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Atlas Shrugged Producer John Aglialoro on Ayn Rand's Enduring Impact

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The novel is not a real world work of art. If it were it would contain the unspeakable horror of tens upon tens of millions starving to death, mass riots and killings and thermonuclear war as an option. The settled result would be the world of The Road, not "going back into the world" of happy and productive existence freed from the grip of the looters.

1957 was a pretty tense time geopolitically. SAC had 150 bombers on the end of runways, loaded with nuclear weapons, crews ready to take off in 15 minutes from bases in Alaska, Britain, Spain, and Morocco. By 1959 the Air Force had doubled the number of B-47s, B-52s, and refueling tankers on 24/7 alert and had deployed ICBMs. http://www.siloworld.net/DOWNLOADS/Alert%20Operations%20and%20SAC%201957-1991%20rEDUCED.pdf

Just guessing, perhaps when Rand began outlining Atlas (1948?) she believed that the Soviet Union would collapse, becoming another militarily impotent European welfare state, unable to feed its people and dependent on American shipping -- which was Ragnar's mission to sink. That's another aspect of Atlas that never made any sense to me, that the US Navy, Coast Guard, and Air Force couldn't find or stop a pirate surface vessel operating in North Atlantic sea lanes?

A "faithful" adaptation of Atlas Shrugged means it will be about as relevant to today's cable TV audience as the Bible is in a semiconductor factory...

Let's quit pretending that Galt's Gulch in Colorado makes a whit of sense today. I know. I lived in Colorado. You can't sneeze there, without six Federal employees noting the time of day and wind direction. The film production of Atlas Shrugged should have gone forward in the 70's -- when folks still used trains and worked in steel mills, and when it was halfway plausible that Mulligan could build an airstrip without an environmental impact study and public hearings.

Today, Atlas Shrugged reads with as much realism as F. Scott Fitzgerald's short story "A Diamond As Big As The Ritz." This is not criticism of Atlas as literature. But let's face it. Atlas belongs to a lost generation, who shunned it. Seeing it squeezed onto the small screen will give middle-aged people a warm feeling of nostalgia and, thus, allow themselves to blank out the extent of influence that Objectivism has had in the world -- i.e., none.

https://web.archive.org/web/20020619071004/http://www.zolatimes.com/v3.44/al_ruddy.html

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I'd guess the writing of the novel was so intense she had little time for thinking about the real-world's day to day situation twirling about her. In the middle of WWII she wrote her other great novel. Same thing. Qua novelist, as a man, I couldn't have. I'd be supporting the war effort one way or the other. (I'd do that so the Rands could write, even the Sinatras sing [but stay away from my girl, Frank!])

--Brant

bloodthirsty killer son-of-a-bitch

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In the middle of WWII she wrote her other great novel. Same thing. Qua novelist, as a man, I couldn't have. I'd be supporting the war effort one way or the other. (I'd do that so the Rands could write, even the Sinatras sing...)

I recently sent a letter to a senior FBI agent who put COGGIG on her bookshelf:

"Thanks for the snapshot. I'm glad you got it. It was dedicated to you [and] the team at work,

tens of thousands who made it possible for me to sit and think about the distant future."

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COGGIG <<<< ????

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Couldn't agree more!

I'm a man of few words! :blush: :blush: :blush:

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Do we have any evidence that the movies helped - or, for that matter, hurt - sales of the book? Barbara Branden points out that the (dreadful) adaptation of The Fountainhead put the book back on the bestseller list. Did anything like that happen in this case?

Publishers Weekly (this was an enormous pain the ass, searching each year, hardcover and paper)

Atlas Shrugged. Ayn Rand. Rep. Plume

2009 148,695 paperback on Wall Street Journal buzz about people "going Galt" after Obama win

2010 less than 100,000 paperback

2011 less than 100,000 paperback

2012 less than 100,000 paperback

2013 less than 100,000 paperback

Atlas Shrugged. Ayn Rand. Rep. Plume

2009 less than 100,000 hardcover

2010 less than 100,000 hardcover to put this in context, a Lee Childs 'Jack Reacher' hardcover

2011 less than 100,000 hardcover sells 350,000 in first year, then goes to paperback

2012 less than 100,000 hardcover

2013 less than 100,000 hardcover

Google Trends:

a big spike of traffic on release of Part 1 and another big spike on release of Part 2

half of the traffic was from Russia, half from US, hitting Wikipedia and movie pages

No discernible increase in hardcover or paperback sales

Okay e-book sales in 2011, down 1/3 in 2012

Amazon:

trade paper #1,435 in Books

mass market #9,104 in Books

hardcover #69,151 in Books

about half of the reviews are people who read Atlas decades ago, bought a new copy, Kindle, or audio

a little shocked to see reviews based on Cliff's Notes version included in reviews of Atlas paperback

ARI recently, within the last year, issued some statements on how many of Rand's books,...particularly Atlas Shrugged, but also some of her other fiction and non-fiction titles were sold. If my memory serves me (which it often doesn't :blush: ), I may have even posted the stats :unsure: . Anyway, their results were somewhat different than what you cited.

