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The Passion of Ayn Rand (1999)

The rather eccentric (especially in her thinking) author of "The Fountainhead" and "Atlas Shrugged" becomes involved with a much younger, and married man... to the dismay of those close to her.



(book), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 8 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Nathaniel Branden
Barbara Branden
Frank O'Connor
Caroline (as Sybil Temchen)
Tom McCamus ...
David Ferry ...
Donald Carrier ...
Elyssa Livergant ...
Christopher Marren ...
Aaron (as Chris Marren)
Jennifer Gould ...
Robert Thomas ...
Security Guard
John Lefebvre ...
Funeral Director


The novelist Ayn Rand engaged in an affair with a psychologist 25 years her junior by the name of Nathaniel Branden. Branden built up an institute to spread Rand's ideas, but the two eventually had a falling out. This is the story of the affair, based on the book by Branden's wife, Barbara. Written by Martin Lewison <dr@martinlewison.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


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Release Date:

27 January 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La pasión de Ayn Rand  »

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Did You Know?


Based upon Barbara Branden's book with the same title. See more »


Alfred Tells Nathaniel about the new book Ayn Rand is working on, "Atlas Shrugged". The working title for that book was "The Strike". It didn't become "Atlas Shrugged" until in 1956 when Rand's husband suggested that title. See more »


Ayn Rand: You respect his intellect?
Barbara: Very much.
Ayn Rand: You share the same principles?
Barbara: Absolutely.
Ayn Rand: You accept that emotion ultimately derives from the thinking one has done, or has failed to do?
Barbara: I do.
Ayn Rand: Then there is only one possible conclusion. Nate is your ideal man.
See more »


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Blue Danube Waltz
Johann Strauss
Provided by Associated Production Music
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A is A and cannot be B
28 March 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I read Atlas Shrugged in 1964 and thought I'd discovered Atlantis or something. I learned that a friend had seen Ayn Rand speak at Ford Hall Forum was also excited by her ideas. It was a couple years before we learned that there had been a split between Ayn Rand, Nathaniel and Barbara Branden -and many more years before we learned the split had occurred years before we were told about it. (And it was clear that information was covered up, repressed for years.)

So when Barbara Branden came out with, The Passion Of Ayn Rand, and it later was made into the movie - I paid attention and compared what was presented with my memories. Most of what is in the movie corresponds to what I remember. I like the movie's frankness for it shows how damaging Rand was to other people's relationships and how disappointed she was with the men in her circle who consistently fell short of her fictional male characters.

It is notable that every biography of Rand starts with her terrible experience under the Soviets - but none make much of that experience's role in forming Rand's later attitudes and philosophical stance. Her resultant "anti-collectivism" is completely valid on its face but in practice it becomes an excuse for rank selfishness and coldness toward "inferior people."

Rand's fascination with men as fantasy heroes and sexual controllers of women has always been evident and was acknowledged by Rand herself. It is never mentioned how this contradicts Rand's forcefully promoted "principles." She punished all who violated her rules but never thought her own transgressions affected how she should be regarded as one promoting a moral system.

The movie should be seen by all those who have read Rand's works and know at least something of her actual history. It provides the balance of her human flaws to offset the alleged purity of her ideals. A balance she as a writer never accomplished.

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