"I have been an entrepreneur with companies in different industries-from airlines to health care, oil services, and exercise equipment-and I have had to deal with government in every one, at every step of the way. It's a constant drain of
time and energy. We could be in the 24th century today, in terms of technology, innovation, and wealth if it were not for all the controls that society puts on the individual. ...they take so much of the nectar from each life. ...you have to bargain constantly for permission to live and expand and find self-fulfillment.
Atlas Shrugged is my fortification against all that. It's liberation of the human spirit. That's what I get from making the movie. And that's what I want people to get from watching it."
- John Aglialoro, producer of the movie, Atlas Shrugged, Part 1.
As I reported to you in the April 7 issue, Linda and I were in Plano, Texas last Friday for the opening day of Atlas Shrugged, Part 1. We were not disappointed.
Is the movie as good as the book? Yes, but in many ways it's unfair to compare a movie to a book, not least of all, the constraints of time dictate far greater selectivity.
It's different for different people, too. Linda loved actually seeing the glistening blue rails of The John Galt Line, Dagny Taggart's independently owned railroad. I am more interested in the book's dialogue, and obviously much of that had to be cut. What I missed most, and I'm sure every fan has her own "most missed", was the story of the childhood relationship between Francisco d' Anconia (played by Jsu Garcia) and Dagny Taggart (played by Taylor Schilling).
My favorite line in the film was Henry Reardon's (played by Grant Bowler) comment to Dagny upon their joint discovery of an abandoned, but technologically advanced electric motor. "This could change the world." As could the movie, I reckon.
My favorite scene was Francisco's ephemeral, but portentous, transformation from decadent heir to Henry's friend and mentor. In the movie, as in the book, Francisco is my favorite character.
It's interesting that 95% of the professional critics panned the movie, while more than 85% of the opening day audience liked it. Perhaps, the most telling measure of the movie's opening day success was to be found on Amazon, where Atlas Shrugged, the book, was #1 in Amazon's Political category, #2 in Classics, and #5 in Literary.
I will be watching the movie again, and I'm anxiously looking forward to Parts 2 and 3, to be released on April 15, one and two years from now.
Thank you, John Aglialoro, for sharing the vision - and for your courage! Until next week,
PATIENCE, DISCIPLINE, and CONFIDENCE in the FUTURE! mh