaking out for abortion rights even before Roe v. Wade. In late middle age, she became enamored of a much younger man and made up her mind to have an affair with him, having duly informed her husband and the younger man's wife in advance. Conservatives don't do things like that—or at least they say they don't.

These weren't the only times Rand took positions that didn't ingratiate her to the right. She was an early opponent of the Vietnam war, once saying, "I am against the war in Vietnam and have been for years. . . . In my view we should fight fascism and communism when they come to this country." During the '60s she declared, "I am an enemy of racism," and advised opponents of school busing, "If you object to sending your children to school with black children, you'll lose for sure because right is on the other side."

If anything, Rand's life ought to ingratiate her to the left. An immigrant woman, she arrived alone and penniless in the United States in 1925. Had she shown up today with the same tale, liberals would give her a driver's license and register her to vote.

But Rand was always impossible to pin down politically. She loathed Dwight Eisenhower, whom she believed lacked conviction. And in 1975 she wrote, "I urge you, as emphatically as I can, not to support the candidacy of Ronald Reagan," primarily on the grounds that he didn't support pure laissez-faire capitalism. But she endorsed Richard Nixon in 1968 because he supported abolition of the military draft. Rand was especially proud of her protégé Alan Greenspan for serving with Milton Friedman on Nixon's Gates Commission, the findings of which led to today's all-volunteer army.

Rand was not a conservative or a liberal: She was an individualist. "Atlas Shrugged" is, at its heart, a plea for the most fundamental American ideal—the inalienable rights of the individual. On tax day, with our tax dollars going to big government and subsidies for big business, let's remember it's the celebration of individualism that has kept "Atlas Shrugged" among the best-selling novels of all time.

Source =
Been meaning to read that book...
I guess I should get around to it, eh?

I doubt I'll watch that movie though... especially since it's just 'part 1'.
I read the book twice, but probably need to reread it again. As well as Fountain Head and We the Living. I think it would spoil the movie if one went into the Biography and Character of Ayn Rand. The book is excellent and a work of art regardless of Ayn Rand's background or personality. It gripped me right from the beginning to the end. The struggle for freedom of the individual to be able to create and make money without playing nice to Government or Society. I look forward to seeing the movie. What I particularly like is that the actors are not well known, so that would make it easier to look at the movie without being distracted by "famous actors".
Moviegoers Shrugged.

Box Office: 'Atlas Shrugged' collapses, even without a NY Times review

After a middling performance during its opening weekend that was hyped in some quarters (i.e., The Hollywood Reporter), the per-screen average for this amateurish Ayn Rand adaptation (even Kyle could only muster 2.5 stars' worth of enthusiam for the movie, though he liked its message) plunged to an alarming $1,890 from $5,640 during its opening frame. Overall, the weekend's take was a scant $879,000 -- a whopping 48 percent drop despite adding 166 locations. Which certainly suggest they're running out of audience quick.

That means that at some locations, distributor Rocky Mountain Pictures will be writing checks to theaters to cover the difference between receipts and operating expenses.
The only way they're likely to get the 1,000 screens the producers say they want next weekend is to rent them. And, as Kyle put it at his personal blog, "Whether the sequels get made is purely a matter of how much desire the producers have for losing money.''

Surely rubbing salt in the producers' wounds is the performance of Robert Redford's left-leaning "The Conspirator,'' which also added screens in its second weekend and managed a decent hold and a $2,696 per location average. Its current cumulative gross is $6.9 million vs. a hair over $3 million for "Atlas Shrugged.''
handfleisch wrote:
Moviegoers Shrugged.
A good one ..... Laughing I'm definitely going to watch the movie when I get the opportunity. Then will report back. I'd think it would be a really tough challenge to portray the essence of the book like "Atlas Shrugged" in a movie. But I'd like to see for myself. Who knows, I may just get up after 10 minutes and walk out. As obviously my standards may be higher than the movie may have allowed for.
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