Helen Whalen Cohen

The philosophy that Rand described in her book, which is also a theme in the movie, is objectivism. Her belief is that the pursuit of rational self-interest is virtuous, and that the only way to achieve liberty is through capitalism. She also extols reason and human ability. Her heroes revel in their own ability and take pleasure in seeing how much they can achieve.

If the theme is self reliance, achievement and capitalism, then the back story is particularly relevant. John Aglialoro, a private investor, held the rights to the movie for seventeen years. He and director Paul Johansson tried to initiate production more than once, but each time found themselves held up by Hollywood. Finally, they invested $10 million and produced it themselves.

FreedomWorks, a non-profit based in Washington, D.C., marketed the movie heavily, seeing an opportunity to continue spreading the message of free markets and individual liberty. “FreedomWorks is marketing Atlas Shrugged to spread it to the grassroots movement,” a representative tells Townhall. “It is an end-run against the Hollywood establishment the way the tea party was an end-run against establishment Republicans and Democrats during election season. … This movie is going to succeed because it is going to inspire people.”

Helen Whalen Cohen

Helen Whalen Cohen is Associate Editor and Community Manager at Townhall.com.