Atlas Shrugged Part III: Who Is John Galt?

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Atlas Shrugged Part III: Who Is John Galt?
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJ. James Manera
Screenplay byJ. James Manera
Harmon Kaslow
John Aglialoro
Based onAtlas Shrugged
by Ayn Rand
Produced byHarmon Kaslow
John Aglialoro
StarringKristoffer Polaha
Laura Regan
Greg Germann
Eric Allan Kramer
Tony Denison
Mark Moses
Lew Temple
Stephen Tobolowsky
Peter Mackenzie
Larry Cedar
Louis Herthum
Neil Dickson
Rob Morrow
Joaquim de Almeida
CinematographyGale Tattersall
Edited byTony Ciccone
Music byElia Cmiral
Distributed byAtlas Distribution Company
Release date
  • September 12, 2014 (2014-09-12)[1]
Running time
99 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
Budget$5 million[3]
Box office$851,690[3]

Atlas Shrugged Part III: Who Is John Galt? is a 2014 American science fiction-drama film based on the philosopher Ayn Rand's 1957 novel Atlas Shrugged. It is the third installment in the Atlas Shrugged film series and the sequel to the 2012 film Atlas Shrugged: Part II, continuing the story where its predecessor left off. The release, originally set for July 4,[4] occurred on September 12, 2014.[1] The film used a completely different cast and crew from the second film,[5] which itself used a completely different cast from the first film. Directed by J. James Manera, it stars Laura Regan, Kristoffer Polaha, and Joaquim de Almeida.


The owner of the 20th-century Motor Company has died and his children have taken over, with a new plan to operate the company: that everyone work as hard as he can, but that salaries be "based on need". A lab engineer named John Galt objects and announces, "I'll stop the motor of the world."

Twelve years later, the economy of the United States spirals downward. Shortages have grounded airlines and returned the railroads to dominance; over-regulation has led to financial disaster. Galt seems to be behind the disappearances of corporate executives and other experts. The latest disappearance is that of Dagny Taggart, the executive officer of the largest railroad company, Taggart Transcontinental. She had chased Galt in a private plane and crashed hers.

Dagny has reached Galt's Gulch, and Galt himself rescues her from the crashed plane. She meets several "disappeared" achievers, such as banker Midas Mulligan, who say they quit after coming to believe that government was enslaving them. On the outside, the government develops a classified new weapon called "Project F" and nationalizes the railroads, including Taggart Transcontinental.

The public grows increasingly frustrated with the central planning, comes to view Galt as the solution, and holds rallies calling for him to reform the government. Thompson, the Head of State,[6] offers Galt a job in the government, but Galt rebuffs the offer. Later, the government tortures Galt using the power of "Project F". However, others from the Gulch arrive to free him and they escape back to their refuge as the power grid around New York City begins to collapse.




In an interview with Bill Frezza of Forbes, the producer John Aglialoro mentioned that the film would include a short dialogue between the heroine Dagny Taggart and a priest, a character which he said Rand struggled with and ultimately cut out of the original book.[8] This scene did not appear in the final cut.

A month prior to the release of Part I, Aglialoro suggested that Part III might be made into a musical.[9] In 2013 he promised to create "something closer to the book", and predicted that critics would pan the film.[10] In a YouTube promotional piece where organizers discussed the film, he asserted that it was vital for the team to have a director who is professional, collaborative, and knows Rand's work: "I don't care if I've got to fire five directors — that's fine. We're going to get it right."[11]

The film was directed by J. James Manera, whose experience included directing a documentary in 2010 and a 1996 episode of the television show Nash Bridges.[12] The cinematographer was Gale Tattersall.


David Kelley, founder of The Atlas Society and an expert on the philosophical themes of Atlas Shrugged, consulted on the script, as he did for Parts I and II.[13]


As with the second part, a new set of actors was cast to play the major characters.[14] Former Congressman and Presidential candidate Ron Paul, and network commentators Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity, played themselves giving responses to John Galt's speech.[15]


The trade press reported that filming began in January 2014,[1] after the film posted on Facebook that its target start date was Autumn 2013.[16] The budget was partially funded by a Kickstarter campaign that raised $446,907 against a goal of $250,000.[17]



A sneak preview was shown at the Anthem Film Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada in July 2014.[18]

Box office[edit]

