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Posts Tagged ‘atlas shrugged’

Watch Atlas Shrugged Part 1 live tonight

Posted by Richard on February 2, 2017

2017 02 02 Happy Birthday Header

Atlas Shrugged Newsletter: 02.02.17

“America’s inner contradiction was the altruist-collectivist ethics. Altruism is incompatible with freedom, with capitalism and with individual rights. One cannot combine the pursuit of happiness with the moral status of a sacrificial animal.”Ayn Rand


TONIGHT: Watch Atlas Shrugged Part 1 LIVE

film countdown 3


Tonight, pop some popcorn and celebrate Ayn Rand’s birthday by tuning in to watch Atlas Shrugged Part 1 and chat live with Producer Harmon Kaslow and Associate Producer Scott DeSapio.

Head to Galt’s Gulch now for details.

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Atlas Shrugged, Part 2

Posted by Richard on October 11, 2012

Atlas Shrugged, Part 2, opens in over a thousand theaters across the country tomorrow. To my surprise, there has been a significant promotional effort. I’ve heard a number of radio ads and seen TV ads not just on the cable networks, but during the local evening news here in Denver. Watch the trailer here.

I’ve been too busy in the past week to try to organize a group outing, and besides, I wasn’t about to sign on to another extended negotiation regarding times and location like the one we had for 2016. So here’s the deal: I’m going to the 3:30 showing on Saturday at Denver Pavilions. I’ve got at least one firm commitment to join me. Afterward (~5:45), we’re going to have dinner at Sam’s No. 3 Downtown. If you’re in the Denver area and would like to join us, leave a comment.

If I’m feeling energetic enough, I may even go back after dinner and see it again at the 7:10 show. Leave a comment if you plan to go to that show, and mention whether you’re going to join us for dinner at Sam’s beforehand.

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Life imitates art, Atlas Shrugged edition, episode 137

Posted by Richard on January 23, 2012

Here’s some news you may have missed last week. From The Hill:

Six House Democrats, led by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), want to set up a “Reasonable Profits Board” to control gas profits.

The Democrats, worried about higher gas prices, want to set up a board that would apply a “windfall profit tax” as high as 100 percent on the sale of oil and gas, according to their legislation. The bill provides no specific guidance for how the board would determine what constitutes a reasonable profit.

The Gas Price Spike Act, H.R. 3784, would apply a windfall tax on the sale of oil and gas that ranges from 50 percent to 100 percent on all surplus earnings exceeding “a reasonable profit.” It would set up a Reasonable Profits Board made up of three presidential nominees that will serve three-year terms. Unlike other bills setting up advisory boards, the Reasonable Profits Board would not be made up of any nominees from Congress.

Co-sponsoring the bill are five other Democrats: Reps. John Conyers Jr. (Mich.), Bob Filner (Calif.), Marcia Fudge (Ohio), Jim Langevin (R.I.), and Lynn Woolsey (Calif.).

Pam Geller called it “Post-American Statism” and asked:

This is straight out of Ayn Rand’s novel, Atlas Shrugged — what next? The “Anti-Dog-Eat-Dog Rule,” and “The Equalization of Opportunity Bill”?

Didn’t Obama already appoint an Equalization of Opportunity Czar? I’ve lost track.

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Atlas Shrugged box office surprise

Posted by Richard on April 21, 2011

All I can say is "Woohoo!" This is one of the best headlines I've seen in a long time:

Box-office power of Ayn Rand’s ‘Atlas Shrugged’ baffles insiders

The power of Ayn Rand devotees has impressed some Hollywood distribution executives, who took note of the hefty $5,640 per-theater average scored by “Atlas Shrugged: Part 1” during its opening weekend.

“Shocking,” one executive said about the healthy business the low-budget film has been doing, considering its “awful” marketing plan.

Awful or not, business has been brisk enough for producers Harmon Kaslow and John Aglialoro to expand from 299 theaters to 425 this weekend and to 1,000 by the end of the month. They don’t have enough film prints to fill all the orders.

“Things have turned for us,” Kaslow said. “When we started, exhibitors were not embracing the film like we thought they would. Now, we can pretty much go into as many theaters as we want. It’s just a matter of logistics.”

The producers stand by their marketing campaign, which relied heavily on the Internet to drum up support among members of the Tea Party, libertarians and other Rand enthusiasts.

