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Stephen Colbert offers a Rand-y analysis of Hollywood

May 5, 2011 |  3:03 pm


Stephen Colbert has a straightforward explanation for the lackluster box office of “Atlas Shrugged: Part I.”

"It's almost like most Americans don't want to see a movie that says most Americans are parasites," "The Colbert Report" host said, noting the film's take of $469,000 in its third week of release.

The right-wing parodist applied Ayn Rand's libertarian philosophies to Hollywood on his Comedy Central Show Wednesday night in a segment about the adaptation of her 1957 novel.

"Atlas Shrugged: Part 1" lays out Rand's passionate defenses of capitalism and selfishness as railroad executive Dagny Taggart (Taylor Schilling) and steel magnate Hank Rearden (Grant Bowler) battle to save their businesses in a depressed future economy.

The Colbert segment singled out the 24 Frames interview with the film's producer and co-writer, John Aglialoro, in which he fired back at the movie's detractors. After "Atlas" was trounced by critics, Aglialoro said he was reconsidering shooting parts 2 and 3 of the planned trilogy and might instead go "on strike."

"Truly a lesson from the pages of Ayn Rand," Colbert said. "If you're talented and hard-working, one day you, too, could give up."

Colbert also offered Randian analyses of cinema classics--" 'Star Wars' is really about a group of violent illegal aliens plotting to blow up a gated community"--as well as of Hollywood decision-making.

After showing a clip of Bowler's character declaring, "My only goal is to make money," Colbert quipped, "I haven't seen a film with that message since 'Transformers 2.' "


'Atlas Shrugged' producer: 'Critics, you won.' He's going 'on strike.'

'Atlas Shrugged' finally comes to the screen, albeit in chunks

--Rebecca Keegan


Comments () | Archives (5)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Lest it be thought that the disinterest in the movie is a reflection of its subject matter or the novel on which the movie is based, consider that word-of-mouth from moviegoers and professional critics (some of them sympathetic to the novel) have mostly pointed up that the movie does not succeed as an entertainment. Readers here might want to consider the views of a writer who knows the novel, was not predisposed to dislike the movie, and yet who considers the rushed production to have sacrificed the opportunity to bring out good performances from the actors:

If you are smarter than a soap dish, you will like the movie. But, don't take my word or anyone else's word. See the movie, or better yet, read the book, and decide for yourself. Ms. Rand will give you the words you will need for a time when you will need them. But, only in fair exchange for valuable consideration - contract law 101.

There you have it. Ayn Rand fans: Slightly smarter than a soap dish.

Someone please tell director John Aglialoro than in order to go "on strike" in Randian fashion, you must be presently doing something of actual value. A director of a failed movie quitting doesn't deprive the world of something it wants. It deprives the world of something that the world has clearly said it does NOT want or care about.

Ayn Randy fanboys (and girls) are a strange lot... they go on and on about the individual but they all sound the same!

I'm with Matt. The majority of people just aren't interested in pedantic, misanthropic speed freaks or their polemics.


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