"Ayn Ran at the Movies" - Book Review

BOOK REVIEW: Able Greenspan's Bookshelf

Synopsis: Alice O'Connor (January 20, 1905 - March 6, 1982) is better known by her pen name Ayn Rand. She was a Russian-born American writer and philosopher. She is known for her fiction and for developing a philosophical system she named Objectivism. In addition to her novels and until her death in 1982, she turned to non-fiction to promote her philosophy, publishing her own periodicals and releasing several collections of essays. (Wikipedia)
Loved and hated, adored and derided, Ayn Rand has been one of the most controversial philosophers and authors of our time. She is considered a Goddess of Capitalism by some and a quintessentially "Mean Girl" by others.
With the publication of "Ayn Rand at the Movies", biographer Denise Noe tries to bring complexity to the life of this most complex figure and, especially, to explore in depth her strong relationship with the motion picture industry.
Ayn Rand fell in love with movies during the silent era when she was a young girl growing up in Russia and that love affair with cinema lasted all her life -- and had profound effects on her life. One of her first published works was on a favorite actress, Pola Negri. She met her husband, Frank O'Connor, when she worked as an extra on Cecil B. DeMille's King of Kings.
Ayn Rand also penned the screenplays for the 1945 films Love Letters and You Came Along as well as for the 1949 The Fountainhead, a motion picture made of her groundbreaking novel of the same name.
Ayn Rand has been the subject of films like the documentary Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life and the fabulously stylish Hellen Mirren vehicle The Passion of Ayn Rand. In "Ayn Rand at the Movies", Denise Noe insightfully discusses the three-part Atlas Shrugged movie series.
She also delves into the making of a Saints vs. Scoundrels episode pitting Rand against Roman Catholic author Flannery O'Connor. "Ayn Rand at the Movies" also covers how Rand's dystopian novella Anthem was made into an inspired cartoon as was her screenplay Red Pawn.
Of special note is a fascinating reveal about how The Simpsons put on delightful send-ups of Rand works -- send-ups that were also tributes to those works. "Ayn Rand at the Movies" also discusses lavish Hollywood productions and high school projects that can be viewed on YouTube, feature films and shorts, to show how gloriously both the life and work of Ayn Rand are intertwined with the motion picture industry.
Critique: Of special interest to fans of Ayn Rand and her political/social philosophy, "Ayn Rand at the Movies" by Denise Noe is a seminal and ground-breaking of the cinematic influences on and participation of Ayn Rand in the film industry. Impressively researched, written, organized and presented, "Ayn Rand at the Movies" is a unique and highly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Cinematic History collections and supplemental Ayn Rand curriculum studies lists. It should be noted for students, academia, and the legions of Ayn Rand fans that "Ayn Rand at the Movies" is also available from BearManor Media in a paperback edition (9798887712666, $27.00) and in a digital book format (Kindle, $9.95).
Able Greenspan



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