Forty years in the making: “Atlas Shrugged” trailer finally debuts

posted at 7:37 pm on February 11, 2011 by Allahpundit

No joke: 40 years. Philip Klein of AmSpec got a sneak peek at the trailer last night and ended up politely panning it, describing the Randian dialogue as stilted and the attempts to link the plot to current events as too strenuous. Fair enough, but realistically is there any way to turn this book into something that would please both mass audiences and Rand devotees? You have to choose, and anyone who loves her enough to make a multi-part film about it will probably choose the devotees.

If anything, to me it feels too generic, like a promo for some new Fox primetime soap about young, beautiful businesspeople. Think “Melrose Place” meets “Wall Street.” Or isn’t that what “Atlas Shrugged” basically is, plus some loooooooong didactic passages about libertarianism? (Haven’t read it!)

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This is why the stance of the right CANNOT be about “fiscal conservatism”. It is the social values freedom upon which capitalism is founded that must be defended first, and the fiscal issues will solve themselves.

Freelancer on February 11, 2011 at 8:29 PM

Freedom is the first, last, and only “value” I’m worried about defending on the national stage. The more that can be handled locally, as goes virtue and values and everything else, the better.

gryphon202 on February 11, 2011 at 8:31 PM

The greatest paragraph in the book:

“Man’s mind is his basic tool of survival. Life is given to him; survival is not. His body is given to him, its sustenance is not. His mind is given to him, its contents are not. To remain alive, he must act, and before he can act he must know the NATURE AND PURPOSE OF HIS ACTION.”

Ayn Rand

technopeasant on February 11, 2011 at 8:31 PM

turfmann on February 11, 2011 at 8:05 PM

I’m with you. The stark contrasts between the two sides being represented in the book would be properly portrayed in black and white. The framing of the scenes, and the behavior of the people, would feel best captured in art deco sets. As it is, I get the impression that the imagery will take away from the message in this production, and that’s too bad.

Freelancer on February 11, 2011 at 8:33 PM

To remain alive, he must act, and before he can act he must know the NATURE AND PURPOSE OF HIS ACTION.”

Ayn Rand

technopeasant on February 11, 2011 at 8:31 PM

or he can just go down and get is welfare check. either way…

unseen on February 11, 2011 at 8:33 PM

Yeah, the trailer does feel like a generic Fox drama.

clearbluesky on February 11, 2011 at 8:34 PM

I’m a book snob and I loved this book.

It appears from the trailer to be some mediocre acting and I’m not certain I like their casting choices. However, I will still see the movie and reserve all further comment until then………..which is going to be difficult. LOL

Virginia Shanahan on February 11, 2011 at 8:34 PM

The book was long winded and could have told the same story in half the amount of pages.

darwin-t on February 11, 2011 at 8:37 PM

Or isn’t that what “Atlas Shrugged” basically is, plus some loooooooong didactic passages about libertarianism?

Objectivism is not libertarianism. It’s specifically atheist, non-anarchist, and non-altruistic. Libertarian is a broad political grouping that includes factions of all sorts (Religious, anarchist, democratic, altruistic, etc).

ebrawer on February 11, 2011 at 8:37 PM

Loved the book; sadly been seeing it become reality all around me the last few decades, lol. I’ll see it; the rest of you should as well, or should damn well read the book if your philosophy is one that has you hanging around this place with anything but trolling on your minds.

Midas on February 11, 2011 at 8:37 PM

I’ll watch it, simply because I’m a big Rand fan. But I expect a Hollywood bashing of Rand. Why not? Why wouldn’t this be the logical thing to expect, given Hollywood nowadays?

petefrt on February 11, 2011 at 8:38 PM

So when’s the part when they say: “To a gas chamber — go!”

scatbug on February 11, 2011 at 8:38 PM

Objectivism is not libertarianism. It’s specifically atheist, non-anarchist, and non-altruistic. Libertarian is a broad political grouping that includes factions of all sorts (Religious, anarchist, democratic, altruistic, etc).

ebrawer on February 11, 2011 at 8:37 PM

Not all self-professing objectivists are atheists. I am not. But a lot of libertarians seem to invoke the name of their movement when they really mean “libertine.”

gryphon202 on February 11, 2011 at 8:41 PM

(Haven’t read it!)

Try the abridged, audio version. That was what I listened to for about 6 weeks while working out.

Mallard T. Drake on February 11, 2011 at 8:45 PM

petefrt on February 11, 2011 at 8:38 PM

ditto

cmsinaz on February 11, 2011 at 8:45 PM

All Rand’s dialogues are stilted.

entropent on February 11, 2011 at 7:45 PM

I think you mean Rand’s sex scenes.

***

Two issues here: 1. Have to agree that this looks like a glorified Law and Order, not cinema-quality.
2. How relevant is a rail system in current society? (I’m looking at you, Obama.)

Bee on February 11, 2011 at 8:49 PM

All Rand’s dialogues are stilted.

entropent on February 11, 2011 at 7:45 PM

I think you mean Rand’s sex scenes.

***

Two issues here: 1. Have to agree that this looks like a glorified Law and Order, not cinema-quality.
2. How relevant is a rail system in current society? (I’m looking at you, Obama.)

Bee on February 11, 2011 at 8:50 PM

Here is how I see Atlas Shrugged:

For those who call the book atheistic and irreligious, I would invite you to look at the lives of the main heroic characters in the book. They are so busy living their lives, being productive and conducting themselves according to their belief system that it the government and their enemies who are playing the role of the devil, whose desire to impede their progress and to eventually destroy them.

