This follows the history of the novel itself and Rand's earlier novel The Fountainhead, neither of which received good reviews but succeeded largely by word-of-mouth endorsements from readers.
I didn't expect much of this low-budget ($10 million), hastily produced (six weeks) effort with no-name stars, but how wrong I was. It is an extraordinary work -- unlike any movie I have seen. It is an unabashed celebration of capitalism and the spirit of the individual.
Far from the monotonous diatribe that the critics saw, I viewed a fast-paced, intellectually stimulating work with excellent professional casting. Taylor Schilling as Dagny Taggart is superb. Compressing Rand's tome to a manageable movie script while capturing the essence of her work has been magnificently accomplished.
Will it play at the box office? Week one produced per-theater revenues of $5,608, second only to Rio and ahead of Robert Redford's much promoted The Conspirator at $5,500. Will success continue? I hope so. It has my two thumbs up, and I can't wait for Part Two!
Lee E. Wheatley