Posted by: Debby Durkee | April 17, 2011

Atlas Shrugged Part 1 — a review.

Atlas Shrugged Part I – a review.

By Deborah Durkee

If you haven’t read Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged or haven’t read it lately, please be patient with the beginning of the new movie version. There are a lot of characters to flesh out, but once that is done, the movie becomes an intriguing battle of wills among those in the private sector and the public sector (also a union boss). Add to that the mystery of accomplished, well-known business leaders and other innovators disappearing overnight from their jobs and companies, leaving holes in other companies’ abilities to get their products made or delivered, and we have a mystery on top of a political thriller. Part of that mystery is the odd question that keeps popping up – Who is John Galt?

What makes this movie relevant is its reflection of our country’s present situation. Even though the book was written 50 years ago, the movie has been updated to take place in the United States in 2017. Rand was born and raised in the Soviet Union and brought her experiences here to warn our country of what happens when individual achievement is squelched by collective power brokers.

Men are out of work. Cities look like present-day Detroit with trash floating along the roadside, burned-out cars reside down the block from company buildings such as Taggart Transcontinental Railroad, where the female protagonist, Dagney Taggart, pulls up in a stretch limo. She’s trying to keep her company afloat while her progressive, crony-capitalist brother, James, uses the company as his personal piggy bank to gain political influence and make himself feel good for supposedly doing good at the same time draining the company of its profits.

Another main character is Hank Rearden of Rearden Metal who has created a new steel alloy that can help Dagney save her crumbling railroad infrastructure and keep her company afloat. Rearden has to fight a government at every turn. They try to “buy” his metal from him and when that doesn’t work they use the media and a “scientific board” to trash it. (Does that sound like Global Warming?) Rearden and Dagney must jump through bureaucratic hoops, fight a union boss for workers to complete the project, and break through many, many other roadblocks. It’s a real-life depiction of how government attempts to lord over those who help make society function.

This is one of the few movies in my memory to actually champion the creators and doers instead of the “Mr. Smith” in Washington, who really ends up more times than not being a combination of Bernie Madoff and the Godfather or a combination of Barney Frank and Barack Obama. The press, too, gets its share of blame as they always champion a progressive politician over a person who actually creates anything that produces a profit.

As you watch Rearden and Dagney (along with an oil company owner) try their best to get their products to where they can benefit themselves, which in turn benefits the American people, I was reminded of the cap and trade fiasco that is being perpetrated right now, without the benefit of a law being passed by Congress, but by fiat of Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency, and the destruction that will be wreaked on not just every company in the country, but every American. Or Obama preventing our own oil companies from drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska and many other places in the country, putting the survival of our country at risk for his indescribable ideology.

If you’ve been paying attention to what’s going on in Washington, D.C., especially in the last couple of years, just project that out to its eventual inevitability, and you have Atlas Shrugged. Everyone should see this movie. It needs your support. If it does well, they will make Atlas II, due out next year at the same time, then Atlas III the following year. Spread the word. It’s in theaters now. Make plans to see it. You can find a theater near you here:


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  1. Great review! Expresses my sentiments exactly. Wish I could write this well!! I encourage everyone to see this movie. I saw it on Friday and will go back to see it again tomorrow afternoon.

    • Mike — thanks for the kind words and the suggestion. So glad you’re going back again. The movie was a much-needed slap in the face, let’s hope those who need slapping will actually go watch it.

  2. Debby,

    Excellent review and dead-on accurate assessment of how this movie/book relates to the socialists at the levers of power and control in our country. Thanks for a great review. I enjoyed watching the movie with your brother, who says he’s intending to view it again before it leaves our theater.

    I’m glad you’re encouraging your readers to support this movie. Very important, because heightened buzz will increase the curiosity factor, thus attracting more of the masses to see it and get better informed about what’s really happening right under our noses.

    After all, as Ayn Rand wrote, we are the producers. We are John Galt. Obama et al are the machine that’s killing everything that’s made our nation great.

    at The Radio Patriot

    • Andrea — Thanks so much. Thanks for your hard work as well. I’ll tell my brother-in-law, Ted, who is the owner of this site to see about exchanging links. Let’s hope we can help awaken those who are slumbering while the devil plays.

  3. […] Deborah Durkee has written a review of the movie. […]

  4. Excellent review Deb. I was planning on doing one myself but you made it unnecessary. I was a bit disappointed by the Francisco character. He was supposed to be an aristocrat of breeding but he looked a bit of the slob. I was also disappointed the character did not give, at least, part of his “Money” speech. I think that would have set the stage for the philosophical battle to come. But you cannot have everything. It was a good movie. Everyone should see it.

    • Greg — I sent you a link today. I believe they plan to include the “money” speech in the next part.

      • Thanks Deb…I don’t think I saw the link but will certainly look forward to part 2!

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