Atlas Shrugged is the interplay of good and evil on a grand stage with monumental consequences for society.

I found nothing unholy or repugnant about Dagny Taggart, Hank Rearden, Francisco d’Anconia, or John Galt but with respect to Hank Taggart, Wesley Mouch and Robert Stadler, and Lillian Rearden they were despicable creatures.

technopeasant on February 11, 2011 at 8:51 PM

*sigh* Sorry for the double comment. Glitchy laptop.

Bee on February 11, 2011 at 8:52 PM

Try the abridged, audio version. That was what I listened to for about 6 weeks while working out.

Mallard T. Drake on February 11, 2011 at 8:45 PM

Yes! The audio version is excellent. The reader brings every character to life. It’s like the Golden Age of Radio. Marvelous.

petefrt on February 11, 2011 at 8:56 PM

Not all self-professing objectivists are atheists. I am not. But a lot of libertarians seem to invoke the name of their movement when they really mean “libertine.”

gryphon202 on February 11, 2011 at 8:41 PM

Objectivist is the name Rand coined for her philosophy. Her philosophy is specifically atheist… It’s an integral part. Someone who claims to be Objectivist yet not atheist probably doesn’t know what Objectivism is (hopefully).

You might as well say not all airplanes fly in the sky.

If you want to pick and chose, and divorce cause from effect, you can… You’ll just be a Libertarian.

That’s what the Rothbardians-libertarians did. They were principally economists. They liked one of Rand’s conclusions (the principle of non-initiation of force) and made it an axiom. As a result, they ended up being anarchists, which lies in complete contradiction to objectivism.

ebrawer on February 11, 2011 at 8:57 PM

Honestly, I’ve seen very bad movies look brilliant in a trailer, and very good ones look boring. I’ll wait and see it.

I do hope that some of Rand’s LONG dialogues are pared down though. They were hard enough to read and I would be lying if I didn’t admit to skimming a few pages once or twice in the book.

BierManVA on February 11, 2011 at 9:09 PM

Meh. read.

BHO Jonestown on February 11, 2011 at 9:12 PM

(Haven’t read it!)

Shame on you AP!! Get reading. With diligence, you can be finished by the premiere.

JohnGalt23 on February 11, 2011 at 9:14 PM

Meh. Looks boring. Zzzzzzzzzzzz.

terryannonline on February 11, 2011 at 9:16 PM

I actually finished Atlas Shrugged in two weeks. I just couldn’t put it down. Some of the dialogue was indeed tedious and redundant, but the overall theme just got to me and I wanted to see how it ended. I hate going to movies, but I will make an exception for this. I guess I am in the minority here, but I don’t think the casting is so terrible. I am willing to give them a chance.

XWing5 on February 11, 2011 at 9:17 PM

Books are always better than their movies.

beatcanvas on February 11, 2011 at 7:44 PM

Not true.

Silence of the Lambs: Exhibit A

JohnGalt23 on February 11, 2011 at 9:21 PM

My only question: Where’s Frisco?

elcapt on February 11, 2011 at 7:43 PM

Engineering The Crash.

JohnGalt23 on February 11, 2011 at 9:24 PM

Another one for black and white. If I had the rights and the money to make the movie, I would set it in the proper time period and go for a cult classic rather than a blockbuster. As a blockbuster, it will be a major bust.

Just viewing the trailer, it looks liked the movie is really dumbed down from the book.

huckleberryfriend on February 11, 2011 at 9:26 PM

Looks well produced but badly casted. Lots of bland, pleasant looking people giving bland line reads. Only actor I recognized was Armin Shimmerman (Quark from Deep Space Nine, and yes, I’m a dork because I recognized him without his makeup).

TheMightyMonarch on February 11, 2011 at 8:11 PM

I recognized him too. He’s been seen in lots of stuff without his makeup. His role as the principal on Buffy was arguably as popular as Quark.

I also spotted Graham Beckel(Bob’s brother). And sadly I saw the name Paul Johannson listed as the director. Please tell me Dan Scott from One Tree Hill(and John Sears from the original 90210) is not the one making this movie. According to the IMDB, he’s also playing John Galt.

Doughboy on February 11, 2011 at 9:29 PM

For those of you who DON’T want to slog through Rand’s prose, she thoughtfully excerpted the major philosophical sections of her fiction in a short, readable anthology called FOR THE NEW INTELLECTUAL, with an interesting new title essay that discusses her views on the concept of “public intellectuals” and the interrelationships between intellectuals, businessmen and the public:

http://www.amazon.com/New-Intellectual-Philosophy-Anniversary-Signet/dp/0451163087/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1297477660&sr=1-1

ebrown2 on February 11, 2011 at 9:30 PM

Epic novel. She is the Victor Hugo of capitalism.

AshleyTKing on February 11, 2011 at 9:33 PM

I am soooo sick of the the current fare rammed down my throat by today’s entertainment industry.

Stilted shmilted.. I’ll gladly shell out $10 for something, anything, with right-leaning heroes and Olberman-esque villains..

Quetzal on February 11, 2011 at 9:34 PM

Almost any step in the RIGHT direction would be a step in the right direction.

TiminPhx on February 11, 2011 at 9:38 PM

huckleberryfriend on February 11, 2011 at 9:26 PM

Kinda thinking the same thing.