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Trumpeting what they have accomplished ( :unsure: or :smile: - you choose!) with the Atlas movie trilogy, a new book, ATLAS SHRUGGED: THE NOVEL, THE FILMS, THE PHILOSOPHY, has just been issued through Amazon:, from The Atlas Society. Paperback, 220 pages

http://www.amazon.com/Atlas-Shrugged-Novel-Films-Philosophy/dp/1501059246/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1410537054&sr=8-2&keywords=atlas+shrugged+philosophy

NOTE: The above book is completely different from the recently released, "The History ofThe Atlas Shrugged Movie Trilogy" by Joan Carter (Mrs. Aglialordo). This book has a passage that seems to indicate that Aglilordo had ro make an additional one or more payments to Leonard Peikoff, after the first movie had been released. The amount paid was not specified. Although Joan Carter at one point mentions the necessity to get an entirely new cast for Atlas II, she makes no further comment explaining why they had to do that yet again for Atlas III. (However, the other book just published by The Atlas Society (link above) does have a chapter devoted to exactly that issue - why the casting changes.).

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ARI recently, within the last year, issued some statements on how many of Rand's books,...particularly Atlas Shrugged, but also some of her other fiction and non-fiction titles were sold. If my memory serves me (which it often doesn't :blush: ), I may have even posted the stats :unsure: . Anyway, their results were somewhat different than what you cited.

Jerry, if you can help me find those stats, I'd be much obliged.

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Trumpeting what they have accomplished ( :unsure::smile: - you choose!) with the Atlas movie trilogy, a new book has just been issued through Amazon:, from The Atlas Society. Paperback, 220 pages

http://www.amazon.com/Atlas-Shrugged-Novel-Films-Philosophy/dp/1501059246/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1410537054&sr=8-2&keywords=atlas+shrugged+philosophy

Amazon blurb doesn't leave any wiggle room.

"For nearly fifteen years, David Kelley gave me unflagging support and advice on one attempt after another to create a film adaptation... his ability to communicate script problems to Hollywood writers and film-makers... he was indispensable to that effort." —John Aglialoro

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Trumpeting what they have accomplished ( :unsure::smile: - you choose!) with the Atlas movie trilogy, a new book has just been issued through Amazon:, from The Atlas Society. Paperback, 220 pages

http://www.amazon.com/Atlas-Shrugged-Novel-Films-Philosophy/dp/1501059246/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1410537054&sr=8-2&keywords=atlas+shrugged+philosophy

Amazon blurb doesn't leave any wiggle room.

"For nearly fifteen years, David Kelley gave me unflagging support and advice on one attempt after another to create a film adaptation... his ability to communicate script problems to Hollywood writers and film-makers... he was indispensable to that effort." —John Aglialoro

Are you sure it wasn't 15 out of 16?

Wiggle, wiggle?

No way Kelley could know 15 years ago what would come out the other end. Why do you want to string up Kelley?

--Brant

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"The trilogy based on Ayn Rand’s ‘Atlas Shrugged’ ends with a whimper"

A review from the Las Vegas Weekly:

http://www.lasvegasweekly.com/ae/film/2014/sep/10/film-review-atlas-shrugged-who-is-john-galt/

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I bought Joan Carter's Kindle book. I accept as true that the three films were produced with investor funds. Baldwin introduced Aglialoro to Kaslow. They may be in better financial shape than I imagined, since distribution is characterized as "booking agents." Joan is completely clueless about the result on screen, thinks everyone attached was wonderfully talented, loves and admires her husband for his courage and determination. It's an important history of ARI, David Kelley's outfit, and the wider circle of libertarian personalities and businessmen who paid the freight for ARI and free market advocacy. Carter's book has a treasure trove of linked documents and photos. Recommended.

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Update: Although the link to Amazon only shows this new book, ATLAS SHRUGGED: THE NOVEL, THE FILMS, THE PHILOSOPHY, as available in paperback, (no Kindle eBook version is listed), that turns out to be incorrect. It is immediately available as a Kindle download. Which I found out by looking it up (the title) not on my PC, but on my Kindle - and there it was! Available either as free as a "rental for one month if you are an Amazon Prime member; or, for a couple of books (I can't remember the price at this moment). .

A few brief points from skimming some of the book:.

Kelley has a chapter showing what was included - and how much deleted - from the book's speeches, giving comparative word counts.. And why. certain parts were deleted. .I haven't finished reading the chapter yet.

In another chapter, he explains why there are three different casts for the three different movies.His explanation from Atlas One to Atlas Two.makes some sense (they were learning, etc.). However, he implies the same issues (but does not elaborate) for the second complete change in cast, scriptwriters, and director from Atlas Two to Atlas Three, but does not explain why any of those changes were necessary..

