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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
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


TV-MA | See all certifications »





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 »


In a scene set in the early 1950s, Frank says that he met Ayn Rand during the filming of The King of Kings. He refers to that movie as "the silent version...the great one". The only version of King of Kings that existed in the early 1950s was the silent version; the remake of King of Kings did not appear until 1961. See more »


Caroline: I do not exist for other people. I must not rely on other people. I must... identify the origins of my emotions. I must establish a rational... I can't.
Nathaniel Branden: Can't what?
Caroline: I can't stop thinking about you.
See more »


References Sayonara (1957) See more »


Love Is, Love Is Not
Written by Jeff Beal, Spencer Proffer, Steve Plunkett & Suzanne DuBarry
Vocals performed by Shirley Eikhard
Produced by Spencer Proffer and Jeff Beal
Music Engineer: Tom Weir
Shirley Eikhard performs courtesy of EMI Records Canada and Blue Note Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Good movie by any standards
27 June 2001 | by (Los Feliz CA) – See all my reviews

As an Ayn Rand fan who is interested in anything about the author, I couldn't be sure that this movie was as good a drama as I thought it was, so I showed it to intelligent friends who don't know her work. They all loved it. Complaints that it doesn't project the whole huge structure of Ayn Rand's philosophy are beside the point. This film is about the mesmerizing personality of Ayn Rand and the effect it had on the life of a disciple, Barbara Branden, and that of her husband, Nathaniel Branden, and, perhaps most pitiably, on the life of Rand's husband, Frank O'Connor. Rand was a superior person whom success convinced she was even more superior than she was. Power corrupts, and she became intoxicated by the attention of her devotees, and wound up going against her own principles (enlightened egoism and independence of mind) to demanding that her followers obey her unthinkingly and serve her ends self-sacrificially. None of this validates or invalidates her philosophy. It just teaches us again the ages-old lesson that idols are only human, and pride goes before a fall.,

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