Ayn Rand’s masterpiece Atlas Shrugged should be required reading in every school and university in America.
It is the anti-Socialism guide book–a warning anthem against allowing government to take over every aspect of our lives.
I’ve read Atlas three times and even missed a flight last year while furiously writing notes about it, so to say the least, I’ve been anxiously waiting for the movie version to be made.
And getting it made was very difficult indeed. After being in development hell for 40 years and ultimately with no major studios (or stars) backing it, private investor/business man John Aglialoro bought the rights and enlisted former actor Paul Johansson to direct.
(One can only imagine liberal Hollywood chickened out because they realized how much of a mirror they’d be holding up to themselves and it would NOT be a very good reflection…)
I was skeptical about the movie version, especially having seen the mess the studios made of ‘The Fountainhead’. (Patricia Neal as Dominique Francon??
But today, Atlas Shrugged the movie (Part 1 of 3) is finally in theaters.
If you can find those theaters, that is.
Even living in Los Angeles, we had to seek out anyplace showing it and we ended up somewhere out in Chatsworth. Once inside the theater, there were no posters, no marquis, and Atlas was at the very end of a very quiet hallway.
My husband Mark and I went to the 5:30 showing; we got there extra early because we wanted to see everyone who came in.
Would they be Ayn Rand fans, like us?
Would they be liberal infiltrators?
Would anyone show up at all besides us? Slowly the room got fuller. Not blockbuster-movie full, but a good crowd for 5:30 on a Friday.
Mark couldn’t resist and started talking to some people around us. I was nervous, because living in LA you just never know who you’re sitting next to—but soon we had a great conversation going about liberals in Hollywood, lasting until the movie started.
And about the movie—I’m happy to say it was good. Really good.
It starts in 2016 and paints a very accurate portrait of what America will probably look like if Obama serves a second term…Gas prices have skyrocketed so high that people are now taking the train.
Government has taken over basically every aspect in life, with people in power constantly spouting about ‘leveling the playing field’ and making everything ‘fair’ for everyone.
Union leaders are threatening to strike, and words like ‘moratoriums’, ‘sanctions’ and ‘entitlement programs’ are sprinkled throughout.
Seeing larger-than-life characters like Dagny Taggert and Hank Reardon come alive, in a word, fun. Taylor Schilling’s Dagny was very Rand-like: thin, angular, chin held high, eyes unblinking and Grant Bowler as Reardon was strong, virile and had the perfect blend of self-assurance and world-weariness.
The ending was spectacular and apparently everyone in the audience thought so, too, because they burst into applause. When you live in such a liberal part of the world like Los Angeles, things like that are mighty special.
As Mark and I were leaving, we asked the couple who sat behind us what they thought. Sabina Baretta, a Valley resident, said, “It was really well done and I’m excited to see Part 2. I just hope people see the resemblance to where we are in America today.
We’re basically at the point of economic collapse just like in ‘Atlas Shrugged’.” Her friend Rob Collister also liked the movie, adding it was a ‘tough story to make.’
Very true; it’s difficult to break down a 1000+ page book—which is more of a philosophy than an action-packed story– even into a trilogy. So if you haven’t already, I highly recommend you read the book before seeing the movie.
I know—everyone always says that—but in this case I think it’s imperative. There are so many characters and events that are skimmed through in the film that you really need to read the book to appreciate everything that wasn’t fleshed.
Mark hasn’t yet read it so at different times during the movie I kept wanting to whisper things to him—like pointing out the gold dollar sign on the cigarette, or to help him understand why I was so excited about seeing people like Ellis Wyatt and Francisco d’Anconia; or to explain my sense of glee in finally seeing that ‘blue green’ shade of Reardon metal.
But for someone who hadn’t read Atlas Shrugged, Mark did enjoy it and is going to start reading the book this weekend.
I’m not sure when (or if) they’ll begin production on Part 2; it will probably depend on the success of the first one.
The good news is that as we were leaving, there was a long line of people waiting to go to the showing after ours. And in such a liberal town as LA, that really is a good sign.
Editor’s Note: We welcome to Mrs. Murrell to our staff, we hope that you will enjoy her writing. And on her discussions and let us know what you think.
Ann-Marie Murrell is a Conservative writer and a contributor to The Reagan Report and also of the Gold Coast Chronicle.
Like President Reagan, Ann-Marie Murrell began the first part of her life as a democrat. September 11, 2001 changed everything for her, as she watched the buildings in New York collapsed. At that point she understood what evil truly was, and the importance of having a strong, capable leader in America.
So on September 12, 2001 she called her local GOP office and officially registered as a Republican. These days Ann-Marie considers herself a Conservative/Republican (in that order) and has the highest level of respect for President Ronald Reagan and all that he stood for.
She lives in Southern California with her husband, Mark, and she has a (Conservative!) 25-year old son, Jason. You may reach Ann-Marie at firstname.lastname@example.org