Patt Morrison for August 28, 2012

Ayn Rand in Hollywood: How good, or bad, are her movies?

Novelist and screenwriter Ayn Rand

Before John Galt, there was Jesus. Ayn Rand, the writer responsible for “The Fountainhead,” “Atlas Shrugged,” and (allegedly) Paul Ryan’s worldview, started – like many writers – at the low rung of the Hollywood totem pole. In 1926, the new-to-the-country Russian émigré found herself working as a junior screenwriter for Cecil B. DeMille on "The King of Kings," an epic “part-Gospel, part-Technicolor” re-telling of the Passion of Christ. For $25 a week, Rand toiled away for no credit, until she eventually left for New York, returning to Hollywood on her own terms in the mid-1940s, when she would see her own novel, “The Fountainhead,” turned into a film starring Gary Cooper.

WEIGH IN:

What is the connection between Ayn Rand’s early years in the movie-making machine and her later magna opera, and were the films that followed any good?

Guests:

Anne C. Heller, Ayn Rand’s biographer; author of “Ayn Rand and the World She Made”

Michael Phillips, film critic for the Chicago Tribune


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