News and Events

"We the Living" film to be re-released in theaters

After a 15-year absence from the big screen, Ayn Rand’s film classic, We The Living, will return to the theaters on December 3rd at in Los Angeles. Producer and film distributor Duncan Scott—who worked with Rand and her associates Erika and Henry Mark Holzer to restore the film—has announced that this showing will be the first of a series of theatrical showings nationally throughout the fall of 2003 and the spring of 2004. (The film is also slated to run in San Francisco at the Castro Theater on March 3 and 4, 2004.)

The Atlas Society is pleased to reprint the following excerpts from Duncan Scott’s announcement and news release:

“I’m delighted to invite you to the premiere screening of this new release. It will be in Los Angeles, on Wednesday evening, December 3rd at 7:30pm at the beautiful Egyptian Theatre, a Hollywood landmark. If you haven’t yet seen this wonderful film on the big screen, you don’t want to miss this event. It will be the first time the film has been shown to the public in 15 years.

“Years ago, as many of you know, I worked with Ayn Rand, Hank Holzer and Erika Holzer to restore this film. I now distribute the film and I will be talking about the creative work with Miss Rand in my introduction to the film’s screening at the Egyptian…

“As those of you who have seen the film can attest, We The Living is a powerful and moving experience, with an exquisite, searing portrayal of Kira by Alida Valli. All in all, an unforgettable adaptation of Ayn Rand’s most personal novel. The Egyptian Theatre, built in 1922, was the birthplace of the glamorous Hollywood premiere, and features a grand entrance in the style of an Egyptian temple.

“So mark your calendar now.”

We The Living
Wednesday, 12/3/03 at 7:30pm
The Egyptian Theatre
6712 Hollywood Blvd. (East of Highland Ave.)
Hollywood, CA 90028

Tickets: $9.00, purchase at the box office
Parking: Several area parking lots. For details, visit:

More information from the official press release:

We The Living’s re-release kicks off in style with the American Cinematheque hosting the premiere screening at the 600 seat Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles on Wednesday, December 3, 2003. “We’re really thrilled,” said Scott. “The American Cinematheque is one of the country’s most renowned venues for classic films.” Scott will introduce the film and participate in a Q & A session with the audience following the screening. He will talk about the creative sessions with Ayn Rand during the movie’s restoration.

Following the Los Angeles event, We The Living will be shown in New York City, San Francisco, Chicago and as many as forty other U.S. and Canadian cities. Dates for future screenings will be announced in November and will be available at the distributor’s web site:

We The Living features a luminous performance by Italian screen legend Alida Valli (The Third Man, Senso), and an important early-career dramatic role for Rossano Brazzi (South Pacific, Three Coins in The Fountain, The Barefoot Contessa). The film was directed by Goffredo Alessandrini, based on the novel by Ayn Rand…

Film buffs have long been fascinated by the contentious production history of We The Living. Produced in Italy during World War II, the story was considered a political hot potato and, ironically, was only approved for filming through the personal intervention of the son of dictator, Benito Mussolini, a film executive who was attracted to the love triangle aspect of the story. Rand was never notified and never authorized the filming of her novel. As the film was being shot, the studio executives hid controversial scenes from the fascist authorities who were closely monitoring the production.

When We The Living opened in Rome in 1942, the film’s story of three young people (a communist, an aristocrat, and a headstrong young woman) defying the authority of the state galvanized audiences in fascist-controlled Italy. Also, the portrayal of an independent, intelligent, sexually unchaste heroine was extraordinary for its time. In an interview many years later, Rossano Brazzi described the impact of the movie on Italian audiences as comparable to that of Gone With The Wind in the U.S.A.

Italian moviegoers, seeing the parallels between the plight of the film’s characters and their own oppressed and impoverished existence, interpreted the film as a clever indictment of the Mussolini regime. In short order, the Italian government banned We The Living and ordered the film destroyed. But the original negatives were secretly preserved and, almost three decades later, were rediscovered by Henry Mark Holzer and Erika Holzer and brought to the U.S. Rand, working with Scott and the Holzers, supervised the restoration and re-editing of the film, but she died in 1982, never having seen the final version of We The Living.

The restored film opened to rave reviews in 1987. New York Newsday said, “We The Living qualifies in every respect as film treasure.” Film critic Michael Medved called it “An amazing piece of cinema. I loved every minute of it.” The New York Times called it “An ambitious and ingenious film.”

For further information, contact:

Duncan Scott
Duncan Scott Productions, Inc.
17010 Sunset Blvd.
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
Phone: 310 454-9460

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