Aug 24, 2009
Love Letters

Ayn Rand, of Atlas Shrugged and The Fontainhead, did the screenplay for this one. While Dalton Trumbo was, and remained, an unrepentant Communist, Ayn Rand was, and remained, an unrepentant Capitalist. Her economic philosophy is not on display here, and she does not preach an atheist agenda, in fact she even has a non-hostile portrait of an Anglican bishop here. What is on display is her sense of values, and her insistence on integrity and truth.

Joseph Cotten, shown above with Jennifer Jones, plays a British officer who helps another soldier write love letters to a girl back home. In the process he falls in love with the girl, Victoria, himself. He’s wounded, and sent back home. The other soldier had married the girl and been killed in what at first is described as an accident, and then as a murder.

The film has more of a resemblance to The Fountainhead than to Atlas Shrugged. The characters of Allen Quinton and Roger Morland matchup as follows:

Allen Quinton = Howard Roark
Roger Morland = Peter Keating

Rand’s philosophy holds that you cannot get your values second hand, and that passing off someone else’s work, whether in architecture or romance, as your own is bad. This plays out in the course of Love Letters, but, this being Hollywood and the time being 1945, it has a happy resolution for the lovers.

While I can’t recommend all of Rand’s philosophy, she is right on many points, and the film brings out some of the romanticism that she believed in.