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Yay! - a reviewer (religious right) says Galt's oath is spoken in dialogue:

As if it's a religious mantra, we repeatedly hear the oath of fealty John Galt demands of his followers: "I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine." http://www.pluggedin.com/movies/intheaters/atlas-shrugged-iii-who-is-john-galt.aspx

Excellent. My worst fears are eased and David Kelley is saved from perdition. Best of all, I don't have to see the damn thing.

Interesting comment at IMDb:

Now some would argue that the movie makers are paying for these movies to be made so they can get the author's theory out to the masses. They are performing a good deed, a selfless act, a sacrifice for the greater good. Well this again runs completely contrary to what Ayn Rand preaches. To Ayn Rand, self-sacrifice or altruism is a sickening concept; it disgusted her. Self-sacrifice is a crutch used by incompetent people to mask their deficiencies from themselves, a self-delusion.

No surprise, Atlas 3 is getting slammed by movie critics:

Evidently James Manera, who also contributed to the screenplay, was hired for his complete and utter lack of subtlety. Nice hammer, dude. Whack me over the head again, would you? http://www.azcentral.com/story/entertainment/movies/2014/09/11/movie-review-atlast-shrugged-3-john-galt-stars/15418049/

...produced so cheaply that the grandeur of the characters and the subject matter are dwarfed by the middling sets, the stock footage and the often downright embarrassing special effects ... performances are almost entirely terrible ... calls to mind made-for-basic-cable ... [the music score] sounds like a collection of cues from the Lifetime Original Movies library. http://www.thewrap.com/atlas-shrugged-iii-review-ayn-rand-trilogy-chugs-listlessly-to-its-climax/

...cheapest-looking and most narratively deficient film in the series... http://www.lasvegasweekly.com/ae/film/2014/sep/10/film-review-atlas-shrugged-who-is-john-galt/

Michael Medved (mp3) http://www.michaelmedved.com/movie-review/atlas-shrugged-john-galt/ "erotic love scene Dagny and Galt unintentionally comical"

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Who is John Aglialoro? The man who effectively brought the ideas and ideals of a 1000 page novel to the silver screen in 98 minutes. The film I enjoyed last night gives the viewer the essence of the novel. The opening scene at Twentieth Century Motors sets the context and helps make the film understandable to those unfamiliar with Rand’s ideas. John Aglialoro can be, should be, and I expect is very proud of what his 22 years of effort and expense has created. Well done!

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Who is John Aglialoro? The man who effectively brought the ideas and ideals of a 1000 page novel to the silver screen in 98 minutes. The film I enjoyed last night gives the viewer the essence of the novel. The opening scene at Twentieth Century Motors sets the context and helps make the film understandable to those unfamiliar with Rand’s ideas. John Aglialoro can be, should be, and I expect is very proud of what his 22 years of effort and expense has created. Well done!

I have not seen any of these movies so I am beyond criticizing your review. I appreciate the clarity and of your extremely clean evaluation which I suspect is your common way of expressing yourself. You are telling me, however, to expect same such from watching the DVD. That's the message.

--Brant

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From The Wrap:

“Atlas Shrugged III” and its predecessors aren't bad movies because they're propaganda; any number of movies are, overtly or covertly. The “Atlas Shrugged” movies are bad movies because they're bad movies. They are written in such a way that the most interesting events take place off-screen and are described by excessive narration, whereas the scenes that do occur on camera are generally overly talky and didactic . . .

They are bad movies because the performances are almost entirely terrible, with the occasional talented character actor (in “ASIII,” they include Stephen Tobolowsky and Mark Moses) giving his or her all to elevate the material.

They are bad movies, because they are shot in a flat, non-dynamic manner that calls to mind made-for-basic-cable films (at their best) and reality-show true-crime recreations (at their worst). And let's not forget the score (by Elia Cmiral, “Battlefield Earth”), which sounds like a collection of cues from the Lifetime Original Movies library.

Love Ayn Rand's politics or hate them or lie in the middle, these movies are shoddy. And thankfully, they are now over.

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No surprise, Atlas 3 is getting slammed by movie critics...

The novel was also slammed by critics, and for the same reasons. It was called overly talky, its characters were called cardboard, it was called posed and artificial, etc.

J

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Yes, but this time it's true.

Very nice!

lol

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The most telling datum is not the near universal contempt of the critics but the fact that only a tiny number are giving it any ink. Movie reviews are typically published Friday morning, and yet for Who Is John Galt? only three professional critics are listed on Rotten Tomatoes and only two at Metacritic. In show business it is always better to be reviled than ignored.

And now this from the 2014 incarnation of Galt, Kristoffer Polaha: "The most important message that Ayn Rand was trying to put out in the world is that individuals are always going to be the most productive part of any society, which I think sort of anyone along any party line is going to agree with."

Great, now we know what Objectivists have in common with Democrats.

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