It took 54 years to have Ayn Rand’s classic bestselling book, Atlas Shrugged, made into a movie. With a minuscule advertising budget and no big studio backing, it opened April 15th in less than 300 theaters, virtually all small independents.
Normally a new movie will be shown in ten times as many theaters. I had to drive two hours to find a theater showing it and had only found out about it by chance in an email.
Yet it had almost $2 million in gross receipts the first week. That could have been $20 million if shown in the big movie theater chains.
The movie has been virtually ignored by the mainstream media. When mentioned, it has been almost universally panned by liberal movie reviewers. The LA Times wrote, it “fails to rise even to the level of eh.” The NY Post said it had an “undistinguished cast” and was “low budget.” Another wrote that it is “overwrought contrived paranoia about the regulatory state.”
When the book was published 54 years ago it got even worse reviews. Yet millions have read it and have said it had a profound, positive effect on their lives.
To this reviewer, it was riveting, with heroic characters, despite having no well known actors. If
we ignore the message, we do so at great peril.
It you go to leftist references, you will see Ayn Rand’s message distorted beyond recognition. For example, Wikipedia defines Rand’s ‘second handlers’ as “those who attempt to live through others, placing others above self.”
Rand’s, ‘second handlers’ are those who attempt to take over what others have created or produced, e.g., the government redistributors of wealth. And when they redistribute it, they do not realize or care that they are killing the incentive of humanity’s most capable to improve everyone’s quality of life. ‘Second handlers’ allow their envy of the more talented to hurt themselves and just about everyone else.
Recently Boeing announced plans to open a new plant in South Carolina to build its new 787 Dreamliner jet because Boeing’s Washington state unions’ excessive demands and strikes there have almost destroyed the company’s ability to stay in business. So the ‘second handler’ union lobbyists have gone to Washington to get the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to prohibit Boeing from building a plant where it can make its product at the lowest possible cost, thus benefiting the consumer. If the NLRB prohibits Boeing from building its plant in SC, it will probably build one outside the U.S. and more jobs in America will be permanently lost.
Hollywood’s aversion to presenting an accurate picture of how business entrepreneurs do more than Washington bureaucrats or legislators to improve the standard of living of virtually everyone, is obvious to anyone paying attention. The film industry can make or break anyone in the industry that does not follow its anti free market propaganda.
For a refreshing, uplifting treat, check on the Internet to find where the movie is playing. Then you can see its timeless relevance to what is going on in this country and why the mainstream media have done their best to discourage people from seeing it.
James F. Davis is the president of Accuracy in Academia.
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