Will the movie be true at least to the Spirit of the novel?

How many people today will really ‘get’ this? To many people, the government has become exactly what it is portrayed as in the story – the arbiter of all, particularly in the name of ‘fairness’ or as its referred to now, social justice. How many real rugged individualists, as portrayed in the novel, are there nowadays?

catmman on February 11, 2011 at 9:47 PM

No-name cast = little interest at the box office. Parts two and three might not even get made.

xblade on February 11, 2011 at 10:00 PM

Have tried several times to get all the way through this book–can’t do it.

jeanie on February 11, 2011 at 10:03 PM

The framing of the scenes, and the behavior of the people, would feel best captured in art deco sets.

Freelancer on February 11, 2011 at 8:33 PM

I agree…something like a combination of Metropolis or the modern remake of Richard III. Something harkening back to the early Twentieth Century-a time of rising Capitalism, ingenuity, and technological progress, but yet no time in particular.

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 11, 2011 at 10:04 PM

Disappointing.

First, make a film-noir style art deco graphic novel of it. Then make the movie.

ZenDraken on February 11, 2011 at 10:10 PM

The only way to make Atlas Shrugged work as a movie would be a drastic rewrite to make it conform to current events. Obviously they didn’t go that route, so that turkey is DOA. More than one part?! Sheesh!

ElectricPhase on February 11, 2011 at 10:13 PM

The only way to make Atlas Shrugged work as a movie would be a drastic rewrite to make it conform to current events. Obviously they didn’t go that route, so that turkey is DOA. More than one part?! Sheesh!

I read somewhere that in order to retain the rights to Atlas, the producer had to make the movie now; but with that done, he retains the right to make a better movie later, if this isn’t that great. I personally don’t see how the book can be treated in less than 10 or 12 hours, so I think a commercial-free mini-series on a cable channel or pay-per-view might have been better. (But 6 movies released for the big screen over a year or two period might have been fun.)

Prediction: Whatever the quality, a movie based on Atlas Shrugged will make at least…250 million.

And Allah “I haven’t read it!” Pundit, I praise your courage in admitting today that you’re basically culturally illiterate.

BCrago77 on February 11, 2011 at 10:57 PM

I would love if they could make Red Dawn a series on say.. Spike? Or Fox? Heck, I would even go with ABC as they seem to be doing some interesting series as of late. V comes to mind as well.

upinak on February 11, 2011 at 8:00 PM

That’s more or less what Jericho was.

DaveS on February 11, 2011 at 8:07 PM

That was one of the most bipolar(can’t think of a better way to describe it) shows I’ve ever seen. Turned out being domestic terrorism(Americans were the bad guys), heavy eco message(windmills), an evil, Blackwater-like company… But it was unusually pro 2nd amendment and pro family. I kinda liked the show, though.

As for this, I read the book many years ago and found it enjoyable and easy to read, with the big exception of Galt’s much too long speech. The trailer is a bit disappointing. Not keen on the cast, the script needs a lot of work, and making it contemporary was a mistake, stylistically and practically. Trains, now? I’ll see the first part, but if it’s not better than the trailer, probably skip 2 and 3. The directing needs to be a bit more deft and subtle for it to be effective and memorable.

Dongemaharu on February 11, 2011 at 10:59 PM

How about a mini-series like “John Adams”. Atlas Shrugged should be kept to the original time frame and given many hours of film to develop the characters and the plot.

Mojave Mark on February 11, 2011 at 11:27 PM

Parade Magazine polled Book-Of-The-Month subscribers and Library of Congress users for their most influential books in the 20th century. The Bible and Atlas Shrugged were listed no’s 1 and 2.

You could say that both books are on opposite ends of the same pole that depicts good and evil, justice and injustice, purity and depravity. For some, it’s a difficult book to get through; for others, like the bible, it is read over and over, with new wisdom every time it is read. Put me in the latter column.

Understanding Atlas Shrugged can probably be more easily done by first reading The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand’s first novel. It will introduce you to Ms. Rand’s concepts and her writing style and more easily help you read her magnum opus.

It is a book worthy of being portrayed in a movie, and it will shock everyone by the turnout. In its 53rd year and selling half a million copies last year, it has a silent, thoughtful following who won’t listen to the critics, but see it for themselves and make their own judgments. That’s a good definition of an Objectivist. :)

itsspideyman on February 11, 2011 at 11:28 PM

The USSR has come and gone; the Soviet rule of East Berlin has come and gone; anyone with the stomach to do so can poke through the rubble of post-Communist Russia and Germany, read released segments of KGB and STASI archives, talk to people who lived in that world and hear what their wretched lives were like: see their 3-room walkup apartments and look at their 2-cylinder cars and their plastic shoes and clothing, and learn about their medical and dental care and their diet and the grim, grey, grimy world they inhabited.

For a half-century of Cold War, we in the U.S. taxed ourselves trillions of dollars for defense, and accepted tens of thousands of our people killed and injured, in a war that eventually freed the Berliners, among others, from Communism.

But BY GOD I’d love to see the Lefties’ beloved Communism re-instituted! I’d love to see it shoved up the Lefties ALL the way to the hilt — and broken off. I’d love to see every Leftie who swoons at the glories of Socialism compelled to LIVE under it for two centuries, since most of one century evidently wasn’t long enough to give them a clue.

