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.
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.