Review of Atlas Shrugged (the movie)

Following is a short review of Atlas Shrugged, the movie part 1 as ad adaptation of Ayn Rand’s epic novel.  These comments made  by Christopher Bradford and printed in the Daily Caller online discuss why Hollywood was opposed to this film being made.

“By Christopher Bedford

Online Editor, Daily Caller

Yesterday, I caught an early viewing of Atlas Shrugged: Part 1, the film adaptation of Ayn Rand’s famous novel. I went in with deep reservations, but I came away impressed.

The film, directed by Paul Johansson, focuses on two characters: beautiful railroad tycoon Dagny Taggart (played by Taylor Schilling) and genius manufacturer Henry Rearden (played by Grant Bowler).

Set in a dystopian 2016 America beset by economic depression, social disorder and a massively expanding government (sound familiar?), the film pits its two heroes against an array of corrupt businessmen, greedy government officials and leaching family members. Our capitalist heroes’ quest is to use Rearden’s new metal alloy — which is stronger and lighter than steel — to rebuild Taggart’s railroad, which is over 100 years old and completely falling apart. Their success is unacceptable to the entrenched elites, who will stop at nothing to prevent them from succeeding. Meanwhile, America’s best and brightest are disappearing without a trace, leaving behind only one clue: the name “John Galt.”

While the acting is at times melodramatic (I heard a giggle or two from the audience), and the plot is a bit wonky, the movie comes together very well. The directing and dialogue (screenplay by Brian Patrick O’Toole) take a difficult subject with no action and turn out a fast, sleek and handsome movie that pulled this reviewer — no fan of Ayn Rand or epic book-to-movie conversions — right in.

The two most amazing things about this movie are 1) that it got made and 2) that it was made on such a tight timeline and budget.

Fans of Atlas Shrugged have been waiting decades for a movie adaptation. Nearly twenty years ago, businessman John Aglialoro acquired the rights to film Atlas Shrugged for $1.5 million. After many years of failed starts and closed doors, Aglialoro’s wife told him that if he didn’t get the movie done, he would regret it for the rest of his life. Well, as we can see, with the hard work and determination of Aglialoro (who also co-wrote the screenplay), co-producer Harmon Kaslow, the cast and others, it got done.

And no, the difficulties were not the product of some leftist Hollywood plot to crush capitalism. As Aglialoro points out — and as can be seen in the movie — Atlas Shrugged does not fit the business model of major Hollywood studios, where an avoidance of risk, lack of imagination and reliance on tested (read: recycled) ideas rule the day.”

Do you agree with Bedford?  Explain your opinion.


18 responses to “Review of Atlas Shrugged (the movie)

  1. Yeah the movie was really well done. Bedford mentioned that it was amazing the fact that the movie was done and i do agree with that statement.

  2. I agree with Bedford. The movie was well done even though the acting wasn’t always on par. I’m happy that Aglialoro was finally able to accomplish what he set out to do.

  3. The movie Atlas Shrugged represents what could and may be happening, when people put their own self entrest before anything else. That old saying about (are we are brothers keepers) may be true, a society and a nation can not succeed if we do not look out for the greater good.

  4. At first I did not understand this film I was more interested in the romance portion of the film. However I do think John Aglialor would have regret not making the film. Although this film does show us how a corrupt society will not function properly I do not believe it will help people change their ways. Just like in this film people will strive for a change when almost all is at a lost.

  5. The movie really does focus on social disorder and economic depression but the message behind this film is also the sin that people live in. what I mean by sin is that money is the root of all evil and people will go trough great lengths just to get it.

    • The sin is taking money away from others. Receiving payment for one’s efforts and accomplishments isn’t a sin. Money is not evil, greedy people are. The sense of entitlement amongst many of the impoverished is a sin. It is the sin of greed that is the base for wealth redistribution. Great and good things are accomplished with money. I saw a meme the other day that read, “Sports do not build character, they reveal it.” The same concept applies to money.
      Wealth does not build character, it reveals it. Lack of wealth does not build character, it reveals it. Poor and rich can be alike with the sin of greed.

      • I agree with Aaron on this. Money is what make us want to work hard for. But steeling money from other people is wrong. Money is not the root of all evil. It is the people that is the root of evil.

  6. This movie was crazy to me because it really opened your eyes to how bad things are and can even become. also brought up the question for me of how someone knew it would head in this direction.

  7. Yes,I believe it was something he would regret if he never considered converting this magnificent story into a movie. So everyone can see and umderstand how someone can make a prediction and actually become reality for us today. Not only that but to also hear her ideas about intellectual thinkers.

  8. Still a little confused on this movie but, Im starting to get it…

  9. I cannot wait until the second part of this film adaptation comes out. Hollywood was reluctant because it would provide a reality check for us, this is very much needed.

  10. This woman is a genius! All along I have admired her without even knowing. Well, I am a great admirer of congress man “RON PAUL: 2012” for quite a while. I cannot stress my deep admiration for Paul. And just recently I learned that many of Paul’s political and economic views were inspired by Ayn Rand. So in a way, indirectly, I have admired Ayn Rand.

  11. the more and more I read or watch things about Atlus Shrugged I am constantly reminded of our current situation.

  12. I love this movie and I am so glad that it was shown to us so we can have a better view of what is really going on around us.

  13. great movie, shows some things you wouldn’t really expect to see normally, i think more people should see this movie

  14. I remember when I was in a video rental, about a year ago, and I remember watching the trailer of this movie. And the memory that was engraved in me was the train going at full speed through the Colorado Mountains. Yet, I never thought that such movie would have any social and political content, I just thought that it was another Hollywood action movie.

  15. I had never seen this movie before and really enjoyed watching the first part in class. this movie bring out to light many issues the government has specially when it comest to let other succed they try to have as much control as they can and by doing so they cut the wings of progress .

  16. I enjoyed the first one when we watched it in class. I’m looking forward to the release of the second one. The story has a very strong and relevant theme that can open many peoples eyes. Everyone should take the chance to watch this movie.

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