DOASKDOTELL MOVIE REVIEWs of Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life, The Fountainhead


Title: Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life

Release Date:  1998

Nationality and Language: USA, English

Running time: about 125 Minutes

MPAA Rating:  PG-13

Distributor and Production Company: Strand Releasing

Director; Writer:




Relevance to HPPUB site:

Review: Movie Review: Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life; Strand Releasing, 1997, 125 minutes; 9.0/10; Rating: PG-13

            This is a wonderful documentary about the life and philosophy of Ayn Rand. It starts with her childhood in Russia, and shows many interesting still photos from early 20th century Russia and the US. Her progress as a writer, starting in a movie studio in the 1930's, is surprising. In older days, it was very difficult for new authors with unusual ideas to get published. There are many scenes in which the older Ayn Rand is interviewed, and she powerfully explains her philosophy of objectivism, individualism, virtuous selfishness, and self-ownership. Hardly self-indulgent, she stayed married to one many for over fifty years.

            What is also interesting about this film is that it does render a long period of history, from her point of view, perhaps—of how we gradually became a more individualistic (as opposed to egalitarian or hierarchical) society. But for Ayn Rand, the right to choose one’s own course in life – a sense of psychological surplus – was what makes life worth living.


The Fountainhead (1949, United Artists, dir. King Vidor, based on novel by Ayn Rand and screenplay by Ayn Rand, 114 min, PG) presents Gary Cooper as the iconoclastic architect Howard Roark, with Kent Smith as the more conventional Peter Keating; Patricia Neal is the irresistible Dominque Francon and Raymond Massey is the tragic and self-defeating Gail Wynand. Rand always chooses such great names for her characters! The old black-and-white film seems rushed and doesn’t quite capture the spirit of the book as well as it could.   Atlas Shrugged is listed as in production for a 2007 release (Baldwin Group).


Related reviews:


Return to hppub movies (reviews)

Return to hppub home page


Email me at