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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.


Christopher Menaul


Barbara Branden (book), Howard Korder (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 1 win & 8 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Helen Mirren ... Ayn Rand
Eric Stoltz ... Nathaniel Branden
Julie Delpy ... Barbara Branden
Peter Fonda ... Frank O'Connor
Sybil Darrow ... Caroline (as Sybil Temchen)
Tom McCamus ... Richard
Don McKellar ... Alfred
David Ferry ... Interviewer
Donald Carrier Donald Carrier ... David
Hamish McEwan ... Henry
Elyssa Livergant Elyssa Livergant ... Naomi
Christopher Marren Christopher Marren ... Aaron (as Chris Marren)
Jennifer Gould Jennifer Gould ... Janet
Robert Thomas Robert Thomas ... Security Guard
John Lefebvre John Lefebvre ... Funeral Director


Upon the death of Ayn Rand (Dame Helen Mirren), Barbara Branden (Julie Delpy) recounts the story of her dealings with the enigmatic twentieth century philosopher and author. Barbara and her husband, Nathaniel Branden (Eric Stoltz), meet Rand and her husband, Frank O'Connor (Peter Fonda) and immediately establish a rapport. Rand takes the youthful Nathaniel under her wing and begins to show a non-platonic interest in her protégé. Barbara must sit by as the two begin what becomes a long, tumultuous affair. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


TV-MA | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This movie takes place in 1951, 1957, 1964, 1981, and 1982. 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 »


Barbara: I didn't know you were an actor.
Frank: Neither did anyone else in Hollywood.
See more »


References Sayonara (1957) See more »


Blue Danube Waltz
Johann Strauss
Provided by Associated Production Music
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User Reviews

Yes Virginia, there really is an Ayn Rand
8 May 2005 | by lurch-17See all my reviews

Having read almost all of Rand's works and considering her a brilliant philosopher and writer, I was apprehensive about seeing her personal side in a movie. I was not disappointed. I understand her work very well and was able to completely separate her personal conduct from her philosophy. Was her personal conduct in conflict or harmony with her philosophy? An esoteric question, and I don't care.

She was once quoted as saying that the character Kira, in her book 'We The Living', was the closest thing to an autobiography that she would ever write. Kira was a pure character with heroic characteristics. Ayn Rand in real life was probably not. Again, I don't care. None of this detracts from her philosophy. By the way, don't miss Rand's book-turned-into-film 'We The Living' starring Rossano Brazzi and Alida Valli filmed in Italy during WWII without Rand's knowledge or blessing. It is a cinematic feast. Italian actors, Russian setting, English subtitles and well adapted. Reportedly, Hitler had it canned after one showing because it criticized totalitarian dictatorships.

Back to this movie. It is reasonably well done and very interesting. Hoving subscribed to her newsletter, 'The Objectivist', I will never forget the short column she wrote therein, something to the effect "Nathaniel Branden is no longer associated with me, etc" (after she had dedicated Atlas Shrugged to him).

There is a human side to every hero.

Above all, read 'The Fountainhead', her greatest work. Forget the film, it was poorly adapted (by Rand?) and Cooper/Neal did not do the book's characters justice.

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Release Date:

27 January 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

La pasión de Ayn Rand See more »

Filming Locations:

Ontario, Canada See more »

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