6.5/10
527
22 user 18 critic

Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life (1997)

Not Rated | | Documentary, Biography | 13 February 1998 (USA)
A documentary focusing on the life of novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand, the author of the bestselling novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged and originator of the Objectivist philosophy.

Director:

Michael Paxton

Writer:

Michael Paxton
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Documentary covering the highs and lows of 2000AD's history, from its inception after the demise of Action to the present day.

Director: Paul Goodwin
Stars: Dan Abnett, Geoff Barrow, Emma Beeby
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

'Ayn Rand & the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged is a feature length documentary film that examines the resurging interest in Ayn Rand's epic and controversial 1957 novel and the validity of its dire prediction for America.

Director: Chris Mortensen
Stars: John Allison, Clifford Asness, Rajia Baroudi
Foes (1977)
Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

The tranquil life of a lighthouse keeper and his family is disrupted when a flying saucer and its alien inhabitants invade.

Director: John Coats
Stars: Macdonald Carey, Jerry Hardin, Jane Wiley
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Takes us into the studio with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band for the recording of their fourth album.

Director: Thom Zimny
Stars: Mike Appel, Roy Bittan, Clarence Clemons
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Two journalists and two veterans examine war.

Director: Sebastian Junger
Stars: Brendan O'Byrne
A Job to Kill For (TV Movie 2006)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

The new head of a huge advertising company becomes fearful for her job and life itself when an overly ambitious new girl who will stop at nothing to make the company her own playground joins the firm.

Director: Bill Corcoran
Stars: Sean Young, Georgia Craig, Ari Cohen
Sneakerheadz (2015)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

An in-depth look into the exploding subculture of sneaker collecting and the widespread influence it has had on popular culture around the world.

Directors: David T. Friendly, Mick Partridge
Sunset Strip (2012)
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A documentary on the famous Los Angeles street.

Director: Hans Fjellestad
Stars: Cisco Adler, Lou Adler, Ahmed Ahmed
Salad Days (2014)
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

"Salad Days: A Decade of Punk in Washington, DC (1980-90)" examines the early DIY punk scene in the Nation's Capital. It was a decade when seminal bands like Bad Brains, Minor Threat, ... See full summary »

Director: Scott Crawford
Stars: Fred Armisen, Brendan Canty, Dave Grohl
Documentary | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Throughout history, Alaska has been a place of dreams. From the early gold rush days, to the rise of commercial fishing, to the explosion of the ski and snowboard freeride movement, people ... See full summary »

Stars: Maxim Arsenault, Ralph Backstrom, Chris Benchetler
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A rapid-fire history of our world, from the beginning of time as we know it to present day. This two-hour CGI-driven special delves into the key turning points: the formation of earth, ... See full summary »

Director: Douglas Cohen
Stars: Corey Burton, Alex Filippenko, Peter Ward
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A documentary that goes behind the scenes with some of today's most talented songwriters as they make new music based on long-lost, newly discovered lyrics from Bob Dylan's legendary ... See full summary »

Director: Sam Jones
Stars: Brian Auger, Carla Azar, Joan Baez
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Sharon Gless ... Narrator (voice)
Michael S. Berliner Michael S. Berliner ... Himself - Editor of Rand's Letters (as Dr. Michael S. Berliner)
Harry Binswanger ... Himself - Professor and Friend (as Dr. Harry Binswanger)
Sylvia Bokor Sylvia Bokor ... Herself - Artist
Daniel E. Greene Daniel E. Greene ... Himself - Artist
Cynthia Peikoff Cynthia Peikoff ... Herself - Friend and Secretary
Leonard Peikoff Leonard Peikoff ... Himself - Intellectual Heir and Friend (as Dr. Leonard Peikoff)
Al Ramrus Al Ramrus ... Himself - Writer and Producer
John Ridpath John Ridpath ... Himself - Professor: York University (as Dr. John Ridpath)
Mike Wallace ... Himself - CBS News Correspondent
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Janne Peters ... Kay Gonda
Peter Sands ... Dietrich von Esterhazy
Edit

Storyline

Ayn Rand was born in 1905 in St. Petersberg, Russia. She escaped to America in 1926 amidst the rise of Soviet Communism. She remained in the United States for the rest of her life, where she became a much respected author of The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. The themes of freedom and individualism were to be her life's passion, and would win her a devoted following among readers. Her books continue to sell over 300,000 copies each year. Upon her arrival in America, Ayn Rand applied for a screenwriting position at the DeMille Studios in Hollywood. On that same day, a chance meeting with DeMille brought her to the set of The King of Kings where she was hired as an extra for the film. But, it wasn't until her 1936 Broadway success, Night of January 16th, that she first achieved fame as a writer. The play, a courtroom drama that was tried before a jury drawn from the audience each night, had two endings for each verdict. Although a success, it was Ayn's first struggle to keep the ... Written by Strand Releasing <strand@strandreleasing.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Life More Compelling Than Fiction


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 February 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Ayn Rand: Un sentido de la vida See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$26,101, 16 February 1998

Gross USA:

$205,246

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$205,246
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Connections

Features The Mike Wallace Interview (1957) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Good biography of a unique writer and philosopher
5 February 2010 | by AlsExGalSee all my reviews

I've been interested in Ayn Rand ever since I read "Atlas Shrugged" when I was only 22 years old. I didn't quite get everything Ayn was trying to say in that book at the time, and I chalked it up to my lack of life experience given my youth. When I was 40, I ran across this documentary on public TV. I figured that since 18 years had passed, watching this documentary combined with my maturity would enable me to understand Ayn Rand.

This biography is a very sanitized version of Ayn Rand's life. The biography is accurate if not complete, since there is a lack of balance in the presentation due to the absence of information that shows the flawed and even somewhat "kookie" facets of the woman. For example, she encouraged her followers to smoke to highlight mankind's dominance over fire. The film also makes out her relationship with her husband, Frank, to be an ideal romance that lasted for decades. In fact, Ayn cheated on Frank for years with colleague Nathaniel Branden. To give her credit, she was true to her philosophy in being "objective" about the affair in the sense that she insisted that both her and Branden's spouse know what was going on. She ceased being objective, though, when Branden tired of her and began having an affair with a younger woman. She threw Branden and his research out the door with all of the emotion of any human being whose heart was being "subjectively" stomped on. I bring these points up not for the purpose of character assassination. Instead, I think that that it is difficult to get a balanced view of someone whose life work was pronouncing how life should be lived without examining the both the flaws and triumphs in that person's own life.

The documentary did give me some insight into Ayn Rand's philosophy, though, and I'll have to say that she seems to be someone who threw the baby out with the bath water at every turn. As a youth in Russia, prior to the Russian revolution, she saw the failure of the Russian orthodox church to connect with the parishioners and help their lives in any way. This caused her to become an atheist without causing her to explore if it was in fact that this particular institution of religion was the failure, rather than the concept of God. After the revolution she saw the utter failure of the policies of Communism, and this caused her to believe that pure unadulterated capitalism is the only economic system that works, not bothering to realize that there might be a middle ground that looks out for society's weaker members while also rewarding enterprise and hard work.

The fact that Ayn was what is an "odd bird" in 21st century America - an atheist capitalist - can only make me wonder what she would have to say about today's situation of fundamentalist Christian dogma intertwined with cut-throat capitalism that has become today's Republican party.

If you are interested in learning the main points about Ayn Rand's life, this is a good source for the facts and even some insights - particularly good are the clips from her appearances on the Donahue show shortly before her death. However, realize that this biography is somewhat sanitized.


10 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 22 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Popular Action and Adventure Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular action and adventure titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed