Will the movie version of Ayn Rand’s ‘Atlas Shrugged’ divide audiences?

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‘Someone who knows what it’s like to work for himself, and not let others feed off the profits of his energy.’ So begins the trailer for the movie version of ‘Atlas Shrugged,’ based on the book by Ayn Rand. It’s coming to theaters April 15, as ‘Atlas Shrugged: Part 1.’

‘Atlas Shrugged’ is a book that’s part science fiction, part paean to capitalism. When the 1,168-page book came out in 1957, Robert Kirsch wrote in the L.A. Times:

It is probably the worst piece of large fiction written since Miss Rand’s equally weighty ‘The Fountainhead.’ Miss Rand writes in the breathless hyperbole of soap opera. Her characters are of billboard size; her situations incredible and illogical; her story is feverishly imaginative. It would be hard to find such a display of grotesque eccentricity outside an asylum.

But Kirsch was not the only one to weigh in. Another staffer, Paul Jordan-Smith, found it entirely more palatable.


It’s a book every businessman should hug to his breast, and the first novel I recall to glorify the dollar mark and the virtue in profit. ... How the shabby little left-wingers are going to hate it!

Will the movie be equally likely to split audiences?

-- Carolyn Kellogg