Atlas Shrugged – Movie Review

Ayn Rand may have gotten it right when she wrote ATLAS SHRUGGED in 1957, 54 years ago.

Atlas Shrugged ran for a total of  102min, rated PG-13.

Saturday evening was a bit raw and damp, and the rain poured down from the skies above as I walked into the crowded LOWES theater in Plainville, CT.  Having purchased my tickets online to ensure that I would get in, expecting a sell out crowd, I was amazed that for the 7:45pm showing that the theater was only about one third filled.  None the less there in front of me was the silver screen. Popcorn and soda in hand I settled in to my seat to watch the long awaited movie version of the book.

I admit that I have not read the book, and knew little of the storyline.  With the previous fact in mind,  I felt that I was lacking some background information with regards to the characters and story line.  Having this shortcoming  I believe that if the film had been an additional 15min longer that it would of given time for the filmmakers to develop the story and to fill in some important information.

The main story line, mind you written 54 years ago is strikingly similar to what is occurring today: government take over of privately owned corporations, especially the manufacturing sector,  government control over pay and how much anyone company can produce, and the obligatory government mandated “Shared sacrifice”.

As the Government tries to impose its heavy rules and regulations on corporations, wealth and capital disappear, as do the producers of that wealth. In essence, the producers, the capitalists, the creators of wealth, go on strike.

As the movie progressed comes one scene that, just like Chris Mathews, sent a thrill all up and down my leg.  The Union Representative who represents railroad engineers, explains to Ms. Tagart that no one from their union will be allowed to work on her rail line. Not only was the government dictating what corporations could do, so was the union. Our heroine, Ms. Tagart basically gave the union an ultimatum: either drive the train or your union will never work on my rail line.  The look and reaction of the Union Representative was to say the very least…. priceless.

Over all I would say that the movie deserves 4 stars out of 5.  This is not a movie that teenagers are going to go see, and if you are looking for action, adventure, or a thrilling experience, you are not going to find it in this movie.  But what you will find is a message that government rules and regulations will eventually strangle the private sector, and choke off the very capital that makes an economy prosper.


14 replies
  1. Texas-ex1977
    Texas-ex1977 says:

    Saw the movie over the weekend. Concur with Tom. This  is definitely NOT a "pass the popcorn, and let's be entertained" motion picture.

    Critical thinking skills required!

    This is only part 1.  The novel was written in 3 parts, and it is my understanding that the producers plan to release this as a trilogy.

  2. PatRiot
    PatRiot says:

    Not being shown in many theaters – sounds much like the lack of factual, investigative reporting.

    Not many viewers – fairly representative of those in America whom are awake vs those who don't want to see the truth and/or those blindly repeating the mantra "Obama, Obama".

    To change a line from Sixth Sense – "I see stupid people, and they don't even know they are stupid."

  3. NH-Jim
    NH-Jim says:

    I am disgusted with the lack of showings throughout Connecticut (Fairfield and Plainville).? Shame on the corporate theaters who decide not to show this film.? BUT,
    Surely, have some little possessed girl spew green pea soup at the camera or some psychotic lunatic in a mask hatcheting campers to death and it’s in every theater.
    America, wake-the-hell up!

  4. BigAl
    BigAl says:

    I received holy communion Palm Sunday morning at church and again after watching Atlas Shrugged Sunday evening.  It was a religious experience to finally see the movie on the big screen. 

    The biggest surprise for me was the fact that Howard and Karen Baldwin (Hartford Whalers) were the producers. Somehow I missed their involvement in the months leading up to the release of the film.  I have seen no mention of this in the local media and what a great story it is in and of itself.

    Don't miss the chance to see this epic, I'm going again.

  5. Fran SJ
    Fran SJ says:

    We drove from Suffield to Plainville to see the movie Sunday evening and made it a mandatory attendance for the young adults in our family.? It was a 5:00 showing and unfortunately, the theater was pretty empty.? Too bad, I thought the movie was much better than many shown in the theaters these days.
    We enjoyed the movie and we now have one of the younger ones wanting to read the book.? I think they did a good job of updating the story line and making the train theme work in today’s world. ? After all, isn’t? our President wanting to build new trains and we give up our cars to ride them?

    • andrealuty21
      andrealuty21 says:

      I have not seen the movie yet, but read the book 10 years after it was written, so I was probably 14-15.? It was the most riveting and exasperating book I ever read with the exception of The Fountainhead.? Back then my world views were focused on Russia vs. the US, socialism vs. Capitalism.? The fact that government was limiting capitalism, demanding the rich take care of the poor by sharing their wealth and trying to control the thinkers and movers which built this country.? My mother used to come down to our basement rec room because she could hear my frustration/anger at the gov’t? Little did I know that 45 years later we would be living in that reality.? I am sure the movie is good and look forward to seeing it, but the book is a must read as is The Fountainhead.

  6. BEA
    BEA says:

    Went to see it tonight@ the 7:45 showing in Plainville. Thought I'd be the only one, but there were probably 30 people and maybe 12 of them were a group of what looked like college age kids (sooo happy to see that).

    I liked the movie and can't wait to read the book. So close to what is going on today, and I'm sure a very good representation of how the "movers and shakers" conduct business and politics without us even being aware of the devious motivations behind every self-serving decision…scary!

    It moves quickly so you have to pay attention. I'll be getting the DVD so that I can watch it again with the kids and catch things I missed (hey, I'm middle aged and have 3 teens…need I say more?)

  7. TomTGRWolcott
    TomTGRWolcott says:

    I gave this movie some more thought, and for the life of me I can not understand why more democrats and liberals do not go and see this movie.  Everything that happens is right up there ally.

    High Speed Trains, Unions, Government Controls, Fair Wage laws, Laws that govern how much one can produce, make, or own…. its really a movie about them!

  8. RoBrDona
    RoBrDona says:

    The battle between autocratic socialism and capitalistic democracy has been going on for 100 years. Rand's book is an exploration of how much the legitimate thinkers and builders will take from a monolithic government before they take off. I believe we are close to this now. 


  9. steve g
    steve g says:

    Wife and I got Atlas Shrugged as 'book on tape' about 15 years ago.

    We'll have to re-listen, and then go to the Movie, if they haven't pulled it yet.

    Anyone know how long it will show in Plainville.


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  1. […] Jim Vicevich on April 19, 2011 at 11:37 am | Share via e-mail A companion piece if you will to Tom’s post below and the release of Atlas Shrugged Part One, the movie. Tom talks about the parallels between […]

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