Stick it in slowly and covertly, Obama-Socialist-fascist-fashion or stick it in openly and briskly, euro-Soviet style. Whatever the tactics, I say if people crave Socialism so deeply, then give it to them. I’ll leave the world a smiling, happy man if I can see that justice done.

HalJordan on February 11, 2011 at 11:44 PM

In the second half of the book, it becomes nearly unreadable. The technology is science-fiction; the sociology is rich and cartoonishly beautiful vs. stupid and swarthy; the economics is the only thing even based in reality, and that is cartoonish, also.

All in all a ridiculous book. The libertarian version of An Inconvenient Truth.

Jaibones on February 12, 2011 at 12:02 AM

Or isn’t that what “Atlas Shrugged” basically is, plus some loooooooong didactic passages about libertarianism? (Haven’t read it!)

This is why you will always be a beta male, and a confused Republicrat.

JeffB. on February 12, 2011 at 12:17 AM

In the second half of the book, it becomes nearly unreadable. The technology is science-fiction; the sociology is rich and cartoonishly beautiful vs. stupid and swarthy; the economics is the only thing even based in reality, and that is cartoonish, also.

All in all a ridiculous book. The libertarian version of An Inconvenient Truth

Whitaker Chambers agreed: http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/222482/big-sister-watching-you/flashback?page=1

It’s an arrogant and silly novel.

Dreadnought on February 12, 2011 at 12:19 AM

It’s an arrogant and silly novel.

Dreadnought on February 12, 2011 at 12:19 AM

Chambers’ review is priceless. Never saw it before. “Excrutiatingly awful”. Heh.

Jaibones on February 12, 2011 at 12:52 AM

I agree this should’ve been a period piece. The abandoned 20th Century Motor Company factory doesn’t even begin to capture the desperation and loss of the area portrayed in the book, and the trains don’t work well as a metaphor in a modern setting.

I also agree the casting looks like it sucks, it looks too flashy, too pretty, and the trailer makes it look like it’s going to be a terrible rendition.

On the other hand, I have one word that offsets all of that… GATTACA.


Hmm… I just read Chambers’ review.

From almost any page of Atlas Shrugged, a voice can be heard, from painful necessity, commanding: “To a gas chamber — go!”

Really?



Really?

A review from 1957 hits Godwin’s law in under three pages, accusing a woman who escaped from the USSR of wanting to send non-productives to the gas chamber. What a load of sh!t.

CPL 310 on February 12, 2011 at 1:15 AM

I am not a deep Rand fan… I liked the trailer.

I am probably the part of the target audience who is familiar with Rand but never got far in the book. I wonder where that is…

I liked the trailer. It looked interesting. I bet it does well.

petunia on February 12, 2011 at 1:34 AM

Hmm… I just read Chambers’ review.

From almost any page of Atlas Shrugged, a voice can be heard, from painful necessity, commanding: “To a gas chamber — go!”

Really?

Really?

A review from 1957 hits Godwin’s law in under three pages, accusing a woman who escaped from the USSR of wanting to send non-productives to the gas chamber. What a load of sh!t.

CPL 310 on February 12, 2011 at 1:15 AM

This is not just the case of a terrible crime. It is not the crime alone that has raised the fury of public hatred. It is the case of a daring challenge to society. It is the fact that a crime has been committed by one man, alone; that this man knew it was against all laws of humanity and intended that way; that he does not want to recognize it as a crime and that he feels superior to all. It is the amazing picture of a man with no regard whatever for all that society holds sacred, and with a consciousness all his own. A man who really stands alone, in action and in soul.

Ayn Rand

The man she is talking about kidnapped, murdered, and mutilated a twelve year old girl. He threw parts of the little girl out of his car in front of the girls father.

From We the Living

“Don’t you know,” he asked, “that we can’t sacrifice millions for the sake of the few?”

“You can! You must. When those few are the best. Deny the best its right to the top-and you have no best left. What are your masses but mud to be ground underfoot, fuel to be burned for those who deserve it? What is the people but millions of puny, shriveled, helpless souls that have no thoughts of their own, no will of their own, who eat and sleep and chew helplessly the words others put into their mildewed brains? And for those you would sacrifice the few who know life, who are life?”

In her early notes for The Fountainhead: “One puts oneself above all and crushes everything in one’s way to get the best for oneself. Fine!” (Journals, p. 78.)

Of The Fountainhead’s hero, Howard Roark: He “has learned long ago, with his first consciousness, two things which dominate his entire attitude toward life: his own superiority and the utter worthlessness of the world.” (Journals, p. 93.)

Yeah…

a voice can be heard, from painful necessity, commanding: “To a gas chamber — go!

sharrukin on February 12, 2011 at 1:53 AM

I am so stoked for this movie.

alohapundit on February 12, 2011 at 1:54 AM

Yeah.. I remember. But than trying to FIND the movie to buy is like finding oil or gold. I am still looking for it.

upinak on February 11, 2011 at 8:03 PM

Wish I’da known back in Dec.
Bought a copy for $5 at WalMart!

I confess, I have never read her works.
I did try to read Lord of The Rings & found it unbelievably horribly BORING & TEDIOUS.
It went on & on & on & on….
Yuk.
But there were good parts. I just skipped to them.
So if her stuff is like that, I could skip & still get something out of it.
Some people who write like that still have something important to say.
So one day I’ll read it.
And I think the trailer looks somewhat interesting.
But you can never tell from those things.

Badger40 on February 12, 2011 at 2:25 AM

Read ‘The Fountainhead’ Read ‘Atlas Shrugged’, both many years ago when I was younger and my time seemed unlimited.