(HT: Instapundit and Atlas Shrugged Movie blog

And here's another one of the best headlines I've seen in a long time:

Atlas Shrugged Movie Boosts Book to #4 on Amazon Bestseller List

Here’s a marketing question I thought I’d never ask: Would you think that a critically panned, low-budget movie, with a virtually unknown director and cast, could catapult a more than 50 year-old book near the top of the Amazon bestseller list? Well, exactly that appears to be happening with the movie adaptation of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged.

… Atlas fans will likely flock to cinemas if only to see whether the long-awaited movie adaptation lives up to their expectations. After this initial surge, the movie will have to stand on its own merits.

But more importantly: all signs point to the fact that the mere existence of the movie is causing interest in the book to spike to new heights. According to Google Trends, search volume for “Atlas Shrugged” has never been greater. Even more impressively, the book has surged to #4 on the Amazon bestseller list as of this writing. Likely it won’t stay quite that high for weeks on end, but expect book sales to remain elevated for some time to come. Atlas Shrugged has been in the top 100 of the Amazon bestseller list for 268 days. The movie makes it all the more likely it will still be in the top 100 268 from now.

Atlas Shrugged completely dominates Amazon's "Classic Literature and Fiction" section:

Three different forms of the Atlas Shrugged novel — kindle edition, paperback, and audiobook — currently top the “Classic Literature & Fiction” section in Amazon’s bestseller list.

Screen shot shown below. Click for full-size.

Here's more info on how Atlas Shrugged has been hot on Google:

According to Google, on Friday 15 April 2011, the day of the movie’s release:

  • ‘atlas shrugged’ was the #4 most searched keyword
  • ‘ayn rand’ was the #12 most searched keyword
  • ‘atlas shrugged movie’ was the #14 most searched keyword

Screen shot attached below. Click the thumbnail for full-size image.

UPDATE: I just noticed that Google Trends shows Denver as the top city for "atlas shrugged" searches. Cool!

Via the Atlas Shrugged Movie blog, here are a couple of articles/reviews to check out: 

  • Vin Suprynowicz: The enormous disconnect between 'mainstream' professional reviews and viewer response to 'Atlas Shrugged The Movie, Part I' 
  • Michael Shermer: Atlas Shrugged, But You Shouldn't

I'm going to see the film again this weekend. Which will still leave me behind Nathaniel Branden.

Have you seen it yet? If not, will you go this weekend? If you have, will you go again? Please?

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Atlas Shrugged is worth your time and money

Posted by Richard on April 17, 2011

I saw Atlas Shrugged, Part 1, this weekend and thoroughly enjoyed it, despite its shortcomings. I'll be frank, the limited budget and rushed schedule definitely show. But they don't detract from a great story for the most part well told. If you read and liked the novel, you'll love the film and it's a must-see. If you never read it (shame on you!), but you're inclined toward libertarian, free-market conservative, or Tea Party thinking, likewise.

If you hated the book and/or are basically an Obama-loving Socialist Democrat — well, you wouldn't like the film no matter how lavish or excellent a production it was.

Because of the budget constraints, the film keeps outdoor scenes to a minimum and relies on a lot of stock footage. It's mostly stock footage of Colorado (plus some rail yards and steel mills), so that's not so bad.

Taylor Schilling is excellent as Dagny Taggart, and Grant Bowler is quite good as Hank Rearden. I was disappointed with Jsu Garcia's Francisco D'Anconia. OTOH, Rebecca Wisocky does a fine job as Lillian Rearden.

Graham Beckel is a terrific Ellis Wyatt. He's one of those fine character actors you've probably seen many times, but never remember his name. I didn't know, until hearing him interviewed by Hugh Hewitt recently, that he's the brother of Democratic operative Bob Beckel. He doesn't share his brother's political views.

The villains are all suitably smarmy and villainous, although I thought Matthew Marsden's James Taggart wasn't sufficiently whiny and dependent. It was clear that Dagny's brother was incompetent and useless, but not why. That's one of the problems with bringing this novel to the screen: there's little time to explore the psychology of the characters (and the psychology of the villains is an important aspect of Atlas Shrugged). So the burden falls on the actor to understand his character's psyche and convey it with every look, gesture, and word. Marsden didn't do that. 

When a 1000-page novel is brought to the screen, somebody's favorite vignette or subplot is going to be left out or glossed over. I was disappointed that the story of the 20th Century Motor Company was given such short shrift. That section also contained a bit of dialogue that made me wince: a bunch of mumbo-jumbo about the motor that Dagny and Hank found. They should have axed the nonsense about "vacuum pressure," simply said, "it looks like it's designed to extract static electricity from the air," and left it at that.

I also didn't like the way the meeting with Hugh Akston was handled or the way Michael O'Keefe portrayed him.

