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Ayn Rand's We the Living

Alida Valli , Rossano Brazzi , Gofreddo Alessandrini  |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)

Price: $29.95 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Ayn Rand's We the Living   -- --
Ayn Rand's We the Living (Institutional Use)   -- --

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Product Details

  • Actors: Alida Valli, Rossano Brazzi, Fosco Giachetti
  • Directors: Gofreddo Alessandrini
  • Format: NTSC
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Studio: Scalera Films/Duncan Scott Productions
  • DVD Release Date: September 11, 2009
  • Run Time: 172 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #99,969 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

Special 2-DVD Set - Bonus Features

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Beautiful, strong-willed Kira (Alida Valli) is torn between two men (Rossano Brazzi and Fosco Giachetti) while she courageously defies the authoritarian rule of post-revolutionary Russia. Her passionate struggle for the right to her own life burns at the core of WE THE LIVING.


This special 2-DVD set includes over 45 minutes of deleted scenes never before released. Each scene is preceded by a title that explaining why Ayn Rand wanted it removed.


An amazing piece of cinema. I loved every minute of it...Alida Valli has the same kind of quality on-screen as Garbo-just magical-what a performance! I think you will also fall under the spell of this film. --Michael Medved/Sneak Previews

(An) ambitious and ingenious film. --Caryn James/New York Times

Nothing stirs the soul quite so much as buried treasure. WE THE LIVING qualifies in every respect as film treasure...dazzling performances...Director Alessandrini brilliantly blends glamour, romance, politics, intrigue and danger..this is a film that avoids the predictable every step of the of the best movies of the year. --Mike McGrady/New York Newsday

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
98 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my all-time favorite films October 10, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
For anyone who apprecitates a beautiful, but unusual love story, gorgeous cinematography in the classic style, a movie full of conflict, passion and intelligent thought integrated into and driven by the action, who is interested in seeing the perverse, soul-destroying and deadly effects of a totalitarian system, be it communist, fascist or other, and who can still be startled by intense, powerful performances of actors portraying caracters whom you really care about, this is the film for you!
Needless to say, I love this film and am so pleased that Duncan Scott, the distributor, finally brought it out on DVD with all the scenes that were cut from the original films. My only regret is that anticipated sales of the DVD were obviously such that Mr. Scott wasn't able to invest the money to have the film restored before the DVD release, although the print we see is decent. The only other issue is that if I were Ayn Rand, I would have kept in the film appox. 13 minutes of scenes that were cut, as illustrated below (Please reference the deleted scenes on the DVD):
I would have kept:
#3, Andrei and Kira debate;
#6, Aunt Marussia falls ill segment;
#8, Expulsion from Institute
#9, Nica's death; and
#12, Wedding speach.
Theses scenes offer a power condemnation of Communism/Fascism, a superb denunciation of the toxic Soviet ideology: "You build to destroy others. One day you will destroy yourselves!", whereby only party members have access to health care and education.
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54 of 58 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FINALLY available on DVD October 1, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A few things...

1) This is a "lost" classic that must be seen. Filmed and originally released in fascist Italy during WWII, it was eventually ordered destroyed by Mussolini...but cooler minds (those of the producers) prevailed and secreted a copy. It took four decades for this movie to get "unveiled" again.

2) It stars Valli, who would 8-9 years later go on to star with Joseph Cotton and Orson Welles in the classic "The Third Man." She's beautiful and phenomenal!

3) Until now, this movie was only available on VHS and the old laser discs. I bought it on laser disc back in the early 1990s, and have been waiting for a DVD release for years. And it's been worth the wait!

The extras are cool...all new. A 35-minute documentary on the movie, its post-war discovery, and its re-release. Then about 45 minutes of deleted scenes, all of which were cut out during preparation for the film's revival in the 1980s and made under Ayn Rand's supervision. It's very nice to see these.