The philosophy may be important, but the literature is dense to the point of near-impenetrability – especially Galt’s God-knows-how-many-page (I’ve mercifully forgotten) radio speech near the end of the book.

Siddhartha Vicious on February 12, 2011 at 2:48 AM

Why does a serious movie need to have a transformers-like trailer?

Is there some kind of rule against making a serious movie trailer if they going to advertise it along with other films aimed at 18-40 male demographic? Think the audience will get confused if there is a heart felt trailer running alongside Legion 2, Harry Potter, and Cowboys vs Aliens?

V-rod on February 12, 2011 at 5:02 AM

I can’t believe you haven’t read the book, AP! Clear a few days, and read it – I’m glad I did, as that book changed me. I’ve had little luck convincing my husband that we should name our next daughter Dagny, though.

I do agree that some of the language is stilted in the book, and I’m sure my version of the movie would be different than what’s portrayed above – I’d stick to the base story, Art Deco style, but rework dialogue. Still, I’ll see this movie, because I’m glad it’s being made at all.

I also agree with an earlier comment that We The Living should be done again.

Anna on February 12, 2011 at 7:26 AM

I meant to add this thought (I forgot) – I’m glad they didn’t make The Fountainhead. I honestly couldn’t finish that book, it bored me to tears. I had trouble understanding the motivations of Dominique, at least in the context of what was written in the book. But maybe that was just me.

Anna on February 12, 2011 at 7:29 AM

Prediction: Whatever the quality, a movie based on Atlas Shrugged will make at least…250 million.

And Allah “I haven’t read it!” Pundit, I praise your courage in admitting today that you’re basically culturally illiterate.

BCrago77 on February 11, 2011 at 10:57 PM

ROFL $250 million? You really do live in a bubble. I’d be willing to bet the vast majority of paying movie goers(mostly age 13-25) will not have heard of the book and will not want to see it.
And personally I think the book was too long, too verbose, too over-rated, and just plain a waste of time. Rand’s philosophy is interesting but she was too enamoured of her own talent when she wrote. For onr thing, she needed to apply better editing skills. And AP is hardly illierate. If you base literacy on whether someone has read Rand or not you really need to read more.

Deanna on February 12, 2011 at 7:56 AM

I read every page of this piece of shit, and I’m never reading again. – Officer Barbrady

Having read the book myself, I have to agree with the South Park Police Chief’s feelings.

paulzummo on February 12, 2011 at 8:18 AM

From Chambers review that was written in 2007:

I find it a remarkably silly book. It is certainly a bumptious one. Its story is preposterous. It reports the final stages of a final conflict (locale: chiefly the United States, some indefinite years hence) between the harried ranks of free enterprise and the “looters.” These are proponents of proscriptive taxes, government ownership, Labor, etc. etc. The mischief here is that the author, dodging into fiction, nevertheless counts on your reading it as political reality.

Really? Now in 2011 after these events of the past 2 years does Mr. Chambers still find this “preposterous.”

Virginia Shanahan on February 12, 2011 at 8:43 AM

I meant to add this thought (I forgot) – I’m glad they didn’t make The Fountainhead. I honestly couldn’t finish that book, it bored me to tears. I had trouble understanding the motivations of Dominique, at least in the context of what was written in the book. But maybe that was just me.

Anna on February 12, 2011 at 7:29 AM

‘They did’. 1949, Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal (one of her more notable roles.

Peri Winkle on February 12, 2011 at 9:31 AM

Chambers wrote it back in the 1950s. You also might want to look him up–he’s kinda important in the battle against Communism.

DRPrice on February 12, 2011 at 9:35 AM

Yeah.

I think I’ll catch it on DVD about 3 weeks after its theatrical release. Looks way too “Dynasty” to pay more than a buck to see.

Wingo on February 12, 2011 at 9:38 AM

I read every page of this piece of shit, and I’m never reading again. – Officer Barbrady

Having read the book myself, I have to agree with the South Park Police Chief’s feelings.

paulzummo on February 12, 2011 at 8:18 AM

Barbrady’s finest moment, Paul. Well, that and helpfully editing it to “Chicken Lover.”

One of my problems with Rand’s fictional worlds is that there doesn’t seem to be any room for functioning families. Not particularly reassuring.

DRPrice on February 12, 2011 at 9:38 AM

Hope this doesn’t discourage people from reading the book.

Because, as is always the case, the book will be so much better than the movie.

Good Lt on February 12, 2011 at 9:56 AM

If anything, to me it feels too generic, like a promo for some new Fox primetime soap about young, beautiful businesspeople. Think “Melrose Place” meets “Wall Street.” Or isn’t that what “Atlas Shrugged” basically is, plus some loooooooong didactic passages about libertarianism? (Haven’t read it!)

Nice to see that your ignorance doesn’t hold you back from making critiques.

mizflame98 on February 12, 2011 at 9:57 AM

haven’t gotten through the whole book… but if you like details, this is one to read.

upinak on February 11, 2011 at 7:46 PM

I downloaded the unabridged version from audible.com. It is over 60 hours long and broken up into 8 parts. Well worth the listen. Plus you can get your housework done at the same time.

mizflame98 on February 12, 2011 at 10:05 AM

It is going to be interesting to watch the progressive MSM gnash their teeth over this movie. Whether it is a good movie or not and whether it follows the book or not, the collectivists are going to go out of their minds in condemning it.
First they will try to dismiss it, then ridicule it, but eventually the hate will come out.