Enough quibbling. I was quite pleased overall. The film did a good job — a remarkably good job, given the constraints — of telling the first third of the story. And the ending was outstanding. An intense, moving scene that Taylor Schilling handled superbly.

It left me absolutely looking forward to Part 2, which will benefit from a somewhat bigger budget and much less rushed schedule. It's due to be released on April 15, 2012. Just in time to fire up all the fans for the election season.

See my previous post for links to find a theater, watch the trailer and clips, etc. 

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Atlas Shrugged film opens Friday

Posted by Richard on April 13, 2011

Atlas Shrugged, Part 1 opens this Friday in 300 theaters nationwide. Go here to find a theater near you. The Atlasphere has created a site dedicated to the movie. In addition to reading the latest news and reviews, you can watch the trailer and clips from the film.

This is an independent film being released and marketed in an unorthodox way. The Atlasphere's Joshua Zader emphasized (via email) how important it is for fans of Ayn Rand to show their support this opening weekend and beyond: 

All of us who love Ayn Rand's novels should bring our friends to see the
movie on the opening weekend. This is hugely important; it shows theater
owners how much demand there is for this independently produced and
distributed movie based on Ayn Rand's revolutionary novel.

Equally important, though, is to go back the following weekend — with even
more friends. This helps demonstrate the movie's momentum in no uncertain
terms, and will draw even more theaters on board.

I'll go see it either Friday after work or Saturday afternoon (haven't decided yet). I hope you'll do the same. From everything I've read and seen, this film very much deserves your support and will reward you for it.

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Atlas Shrugged, Part 1 reviewed

Posted by Richard on March 7, 2011

The Atlasphere is publishing a series of reviews this week of the movie Atlas Shrugged, Part 1. The first review, by Hans Schantz, is quite positive, with just a few mild criticisms:

The movie’s most serious flaw is that it feels too rushed. An additional ten or fifteen minutes would have helped make clear the nature of the villainy, and driven home the way in which Dagny’s heroic achievement — bringing the John Galt Line to life — only enabled the looters to complete their destruction of Ellis Wyatt and his Colorado industrial renaissance.

This flaw could be remedied in the second part of the trilogy, however, and meantime we can hope for an extended “director’s cut” version on the DVD.

Despite the film’s rushed feel, the dialogue and acting were remarkably solid, even brilliant, at times. …

A viewer determined to nitpick the film will find no shortage of material. In fact, I was so concerned with picking out the minor flaws that it seriously detracted from my appreciation the first time around. When I relaxed and watched the movie the second time, I found it much more enjoyable.

The film’s flaws are due much more to the rushed production than the modest budget. I can’t wait to see what the producers will be able to do in part two, with a more relaxed schedule and, hopefully, more generous financing.

Despite the occasional rough edge, Atlas Shrugged Part 1 is a great movie, true to Ayn Rand’s classic novel. This exciting, fast paced, and breathtaking romp provides an easy introduction to Ayn Rand’s ideas. Inspired viewers will then be motivated to read the novel, to satisfy their burning desire to learn more.

The film is scheduled to open on April 15. I'm sure the date is not coincidental, and the desire to hit it may have led to the rushed production that Schantz commented on. 

Watch the trailer. 

[YouTube link]

Then help make sure the film plays in a theater near you. Click the button below. 

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The tyranny of the public interest

Posted by Richard on July 23, 2010

Yaron Brook in Investor's Business Daily:

In the years leading up to 2008—09's financial meltdown, government control over mortgages, interest rates and America's banking system was at an all-time high.

And yet when crisis struck, free enterprise took the blame.

The cure, therefore, was to give government even wider powers. Washington can now bail out any company, fire CEOs, override contracts and print billions of dollars to "stimulate" the economy — all in the name of the public interest. The result? Our deficits and debt continue to mount, and there's a real possibility of a future like Greece's.

This is the state of our world today. It's remarkably similar to the state of the world in Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged," a mystery story about a future America whose economy is disintegrating and whose government is accumulating power faster than anyone thought possible. This parallel is a big reason a record 500,000 people bought "Atlas Shrugged" last year.

So what can we learn from a book that foresaw in 1957 what few believed possible in 2007? We can learn a lesson the heroes of the novel learn: the cause of the government's greater, destructive control of business. And we can learn how to oppose it.

Read. The. Whole. Thing.

From the comments, a great quote: 

The pursuit of wealth generally diverts men of great talents and strong passions from the pursuit of power; and it frequently happens that a man does not undertake to direct the fortunes of the state until he has shown himself incompetent to conduct his own.
— Alexis de Tocqueville, "Democracy in America," 1835

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Who is Wesley Mouch?