A "must own" for Ayn Rand fans, lovers of liberty, and lovers of great film!
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite March 22, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
An exquisite, passionate, indelible portrait of powerful individuals trapped in the selfless tomb of collectivism. The humanity of the film is made all the more heartbreaking because of its backdrop of menace and hopelessness. A treasure. No wonder Mussolini banned it.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great, but NOT THE COMPLETE FILM(S)! January 17, 2005
Format:VHS Tape
Goffredo Alessandrini's unauthorized 1942 version of Ayn Rand's novel "We the Living" appeared in Fascist Italy in two separate parts: NOI VIVI and ADDIO, KIRA. They are essentially one film. It was the grim story of post-revolutionary Russia, the forced collectivization of the economy and the brutal suppression of human rights, all told from the viewpoint of one woman, Kira. Ayn Rand's novel was autobiographical and was essentially a diatribe against the loss of individuality in totalitarian societies.

The film attracted a sizable audience in Italy. The Fascist government saw the film(s) as a condemnation of Soviet misery but when it became aware that the movie(s) implied a condemnation of all totalitarian states, left and right, it withdrew them from distribution.

They were not seen again and were thought lost until the early 1960s when Ayn Rand's attorneys located prints in Rome. Ayn Rand liked the movie(s) a great deal, while having reservations about certain liberties that had been taken with dialog and situations. She died in 1982 and did not live to see the re-issue of the film, which was brought about under the auspices of the Ayn Rand estate. The original two-part 4-hour version was edited down to a 170-minute one-film version. One major speech (of Fosco Giachetti) was redubbed to assert Randian philosophy, and the ending (with the death of Kira in the snow as she is shot trying to escape from Russian) was eliminated, rendering the film more optimistic.

We are glad that the film was made available in some form after having been lost for decades. After all, how many films from Fascist Italy get picked up for commercial distribution in America these days? But we also regret that Alessandrini's complete artistic achievement was truncated and tampered with.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply moving story November 27, 2009
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I was deeply moved by this well constructed story. It is tragic, the character struggle and in spite of the misery they are in they try to keep on living their own lives and not simply existing. The heroine loves deeply and never deviates from her love, doing whatever it takes to get him what he needs even when he is giving up.

I got so involved I actually forgot I was reading subtitles and began to feel as if the dialog was in English! A top flight movie!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars I like diverse movie styles from old to new
I like diverse movie styles from old to new. This was very reflective of the industry when it was made, but the story is the equivalent of Dr. Read more
Published 13 days ago by HarVe
2.0 out of 5 stars Much better to read the book or buy it on audio book.
Really hard to follow since the only way to get English is to read the subtitles. I was hoping there'd be a voice-over English option in the DVD. There was not.
Published 2 months ago by ebschor
5.0 out of 5 stars this was done better.
Surpassed all my expectations.

The only thing that could be improved is the contrast between the subtitles and the film. Read more
Published 3 months ago by H.E.A.J. Braat
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 3 months ago by A. B. Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't hate the subtitles
This movie was done in Italy during Mussolini's time in power as a show of protest to the abuse of power. When the Italian government finally realized they banned the film. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Christopher
1.0 out of 5 stars Historical interesting, awful movie, even more awful version.
Alessandrini was certainly a skilful movie director and "We the Living" in the original version shows his metier. Read more
Published 6 months ago by giovanni engel
5.0 out of 5 stars Great romantic political slap at authoritarianism - be it socialist...
Great romantic political slap at authoritarianism - be it socialist or fascist or communist. Mussolini's son promoted this brilliant production of Ayn Rand's novel, only to have... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Larry B.
5.0 out of 5 stars great movie
If you want a clue as to what we are headed for, this will provide it. Socialism always leads to the same old crap. The Russian revolution, the French revolution.... Read more
Published 7 months ago by lasercad
5.0 out of 5 stars For the true film lover
This is a historical film. There are many levels to focus on. Great.
The sub titles are not distracting. The strong female lead puts the movie ahead of its time.
Published 8 months ago by Richard R Kleinow
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Love Story
This is one of the most awesome love stories I've ever watched.

I don't agree with everything Ayn Rand says, but this is a much better love story than Atlas... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Bill Chapman
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Topic From this Discussion
Subtitles on the DVD
as i recall,i was told a number of years ago that ms. rand re-wrote all of the sub-titles so that they correspond to her novel more accurately.
Sep 13, 2010 by Jan R. Schulman |  See all 3 posts
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