Uniblogger on February 12, 2011 at 10:29 AM

From Chambers review that was written in 2007: (snip)

Really? Now in 2011 after these events of the past 2 years does Mr. Chambers still find this “preposterous.”

Virginia Shanahan on February 12, 2011 at 8:43 AM

Chambers died in 1961, just 4 years after he wrote that review of a book he clearly did not read. Buckley hadn’t read the book either. That Buckley published it speaks of the character of both men. Seems like a lot of people weigh in on the merit of this book without ever having read it.

Allahpundit — read it.

cheeflo on February 12, 2011 at 10:50 AM

Looks good, looking forward to it. Yes the orig book could have been trimmed a bit and still worked. The audiobook version read by Scott Brick is 63 hrs–and Galt’s speech is 3.5 hrs long! But I heard it all and liked much of it.

Fountainhead in its entirety is on youtube btw. I downloaded it part by part, used free software called DVD Flick to burn it to DVD, and watched…also an outstanding documentary on Rand, A Sense of Life, is on youtube

raccoonradio on February 12, 2011 at 11:11 AM

I got unabridged Atlas Shrugged audio for $9.97 as part of a sale at audible. And I got Fountainhead for free from them as part of joining audible (offer via mp3 player purchase)

raccoonradio on February 12, 2011 at 11:17 AM

The movie was never going to be perfect and this trailer isn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be when I heard the “One Tree Hill” dude was directing it.

myrenovations on February 12, 2011 at 11:19 AM

Re Whitaker Chambers’ “gas chamber” statement. Chambers was responding to the language used in John Galt’s speech about the looters, the “mystics of the spirit” (by which Rand means anyone who believes in God), and much stronger phrases to describe the villains in her universe. It is not the language of cold reason. It is the language of overwhelming, pathological hatred. It is in the same family as the language that Lenin used about property owners, and that Hitler used about Jews – totally dehumanizing the object of one’s hate.

aengus on February 12, 2011 at 11:25 AM

Having read most of her work and a bio about her, I find Rand brillant but flawed. She certainly could have benefitted by surrendering her work to a good editor, but she didn’t trust anyone not to warp her ideas. Pity. But, considering her formative years were lived under the yoke of Communism, it’s no wonder.

I recommend We the Living. The ending is as haunting as any I’ve read. And I read a lot.

Disturb the Universe on February 12, 2011 at 11:42 AM

How many times have you seen a movie because the trailer looked great but the movie disappointed?..Case in point The Expendables..the trailer, which was posted on HA was great but that movie sucked beyond words. Hopefully this will be the opposite case

galtg on February 12, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Wasn’t “Wall Street’s” Gordon Gecko the epitome of the Randian uber-mensch?

tommyboy on February 12, 2011 at 11:56 AM

tommyboy on February 12, 2011 at 11:56 AM

No. Rand’s characters achieve their wealth through creativity and hard work not through speculation and cheating others.

Disturb the Universe on February 12, 2011 at 12:13 PM

2. How relevant is a rail system in current society? (I’m looking at you, Obama.)

Bee on February 11, 2011 at 8:49 PM

How relevant are horses and stagecoaches in current society?
And yet, they still make westerns.

Solaratov on February 12, 2011 at 12:24 PM

No. Rand’s characters achieve their wealth through creativity and hard work not through speculation and cheating others.
Disturb the Universe on February 12, 2011 at 12:13 PM

But her objectivist philosophy wouldn’t seem to preclude it. As long as you don’t get caught.

tommyboy on February 12, 2011 at 12:27 PM

I don’t see how this comes off well. I see exactly what I would expect in the trailer: a present-day vibe in the characters’ assumption of special knowledge and ideological passion. There’s something overly clever and laid-back about it.

To understand Ayn Rand, it’s necessary to understand the very different, “all-in” posture of the true believers of her time. There was no secretive irony in their expressions. They didn’t do irony at all — that’s the key to Ayn Rand. They took their cue from the moral absolutism of early 20th-century, capital-M Movements. Ayn Rand wouldn’t have been possible without Soviet Communism, because her characters and their beliefs and their uncompromising methods of self-expression were an ideological converse of, but a thematic match for, the Soviet stance.

The characters in Atlas Shrugged would be perfectly at home in a “New Soviet Man” poster, they would just be wearing business suits and holding their check books aloft. The heroic imagery of the Soviet project — battle poses, grand visions, inspiring overlighting and dramatic shadows — oozes from every page of Atlas Shrugged. The ideology is diametrically opposed, but the sweaty, absolutist vibe is the same. We modern dudes and dudettes wouldn’t like the characters in Atlas Shrugged very much if they were played as Ayn Rand saw them.

The railroad theme, of course, doesn’t resonate today the way it did when Atlas Shrugged was written. There seems nothing heroic or even interesting about rail travel or great rail projects now. “Rail projects,” to today’s Americans, evoke mainly government corruption, environmentalist politics, and awesome train-wreck scenes from movies that are usually about something else. See a railroad “tycoon” today and you think either “government lackey” or “idiot.”

The steel industry doesn’t come off much better. “Hey, do we still make steel?” is a likely question, from moviegoers who don’t actually live in Pennsylvania or Ohio. “I thought all the steel was made in, like, India now.” Older viewers will remember when the steel industry was being packed out for Japan in the 1970s — but of course, the Japanese today would point out that steel has largely moved to Malaysia and the Ukraine.