The film opened on September 12, 2014 on 242 screens and grossed $461,179 during its opening weekend.[19] Total gross was $851,690 against a budget of $5,000,000.[3]


The film was universally panned, holding a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 10 reviews for an average rating of 1.4/10.[20] On Metacritic, the film has a 9/100 rating based on 7 critics, indicating "overwhelming dislike".[21] Alan Scherstuhl of The Village Voice wrote: "Rand's parable is meant to showcase just how much our world needs the best of us, but this adaptation only does so accidentally – by revealing what movies would be like if none of the best of us worked on them."[22]

Writing for The Austin Chronicle, Louis Black said: "In 1949, when Warner Bros. filmed The Fountainhead, Rand threatened to burn down the studio if they compromised her novel. I'd like to think that if she were alive she'd be looking for lighter fluid for this one."[5]

Atlas Shrugged: Part III was nominated for Worst Prequel, Remake, Rip-off or Sequel at the 35th Golden Raspberry Awards.[23]


  1. ^ a b c d Bond, Paul (January 22, 2014). "'Atlas Shrugged: Who Is John Galt?' Starts Production With New Cast (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 3, 2014.
  2. ^ Todd McCarthy (September 12, 2014). "'Atlas Shrugged Part III: Who Is John Galt': Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved February 15, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c "Atlas Shrugged Part III: Who is John Galt?". The Numbers. Retrieved October 19, 2014.
  4. ^ Frezza, Bill. "Atlas Shrugged Producer Shares Insights And A Surprise That Awaits In Atlas III". Forbes. Retrieved August 12, 2017.
  5. ^ a b Black, Louis. "Atlas Shrugged: Who Is John Galt?". Austin Chronicle. Retrieved August 12, 2017.
  6. ^ Rand deliberately avoided referring to the American "president" so that her novel would not be taken as commentary on specific presidents.
  7. ^ "Larry Cedar - Atlas Shrugged The Movie, opens September... - Facebook". Retrieved February 15, 2015.
  8. ^ Frezza, Bill (February 6, 2013). "Atlas Shrugged Producer Shares Insights And A Surprise That Awaits In Atlas III". Forbes. Retrieved February 15, 2013.
  9. ^ "Atlas Frugged? Producer of Atlas Shrugged Hints Part 3 Could be a Musical…". Reason. March 3, 2011. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  10. ^ "Ayn Rand's 'Atlas' shrugs for third time". Politico. March 12, 2013. Retrieved March 17, 2013.
  11. ^ "YouTube promo". March 26, 2013. Retrieved June 6, 2013.
  12. ^ "James Manera - IMDb". Retrieved February 14, 2014.
  13. ^ "Atlas Shrugged Part 3 Greenlit; Photography Begins Fall 2013". The Atlas Society. March 26, 2013. Archived from the original on October 26, 2015. Retrieved October 21, 2016.
  14. ^ "Atlas Shrugged III: Who is John Galt". IMDB. September 12, 2014. Retrieved September 18, 2014.
  15. ^ VanDerWerff, Emily (June 19, 2014). "Conclusion of Atlas Shrugged trilogy pulls out the big guns, casts Ron Paul". The A.V. Club. Retrieved October 6, 2019.
  16. ^ "Atlas Shrugged Part 3 Heads Into Production (Press Release)". Los Angeles, CA: PRWeb. March 26, 2013. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
  17. ^ DeSapio, Scott. "ATLAS SHRUGGED Movie "Who Is John Galt?"". Kickstarter. Kickstarter, Inc. Retrieved May 20, 2014.
  18. ^ "2014 Award Winners". Anthem Film Festival. Retrieved June 27, 2021.
  19. ^ "Atlas Shrugged Part III: Who is John Galt?". Movie Mojo. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
  20. ^ "Atlas Shrugged: Who is John Galt - Rotten Tomatoes". Retrieved September 24, 2014.
  21. ^ "Atlas Shrugged: Part III - Who Is John Galt?". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved September 24, 2014.
  22. ^ "Atlas Shrugged: Who is John Galt? Has the Year's Funniest Sex Scene". September 15, 2014.
  23. ^ "The 35th Annual Golden Raspberry (RAZZIE®) Awards Nominees for Worst Remake, Rip-Off or Sequel 2014". Retrieved February 10, 2015.

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