Today is Ayn Rand's Centennial Anniversary, but where are her films?

Discussion in 'DVD' started by Stan Rozenfeld, Feb 2, 2005.

  1. Stan Rozenfeld

    Stan Rozenfeld Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 27, 2000
    Messages:
    197
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Today is the Centennial Anniversary of the birth of writer-philosopher Ayn Rand, but unfortunately none of the major films associated with her work are available on DVD.

    I am not familiar with 'You can't take it with you', where she got a partial screenwriting credit, but here are the three films I am familiar with.

    "We The Living" is an Italian film made in 1942 and is based on her first novel. It has a long and fascinating history which would take a lot more space than I got to detail. It stars Alida Valli, and covers the same ground as Doctor Zhivago, albeit from Rand's unique perspective. It's currently in private hands (not major studio). 'Duncan Scott Productions' is the name of the company I believe, and I hope he/they are reading this, because this film deserves to be released on DVD as a special edition! There is a VHS copy out at an obscene price, but who wants to buy that!

    "The Fountainhead" starring Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal is very well known. I believe it's owned by Warner Bros., although I could be wrong. Can someone advise me on where I can find the address to write a letter encouraging whatever studio owns this to release this film on DVD?

    My own favorite is "Love Letters" starring Jennifer Jones and Joseph Cotten, a wonderful melodrama of unrequited(?) love, which also pays tribute to her favorite play, Cyrano De Bergerac. She wrote the script and it shows! Once again, I am not sure who contact to encourage them to release this wonderful gem of a film. Any help would be appreciated.

    A bit of trivia: before she became a novelist, she went to Hollywood, where she wound up being an extra in Cecil B. DeMille's King of Kings, which has recently been released on DVD by Criterion... but try looking for her amid the crowds! :)

    Thanks,
    Stan
     
  2. Elinor

    Elinor Supporting Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    Messages:
    559
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    A few times there was talk ... it even seemed close ... of an Atlas Shrugged miniseries. I remember mention of Tom Selleck as John Galt. Back in the 80s that might have worked ... but old Tom's looking a bit too old these days.

    Seems the money people in Hollywood tend to be conservative (and they tend to hate Rand) and the talent tends to be liberal (and they tend to hate Rand) so the pool of folks to put up the $$ and perform in the project is pretty small.

    I've never been able to catch Love Letters on tv ... may have to break down and rent some time.
     
  3. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2000
    Messages:
    5,555
    Likes Received:
    186
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    I'll have to catch Love Letters, as well.

    I recall reading an article a couple of years back about a Hollywood movie "Atlas Shrugged" but haven't seen anything since.
     
  4. Pat Frank

    Pat Frank Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2000
    Messages:
    176
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Check your premises! [​IMG]

    One of the more interesting aspects of an AS movie/mini would be the whole Art-Deco aspect of it. Big trains, steel mills, power plants, all in classic late-30s architecture.... Very popular stuff these days, and it's not hard to picture it on the big screen.

    But of course it'll never happen in Hollywood. It couldn't possibly be less politically correct. The first studio producer who reads Francisco's "money" speech will ban it in a heartbeat and call all his liberal friends. The first renegade who tries to push it will be castigated on MichaelMoore.com and that'll be the end of it.

    Nope, it's a Fox mini-series for sure. (chuckle)
     
  5. Sergio A

    Sergio A Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 11, 2003
    Messages:
    128
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    THE FOUNTAINHEAD is definitely owned by Warners and I would have thought would turn up eventually.

    The one title you can get on DVD is the TV movie "The Passion of Ayn Rand" (1999), although its not all that flattering.
     
  6. Brad Eisenhauer

    Brad Eisenhauer Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2002
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    There's also Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life, a documentary on her life, which is available in a rather nice two-disc SE. (Some opinions on this release from her die-hard fans, of which I count myself one, are available
    here.)

    As for a movie ever getting made of Atlas Shrugged, there was talk a year or so ago about James V. Hart (Contact) having been hired to write a screenplay from the novel. I believe the company that held the rights underwent a reorganization of some sort and the prospects for the movie were described as an "open question". More info here.
     
  7. DavidS

    DavidS Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    May 24, 2001
    Messages:
    236
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    As far as "We The Living" is concerned, I've heard from Duncan Scott that it's eventually going to get a DVD release.