J.E. Dyer on February 12, 2011 at 12:42 PM

And AP is hardly illierate. If you base literacy on whether someone has read Rand or not you really need to read more.

Deanna on February 12, 2011 at 7:56 AM

There is a difference between being “illiterate” and being “culturally illiterate”.

Solaratov on February 12, 2011 at 12:43 PM

Disturb the Universe on February 12, 2011 at 11:42 AM

I agree. If we’re comparing books, We The Living is a better novel. Haunting is too weak a word in my opinion, but apt.

catmman on February 12, 2011 at 12:49 PM

But her objectivist philosophy wouldn’t seem to preclude it. As long as you don’t get caught.

tommyboy on February 12, 2011 at 12:27 PM

What philosophy precludes a perversion of itself from happening? The Gordon Gecko character is nothing like the ones Rand created to personify her theories.

Disturb the Universe on February 12, 2011 at 12:55 PM

Haunting is too weak a word in my opinion, but apt.

catmman on February 12, 2011 at 12:49 PM

Heh. One does one’s best.

Disturb the Universe on February 12, 2011 at 12:56 PM

The characters in Atlas Shrugged would be perfectly at home in a “New Soviet Man” poster, they would just be wearing business suits and holding their check books aloft. The heroic imagery of the Soviet project — battle poses, grand visions, inspiring overlighting and dramatic shadows — oozes from every page of Atlas Shrugged. The ideology is diametrically opposed, but the sweaty, absolutist vibe is the same.

Have you read We the Living? Rand proves the imagery of the heroic Soviet was nothing but a scam on every page.

Disturb the Universe on February 12, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Have you read We the Living? Rand proves the imagery of the heroic Soviet was nothing but a scam on every page.

Disturb the Universe on February 12, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Yep, read We the Living. Read The Fountainhead and Anthem too, as well as Atlas Shrugged. Rand’s brand of heroic moral certainty is exactly like that of the Soviet poster campaign; she debunked the ideological message the posters were trying to convey, but everything about her writing vibrates to the kind of urgent moral insistence those posters sought to invoke. She was anti-Soviet in intellectual conclusion, but decidedly not in tone.

J.E. Dyer on February 12, 2011 at 1:17 PM

Any bets it’ll show Capitalism as ‘Evil’? After all it is being produced in Hollywood.

CrazyFool on February 12, 2011 at 1:22 PM

She was anti-Soviet in intellectual conclusion, but decidedly not in tone.

J.E. Dyer on February 12, 2011 at 1:17 PM

Considering she was aiming to create an opposing theory, perhaps some parallels in tone and imagery are inevitable. But to imply there is some moral equivalency between the theories, I feel, is wrong-headed. I don’t agree with all of Rand’s views, nor her absolutism. That doesn’t prevent me from appreciating those points with which I agree, and the artistry by which she conveyed those ideas.

Disturb the Universe on February 12, 2011 at 2:07 PM

Well, I think it’s gonna be great. The trailer just fell into the current pattern that makes it look like every other movie.
.
Here’s the template –
http://www.cracked.com/video_18156_a-trailer-every-academy-award-winning-movie-ever.html

wkgdyw on February 12, 2011 at 2:33 PM

ROFL $250 million? You really do live in a bubble.

OK Deanna. Would you like to put $100 where your mouth is? ($100 isn’t as impressive as it used to be, but it’s something.) I say $250 million within 6 months of release, as measured by the tracking on Box Office Mojo. You say no way. The 250 million is in revenues, not profits. Payment would be by Paypal (unless we agree to another non-snail mail alternative.) If you agree on this thread, we’ll find a way to contact each other directly.

BCrago77 on February 12, 2011 at 2:34 PM

plus some loooooooong didactic passages about libertarianism? (Haven’t read it!)

Why do people insist on call her work Libertarian? She hated Libertarians and the Libertarian movement. Objectivism was her philosophy. Nathaniel Brandon Hijacked it to create the Libetarian movement. Saying Ayn Rand is a Libertarian is like saying the Pope is a Protestant. Libertarians are more like amoral Anarchists than conservatives. Objectivism falls more towards American principles and Aristotle. Nathanial has spread allot of falsehoods, he has time, He’s alive, she’s not.

Egfrow on February 12, 2011 at 2:50 PM

Egfrow on February 12, 2011 at 2:50 PM

Why do “Objectivists” constantly insist that they’re not libertarians? The philosophies are the same:

1. Free market free market free market.
2. Mom and Dad just don’t understand.
3. There’s no God, and believers are stupid.
4. Issue #1: Marijuana legalization.
5. Abortion doesn’t conflict with any human rights. Why do you ask?
6. We don’t say much about foreign policy but probably the Jews are to blame for all the trouble.

What am I missing?

joe_doufu on February 12, 2011 at 3:27 PM

Chambers

DRPrice on February 12, 2011 at 9:35 AM

Witness is very eye opening.
A good book I just finished:
Dupes.

It’s very good & enlightening.
I highly recommend it.

Badger40 on February 12, 2011 at 6:47 PM

I would love if they could make Red Dawn a series on say.. Spike? Or Fox? Heck, I would even go with ABC as they seem to be doing some interesting series as of late. V comes to mind as well.

upinak on February 11, 2011 at 8:00 PM

Have you seen The Walking Dead on AMC? A Red Dawn done similar to that show would be exceptional, as long as they keep the patriotism.

