We the Living (1942)

Not Rated   |    |  Adventure, Drama, Romance


We the Living (1942) Poster

The time is the Russian Revolution. The place is a country burdened with fear - the midnight knock at the door, the bread hidden against famine, the haunted eyes of the fleeing, the ... See full summary »


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7 April 2003 | occupant-1
10
| ...or "We The Living" (1942)
This entry refers to the Italian title for the Goffredo Allesandrini wartime production of Rand's 1936 autobiographical novel "We The Living". Released in Fascist Italy, it was banned after a five-month run when authorities discovered that the anticollectivist statements by several characters applied as much to fascism as to the communism in Russia to which the plot specifically referred. At least one print was discovered in Italy in the 1960's and in 1986 the film was rereleased with English subtitles under the English title.

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The films We the Living (1942) and Addio Kira! (1942) were produced in 1942 in Italy ("Addio Kira" is part two of the story that begins in "Noi Vivi"). The films were made without the authorization, input, involvement, or, in fact, knowledge, of Ayn Rand author of the underlying work, "We The Living". Because of the war and the fact that Rand was an American, the producers, Scalera Films, made no attempt to secure the underlying literary rights. In these films, the original story was severely corrupted due to addition of several gratuitous propaganda scenes ordered by the fascist party (they controlled all filmmaking in Italy at that time). After the war, Scalera attempted to get the underlying rights from Rand and was refused. Because of this "Noi Vivi" and "Addio Kira" were not and cannot be legally distributed (Rand eventually received wartime reparations from the government of Italy for the theft of her property). Many years later, the negatives of the two existing films were purchased by American filmmakers. Rand granted literary rights and authorized a new film version of "We The Living" to be created out the films on the condition that several significant changes were made. Most importantly, she wanted the propaganda scenes removed and the story to be told in a single film. Because of this, "We The Living", released in 1986, is significantly different from the two unauthorized films. The offending scenes and several subplots of the story have been removed. Running time is now a full hour less than the total of the two films.

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Adventure | Drama | Romance | War

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