    "We The Living" is actually 2 Italian films, made during the war era and without Rand's consent. More info:

    "We the Living" Video
     
  8. Rodney

    Rodney Screenwriter
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2001
    Messages:
    1,064
    Likes Received:
    417
    Trophy Points:
    1,610
  9. Joshua_W

    Joshua_W Second Unit

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2003
    Messages:
    477
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    An "Atlas Shrugged" film presents a few problems, none of which have anything to do with Hollywood politics.

    It's a 1200 page novel, with a fairly complex linear plot that would lose a lot from compression into a two hour movie. Even if they cut out all of the long-winded speeches.

    Another problem, and it's rather minor in the grand scheme of things, is that it would be impossible to satisfy Rand's most hardcore fans.

    The novel takes itself so seriously, that the filmmakers would have to throw in some humor to mock the characters and aesthetic, or it would be horrendous. The novel is, by turns unintentionally creepy (Galt is basically a stalker) and frightfully humorless (I think that there's maybe only one or two instances of anything even resembling humor or levity in 1200 pages, and even, that's pushing it).

    I'm not a follower of Rand or a subscriber to her Objectivist philosophy, but a movie based on "Atlas Shrugged" could be amazing if done properly. With the proper aesthetic -- art deco with a heavy socialist reaslit bent -- and playing up the quirks of the characters, it could work. Reading the book, I always saw Galt as being brillaint but utterly insane, and Dagney as being rather callow -- she's intelligent and driven, but ultimatgely submissive. And the sexual politics of the book are offensive to modern sensibilities; every sexual encounter Dagney has veers uncomfortably close to rape or sexual assault.

    I'm not sure that Rand's estate would permit such a movie be made though, that didn't present in a way that was 100% true to Rand's intent.

    And keep it would have to kept within the timeframe of the novel as well; Galt's big speech couldn't go over anything but old-fashioned radios and there can be no television or internet.

    Probably better as a six-hour miniseries than a movie, too.
     
  10. Mikya

    Mikya Extra

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2004
    Messages:
    23
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0


    I agree with the first part, but also think Atlas is timeless -- readily transferable to any age during which some men think they are entitled to take that which other men earn. Neither TV nor the internet has changed the heart or the mind of the looter, which is where the whole of the cautionary tale lies. More than many other works that have been adapted (e.g., King Lear), Atlas, I believe, would work very well in 2005. At any rate, it couldn't hurt.
     
  11. Pat Frank

    Pat Frank Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2000
    Messages:
    176
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well said.

    I think it would also be interesting to see a big-screen Atlas shrug off the stereotype of Ayn Rand fans being Gordon Gekko types.
     
  12. Mark_TS

    Mark_TS Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2000
    Messages:
    1,704
    Likes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    0
    interesting take on THE FOUNTAINHEAD, from iMDb comments (excerpt):
    --
    < But THE FOUNTAINHEAD is a propaganda film, existing to illustrate the views of Ayn Rand, author of the original book.
    Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on your point of view, the film is such an absurd mess that it is difficult to ascertain just what Rand's views are, this despite the fact that she also penned the screenplay.
    Apparently, Rand believed in "objectivism," the notion that man as an individual is of supreme importance, but not in a Capra-esque sense.
    It seems that to Rand a person should have but one goal in life and that is to satisfy one's self.
    God, mankind, country, friends and family are but secondary and trivial concerns.
    Selfishness is the one truism and its own reward.

    If she had written IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE, Old Man Potter would be the hero, not George Bailey.> (!)
    ------
    Rand and Old Man Potter *are* true heroes to the Conservatives (chuckle).
     
  13. RobertR

    RobertR Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 1998
    Messages:
    9,765
    Likes Received:
    197
    Trophy Points:
    9,110
    Another distortion. The whole point of the actions of the protaganists in Atlas Shrugged is to save the country and the world from the looters. In fact, they give up a great deal for that goal. They hardly consider that and their friends and family "trivial".
     
  14. Zachary Cohen

    Zachary Cohen Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2004
    Messages:
    115
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Didn't we have admins deleting posts and threatening to ban members of the forum in the "Fahrenheit 9/11" and "Outfoxed" DVD threads when people started criticizing the films and their makers?
     
  15. Dave H

    Dave H Producer

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2000
    Messages:
    5,555
    Likes Received:
    186
    Trophy Points:
    9,110


    Your most ridiculous statement yet. You obviously have no clue about Objectivism or Ayn Rand. On any rate, you are deviating from the forum rules and should have known better to make such statements as you know what this is going to start. It's people like yourself that cause these good threads to be closed. It's people like yourself who should be banned.
     

Share This Page