Posted by Richard on January 7, 2010

John Stossel is airing an "Atlas Shrugged hour" tonight, and he's taking a poll asking the above question:

Tomorrow, my Fox Business Network show about Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged" will finally air. That should stop the emails like this one from Karen Cooper:

"Oh for the love of god! 'Atlas Shrugged' explains about 99 percent of what's wrong in all of the arenas of topics: health care, education, climate change, unions, the economy, etc. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE cover 'Atlas.'"

Cooper makes a good point. Even though Rand published "Atlas" in 1957, her descriptions of intrusive and bloated government read like today's news. The "Preservation of Livelihood Law" and "Equalization of Opportunity Law" could be Nancy Pelosi's or Harry Reid's work.

The novel's chief villain is Wesley Mouch, a bureaucrat who cripples the economy with endless regulations. This sounds familiar. Reason magazine reports that "as he looks around Washington these days," Rep. Paul Ryan "can't help but think he's seeing a lot of Wesley Mouch".

Me, too. I also saw a lot of him under George W. Bush.

So I'm conducting this unscientific poll: Who is our Wesley Mouch? Hank Paulson? Tim Geithner? Barney Frank? You can vote here.

Of the five choices, I had to pick Geithner. But I think the best answer is that all of the President's czars, collectively, are playing the part of Wesley Mouch.

Go cast your vote. And if you get the Fox Business Network, be sure to watch the show: 

My first guest on the show (Fox Business Network, 8 p.m. Eastern Thursday, repeating at 10 p.m. Friday) is BB&T Chairman and "Atlas" fan John Allison. Allison's bank, the ninth largest in America, is doing very well, but he's angry the government forced him to take TARP money.

Allison once told The New York Times, "To say man is bad because he is selfish is to say it's bad because he's alive."

Plus, you'll get to see John get a fish pedicure!

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Who but the mindless

Posted by Richard on December 30, 2009

Dan Freeman at argued that the novels of Ayn Rand, in particular Atlas Shrugged, can explain the insane rush toward collectivism by the Obama administration. The country is being run by mystics of muscle:

Recent headlines seem lifted directly out of an Ayn Rand novel. President Obama decries the “fat cat bankers on Wall Street”. Harry Reid attacks insurance companies for making too much profit. House Democrat leaders call Tea Partiers “Racist, Nazi, Gun Nuts”.  How about this nauseating statement made by Army General George Casey after the Muslim terrorist attack on Ft. Hood?

As great a tragedy as this was, it would be a shame if our diversity became a casualty as well

Each of these headlines might well have been uttered by an Ayn Rand character. Rand, whose father’s pharmacy was confiscated by the Soviets during the communist revolution of 1917, and who came to America in 1926, seems uniquely able to speak to us about the inverted morality of our times. Virtue is to be apologized for. Depravity commands respect. Success is cast as evil and punished while failure is blamed on others and rewarded. Rand’s insights into the psychological state of collectivists—those who demand that we sacrifice our individual freedom and happiness for the sake of the state—explain what often seems incomprehensible to thinking people.

Read the whole thing. Please!


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Atlas Shrugged sales booming

Posted by Richard on March 16, 2009

I just checked The "Centennial Edition" paperback of Atlas Shrugged is #208 in book sales. Many authors would be thrilled to see their latest work ranked that high (especially if it's fiction; the list of top sellers is heavily laden with self-help and other non-fiction books).

Rand's magnum opus is available in multiple editions, and the others are selling well, too. The mass-market paperback is #292, and the "Centennial Edition" hardback is #800.

Yaron Brook, writing in the Wall Street Journal, observed that Atlas Shrugged is selling faster right now than at any time in the 51 years since it was published. And with good reason: 

… In "Atlas," Rand tells the story of the U.S. economy crumbling under the weight of crushing government interventions and regulations. Meanwhile, blaming greed and the free market, Washington responds with more controls that only deepen the crisis. Sound familiar?

The novel's eerily prophetic nature is no coincidence. "If you understand the dominant philosophy of a society," Rand wrote elsewhere in "Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal," "you can predict its course." Economic crises and runaway government power grabs don't just happen by themselves; they are the product of the philosophical ideas prevalent in a society — particularly its dominant moral ideas.

Read the whole thing. And if you haven't read Atlas Shrugged — or read it decades ago and no longer have a copy to reread — this would be a good time to order a copy. has plenty.

HT: Ari Armstrong

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