Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I Had No Idea

File this under the, "Well, what do you know!" category:

I ran into this bit of interesting history while reading a New York Times article about Ayn Rand. Never having been a big reader of/about Rand, I did not know that at one time she was a scriptwriter in Hollywood:

"She was born in 1905 in Russia. Her life changed overnight when the Bolsheviks broke into her father’s pharmacy and declared his livelihood the property of the state. She fled the Soviet Union in 1926 and arrived later that year in Hollywood, where she peered through a gate at the set where the director Cecil B. DeMille was filming a silent movie, “King of Kings.”

He offered her a ride to the set, then a job as an extra on the film and later a position as a junior screenwriter. She sold several screenplays and intermittently wrote novels that were commercial failures, until 1943, when fans of “The Fountainhead” began a word-of-mouth campaign that helped sales immensely. "


Blogger Unknown said...

If Ayn Rand was criticized for writing unrealistic plot lines and one-dimensional characters in her novels, she likely took inspiration from her background: Rand spent her early years in America as a Hollywood screenwriter. In a fortuitous bit of timing, the Russian émigré met director Cecil B. DeMille two days after arriving in Los Angeles, in 1926, and was soon on the set of his biblical epic, “King of Kings.” DeMille hired Rand as a junior screenwriter, and she was paid $25 a week to work on scripts like “His Dog,”a iece of studio fluff about an ex-con reformed through love for his pooch. pediatra medico doctorRand would leave Hollywood after a few years for New York and return years later, triumphant, the toast of the town after the publication of “The Fountainhead,” which was made into a movie in 1949 starring Gary Cooper. Anne C. Heller, author of a critically-acclaimed new biography of Rand called “Ayn Rand and the World She Made,” dropped by the Journal’s offices to discuss Rand’s Hollywood years. Her novella Anthem was written during a break from the writing of her next major novel, The Fountainhead. It presents a vision of a dystopian future world in which totalitarian collectivism has triumphed to such an extent that even the word 'I' has been forgotten and replaced with 'we'.[47] It was published in England in 1938, but Rand initially could not find an American publisher. As with We the Living, Rand's later success allowed her to get a revised version published in 1946, which has sold more than 3.5 million copies.[

July 2, 2016 at 12:29 PM  

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