The different characters could have some pretty fascinating debates in a Red Dawn TV show, showing how empty liberal rhetoric is when you have the threat banging down your front door.

Daemonocracy on February 12, 2011 at 7:26 PM

“This is not just the case of a terrible crime. It is not the crime alone that has raised the fury of public hatred. It is the case of a daring challenge to society. It is the fact that a crime has been committed by one man, alone; that this man knew it was against all laws of humanity and intended that way; that he does not want to recognize it as a crime and that he feels superior to all. It is the amazing picture of a man with no regard whatever for all that society holds sacred, and with a consciousness all his own. A man who really stands alone, in action and in soul.”

Ayn Rand

The man she is talking about kidnapped, murdered, and mutilated a twelve year old girl. He threw parts of the little girl out of his car in front of the girls father.


Interesting. Didn’t know about Hickman. She also said this:

“The first thing that impresses me about the case is the ferocious rage of a whole society against one man. No matter what the man did, there is always something loathsome in the ‘virtuous’ indignation and mass-hatred of the ‘majority.’… It is repulsive to see all these beings with worse sins and crimes in their own lives, virtuously condemning a criminal…”
- Ayn Rand

From We the Living…

“Don’t you know,” he asked, “that we can’t sacrifice millions for the sake of the few?”

“You can! You must. When those few are the best. Deny the best its right to the top-and you have no best left. What are your masses but mud to be ground underfoot, fuel to be burned for those who deserve it? What is the people but millions of puny, shriveled, helpless souls that have no thoughts of their own, no will of their own, who eat and sleep and chew helplessly the words others put into their mildewed brains? And for those you would sacrifice the few who know life, who are life?”

Interesting quote choice.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We_the_Living#Revised_edition

In her early notes for The Fountainhead: “One puts oneself above all and crushes everything in one’s way to get the best for oneself. Fine!” (Journals, p. 78.)

Of The Fountainhead’s hero, Howard Roark: He “has learned long ago, with his first consciousness, two things which dominate his entire attitude toward life: his own superiority and the utter worthlessness of the world.” (Journals, p. 93.)

http://www.michaelprescott.net/hickman.htm

“Other people have no right, no hold, no interest or influence on him. And this is not affected or chosen — it’s inborn, absolute, it can’t be changed, he has ‘no organ’ to be otherwise. In this respect, he has the true, innate psychology of a Superman. He can never realize and feel ‘other people.’ ”

“He shows how impossible it is for a genuinely beautiful soul to succeed at present, for in all [aspects of] modern life, one has to be a hypocrite, to bend and tolerate. This boy wanted to command and smash away things and people he didn’t approve of.”

Apparently what Hickman suggested to Ayn Rand was “a genuinely beautiful soul.”

Her fascination with Hickman and Nietzsche reminds me of Ash in Alien. “I admire its purity.”

Yeah…

a voice can be heard, from painful necessity, commanding: “To a gas chamber — go!

sharrukin on February 12, 2011 at 1:53 AM

Interesting choice of quotes.

I still disagree. She may have had Ozymandias’ mindset, but pointing out to her that almost everyone is someone’s Frank O’Connor is something she would have to acknowledge.

It is also fiction, after all. If everyone were to take inspiration from it and become objectivists, there would be no moochers or looters, and no one deserving of being trampled underfoot. Mike the Foreman in the Fountainhead is no less a character than Roark. He achieves to his skill level. The union boss Frank something in Atlas Shrugged points out that no system of looting and mooching can ultimately work, since the lowest manual laborer knows he does something with his hands, and that his labor and the fruits of his labor, no matter how small, mean something. It’s that spark of individual human achievement.

Also interesting that you take selections from her cutting room floor as explanation. They aren’t things she kept in the book, but instead ideas she didn’t use, or later abandoned when she departed from Nietzsche.

But which would be worse – to be trampled underfoot by supermen, or to be enslaved to everyone who “needs” more than you? Be the Stakhanovite at a union or government job and see how that works out for ya.

CPL 310 on February 13, 2011 at 1:57 AM

Of course I will see it… However… There are two things of note:

1 – It needs to be much darker and grainier. (Think Godfather)

2 – I can’t believed they picked a thin and weak James Taggert… He needs to be fat and surly.

One last comment… I wonder if they will let Dagny smoke?

The Dead Terrorist on February 13, 2011 at 5:41 AM

What am I missing?

joe_doufu on February 12, 2011 at 3:27 PM

Ironically funny, you made my point and you don’t even understand why. Those are purely Libertarian. You’ve already pre-determined they are the same based on loose and irrational assumptions. As Ayn Rand was fond of saying. Check your premises, contradictions do not exist. Read an listen to the Material without an angry emotional bias. Of course you won’t. It has nothing to do the elitist Libertarian anarchist B.S. you just associated to Ayn Rand. She can’t defend herself any longer but her message is still out there.

Egfrow on February 13, 2011 at 9:59 AM

What am I missing?

joe_doufu on February 12, 2011 at 3:27 PM

Ironically funny, you made my point and you don’t even understand why. Those are purely Libertarian. You’ve already pre-determined they are the same based on loose and irrational assumptions. As Ayn Rand was fond of saying. Check your premises, contradictions do not exist. Read an listen to the Material without an angry emotional bias. She can’t defend herself any longer but her message is still out there.

Egfrow on February 13, 2011 at 10:00 AM

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