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Atlas Shrugged


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#1 dirac

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 10:43 AM

Apparently some folks are planning to head out for Galt’s Gulch:

Reviled in some circles and mocked in others, Rand’s 1957 novel of embattled capitalism is a favourite of libertarians and college students. Lately, though, its appeal has been growing. According to data from TitleZ, a firm that tracks bestseller rankings on Amazon, an online retailer, the book’s 30-day average Amazon rank was 127 on February 21st, well above its average over the past two years of 542. On January 13th the book’s ranking was 33, briefly besting President Barack Obama’s popular tome, “The Audacity of Hope”.


There’s reported to be a movie version in the works with Angelina Jolie to star as the intrepid Dagny Taggart. This is bound to be another camp classic along the lines of the 1949 version of “The Fountainhead.”

#2 sandik

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 11:17 AM

Lordy -- and a film?

#3 papeetepatrick

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 11:43 AM

This is bound to be another camp classic along the lines of the 1949 version of “The Fountainhead.”


I don't find that to be campy. It's a fine film, and the sets are gorgeous, maybe even better than those in 'The Big Clock'. I think a 2011 Atlas Shrugged with Jolie will bear no resemblance, and I wouldn't see it.

#4 dirac

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 12:11 PM

Oh, it's a splendid gigglefest. The 'masterpieces' the studio devised for Roark to design horrified Ayn Rand, and the skyscrapers and a classic scene involving Patricia Neal, Gary Cooper, and a pneumatic drill make the whole thing a Freudian phallic paradise. (I felt bad for Cooper, who looks perfect for the part but was completely at sea with the character.)

I'd be curious to see Atlas, camp or no. They could try to eliminate Rand's more powerful melodramatics (Rand characters are always screaming or emitting peals of laughter), but Rand isn't Rand without them. There are some good set pieces in the book - a trainwreck and a plane crash. And would they do Galt's speech word for word?

#5 papeetepatrick

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 01:48 PM

Gary Cooper, and a pneumatic drill make the whole thing a Freudian phallic paradise.


You know better by far how to explain why I like something than I do...I shall enjoy it even more upon next viewing. :thumbsup: Although I found Patricia Neal very lovely too.

#6 dirac

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 03:37 PM

I used to read a lot of Rand in high school and college, although I was never remotely tempted toward Objectivism. She was a fascinating woman with some great qualities and some bad ones. “We the Living” is a very good first novel.

#7 EricMontreal22

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Posted 05 March 2009 - 05:58 PM

I went through a Rand phase in high school as well (I think that's probably the best time in your life to read her)--and I still think The Fountainhead is a fine novel. I agree though the movie is glorious camp. Reading about the making of the film is interesting unto itself--Rand and director Vidor's fights, how it was such a dream project for Vido--I think it was made with a lot of love and honest belief in its message (but then that's probably true of all *true* camp).

To be honest, when I first heard about Objectivism and started reading that Rand's books were so full of Message, I felt kinda betrayed. These books I loved and took so much to heart were seen by many to be merely propaganda? And I certainly don't agree with Rand's beliefs about society--I think I feel about the opposite. But now I can look back at them and appreciate them as stories too, and what I got out of them. Regardless I think atlas Shrugged being made into a film is a thankless job and will probably just accentuate (as Fountrainhead does) how silly it all is.

#8 dirac

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Posted 09 March 2009 - 02:22 PM

I went through a Rand phase in high school as well (I think that's probably the best time in your life to read her)--and I still think The Fountainhead is a fine novel. I agree though the movie is glorious camp. Reading about the making of the film is interesting unto itself--Rand and director Vidor's fights, how it was such a dream project for Vido--I think it was made with a lot of love and honest belief in its message (but then that's probably true of all *true* camp).

To be honest, when I first heard about Objectivism and started reading that Rand's books were so full of Message, I felt kinda betrayed. These books I loved and took so much to heart were seen by many to be merely propaganda? And I certainly don't agree with Rand's beliefs about society--I think I feel about the opposite. But now I can look back at them and appreciate them as stories too, and what I got out of them. Regardless I think atlas Shrugged being made into a film is a thankless job and will probably just accentuate (as Fountrainhead does) how silly it all is.


I remember she threatened to blow up the Warner Brothers lot if they changed a word of her script (they did, she didn't). The movie of "The Fountainhead" was indeed made with complete sincerity on the part of everyone involved and you're right to say that probably intensifies the camp (that and Rand's total lack of humor) -- it's too bad, in a way, that it didn't turn out well, but I also think that was probably inevitable.

I confess I've read The Fountainhead more than once and although I haven't picked it up in years I'll probably wind up reading it again some day. I agree, high school is an ideal time to encounter Rand. The Fountainhead was probably the first novel of ideas I ever read. Rand is good at explaining systems and at action, too, and some of the peculiarities of her prose can be explained by the fact that she wasn't writing in her first language and certain aspects of English were always troublesome to her. (To the end of her life she'd say things like, "It's an ungulfable bridge.")

#9 miliosr

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Posted 10 March 2009 - 09:45 AM

My 10th grade English teacher had us read Rand's Anthem, which went right over my head at the time. Now I look back and think: Who knew my high school English department was a hotbed of Objectivism? :wink:

#10 dirac

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 05:20 PM

Looks like this picture might really happen.


Rand’s popular but polarizing book — it’s derided by many literary critics but has a huge public following — tells the story of Dagny Taggart, a railroad executive trying to keep her corporation competitive in the face of what she perceives as a lack of innovation and individual responsibility.

A number of stars have expressed serious interest in playing the lead role of Taggart. Angelina Jolie previously had been reported as a candidate to play the strong female character, but the list is growing and now includes Charlize Theron, Julia Roberts and Anne Hathaway.

Although it was written a half-century ago, producers say that the book’s themes of individualism resonate in the era of Obama, government bailouts and stimulus packages -- making this the perfect moment to bring the 1,100-page novel to the big screen.




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