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The Passion of Ayn Rand

3.5 out of 5 stars 79 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Three...
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  3. One Night Stand
  4. Booby Trap
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  6. Sofa King
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 2, 2016)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: CD Baby
  • Run Time: 66 minutes
  • ASIN: B000056BP0
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,575 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Despite the hagiographic-sounding title, this film is not a work in praise of the novelist-philosopher Ayn Rand. Instead, it is a biopic, based on a book of the same title, written by Barbara Branden, an erstwhile close friend and high-ranking follower of Rand.

Two attractive young students, Nathaniel Blumenthal (who later changes his name to Nathaniel Branden) and Barbara Weitman (Eric Stoltz and Julie Delpy), are invited, following an enthusiastic letter, to meet their idol, Ayn Rand, at the home she shares with her husband Frank O'Connor (heartbreakingly portrayed by Peter Fonda) in California. Both are passionate devotees of her ideas of Objectivism, reason and self-interest, and find a willing guru in Rand, played with grim charisma by Helen Mirren.

While Nathan is attracted to Barbara, her feelings for him are closer to friendship - but under pressure from Rand, who argues that emotion is always based on reason and that therefore the young couple's shared ideals make them a perfect sexual match, the two of them marry. Their unsuccessful marriage, already intimately destructive since Nathaniel has taken it upon himself to act as Barbara's psychotherapist as well as her husband, seeking to eradicate the 'faulty principles' that make her uncomfortable with the relationship, is worsened when Rand and Nathaniel begin an affair, insisting that their prospective partners accept this sexual relationship as the necessary consequence of their mental compatibility. The tensions between the characters play out against the rising cult of the Nathaniel Branden Institute and the success of Atlas Shrugged, leading to moral and emotional chaos under the guise of reason and idealism.
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Format: Audio CD
I was disappointed with this film. I was thinking (or hoping) this film was going to be about the passion of knowledge, ideas, thinking, and any other form of mental stimulation; I really didn't think there was much of that in this film. Maybe I'm just odd in the way I dislike Hollywood's usual portrayal of passion: love affairs et cetera. Passion in this film was portrayed in the Hollywood sense. There was brief mentioning of thoughts, the mind, ideas, the individual, et al, but I felt they were only in idle chatter, and not what really mattered. Maybe all the "Hollywood passion" represented in this film turned me off, but I would have rather spent my time doing something other than watching this film.

Recently I had the pleasure of a watching a different documentary film about Miss Rand called _Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life_. And I think if you are looking for more details actually about her, her life, and her ideas, rather than love affairs which I thought were quite unpleasant within _The Passion of Ayn Rand_, _Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life_ is the film I think you'll enjoy to watch and listen to instead.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This Showtime film takes up the life of Ayn Rand from chapter 20 in Barbara Branden's biography of the same title. The director and screen writers have effectively transmitted the turn from naive hero worship of Rand that Barbara and her boyfriend Nathaniel experienced in the late 1940s to the subsequent stormy love affair between Rand and Nathaniel with its consequences in the lives of Frank O'Connor (Rand's husband) and Barbara, who had married Nathaniel. When the affair started, Rand was in the middle of writing her magnum opus, Atlas Shrugged, a philosophical novel about unstinting individualists who love whom they will on the way to creating the world they want.

Julie Delpy fairly portrays Barbara's "descent into hell" (to borrow from a Doris Lessing title) of psychological intimidation and manipulation and its breeding of guilt, but Helen Mirren appropriately dominates the screen, mastering Rand's intensity down to detailed mannerisms that conform not only to Barbara's account but to filmed interviews. (For excerpts from these interviews and more, see Michael Paxton's "Ayn Rand: A Sense of Life," DVD, 2004, available on Amazon.) Whereas Delpy gives us a woman in tune with social dynamics (including jealousy) as well as ideas, Mirren shows a single-minded pursuit of personal goals that easily ignores the existence of others, a kind of "blanking out" of social reality (to borrow an epithet that Rand frequently used). In the scene where Rand negotiates her affair with Nathaniel in the presence of Frank and Barbara, Mirren's voice, face, and body move inexorably from her assumption that everyone will accept her simple moral calculus--what's best for her must be good for all--to mild indignation that the others cannot see with her clarity what is in her/their best interest.
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Format: Audio CD
I was a student of Ayn Rand's philosophy and a patient of Mr. Branden's several decades ago, in the early 70's. Why? Because I was trying in vain to live as Ms. Rand said we should: as heroic figures every day, perfect in our morals, that we should aspire to be as perfect as the impossibly perfect,cold, robotic main characters of her novels, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shugged. The only book of hers I read several times was We The Living as the characters were most like flesh and blood and real.

While I was going to Group at Mr. Branden's house I had no idea that he'd had an affair with Ayn Rand as it was apparently known only to some insiders I'd guess. Had I known, I would have immediately ended the relationship. As it was he was totally ineffectual as a therapist, barely able to stay awake while we spoke, and like comic shrinks in movies, lets you answer your own questions when you're paying HIM to! Years later, 15 free minutes with Dr. Laura on the radio fixed the problem I had (guilt over the death of a family member.)

The upside of all this:I did know Patrecia who was changed to another fictional woman in the movie. She was a Goddess. All the men loved her, all the women wanted to BE her. She was the essence of joy and life and she died way too young....slight epilepsy that was caused by strobing sunlight dancing off the pool whereupon she had a seizure and fell into the water, drowning.

Now I see that the high moral standards we underlings were supposed to uphold were completely tossed out the window by Ms. Rand and Mr. Branden. Barbara Brandon's book also reported that Ms.
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