7 Responses to The Heart Is A Milkman

  1. Randall McElroy III October 18, 2007 at 4:23 pm #

    Argentina has almost no mestizos.

  2. Aeon J. Skoble October 19, 2007 at 8:45 am #

    Could be ok, I suppose. I have real doubts about distilling a novel that long into 2.5 hours. But some of what that fellow says makes sense, if handled right. I was relieved by one of the updates in which it’s clarified that it will take place in the 40s. There’s no plausible way to update it and also have it be about railroads and smelting, with everyone smoking. Let it be a period piece. Speaking of period pieces, when is We the Living going to be released on DVD??

  3. Bob Kaercher October 19, 2007 at 9:07 am #

    Wait…”We the Living” was made into a movie? Man, I like that book so much more than “Atlas Shrugged”….

  4. Aeon J. Skoble October 19, 2007 at 9:53 am #

    Oh, yes. And it’s excellent. It was made in the 30s, ironically in Fascist Italy, where the censors didn’t get it. It’s available on VHS, but not DVD.

  5. Administrator October 19, 2007 at 11:57 am #


    And Gary Cooper doesn’t have red hair.


    I agree. At one time there was talk of setting it in the present or near future and switching Taggart Transcontinental from a railroad to an airline. I think that would have been disastrous; the plot requires Taggart Transcontinental to be the nation’s primary means of shipping food, ore, etc., which wouldn’t work for an airline. Plus it has to take place in the 20th century (the 20th Century Motor Company is supposed to be a metaphor for the century in which the action takes place). “Alternate history” is the only way to do it.

    Re the We the Living DVD, I once wrote the people who produce the VHS tape to ask about it, and they said a DVD is planned “eventually.” But I notice that their website is not currently operative.


    There are five movies either based on Rand books (B) or with scripts by Rand (S):

    We the Living (B)
    The Fountainhead (B & S)
    Love Letters (S)
    You Came Along (S)
    Night of January 16th (B)

    It’s widely held, and I agree, that We the Living is the best of these. Kira is played by Alida Valli (who later in Hollywood became known simply as Valli — in The Third Man for example). Fosco Giachetti is just amazing as Andrei.

    The Fountainhead is a very mixed bag — sometimes hauntingly perfect, sometimes unbearably ludicrous. The script is too compressed, making especially the first five minutes rather confusing — and combining a male lead who underacts with a female lead who overacts throws things off-balance. I thought Massey did a good job as Wynand, and the movie does at least strive to capture the stylised feel of Rand’s universe.

    You Came Along is rather sappy; Rand only revised someone else’s script, adding a few Randian touches; the heroine seems appropriately Randian, but the hero not at all.

    Despite its flaws, I’m very fond of Love Letters, which I think is her best screenplay qua screenplay (and much better than the book, variously titled The Love Letters and Pity My Simplicity, which she adapted). The Randianism is subdued but not sunk; the pacing works better than The Fountainhead; and Joseph Cotten is perfect. The feel is almost more Patersonian than Randian, and Rand does drop an implied reference to Paterson into the script.

    I haven’t seen Night of January 16th but everyone who has says it’s a disaster with little relation to the original.

    Rand also wrote two screenplays which were never filmed: Top Secret (about the Manhattan Project) and Red Pawn (a love triangle set in a Soviet prison). These have never been published either, though her extensive notes for both have been.

  6. Bob Kaercher October 19, 2007 at 5:30 pm #

    Thanks for the tips!

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