Last Chance to Shrug

Attention objectivists, Randians, and lovers of cinema. This could be your final weekend to see Atlas Shrugged: Part I on the big screen. So hop to it! It's a thrilling tale of steel production and ungrateful relatives. Oh, don't believe me? Check out this clip, featuring the greatest dramatic tension this side of Dog Day Afternoon:


Henry Reardon passes through the gate at his home (Robber Baron Mansion). Inside his house, his family (Mother Reardon, Lillian Reardon, Phillip Reardon) entertains his guest (Paul Larkin). Henry enters his parlor (the parlor). Their idle chatter stops as they notice his presence.

Mother: Well, look who's finally home. Henry, Paul's been waiting here for hours.

Paul: Hello Henry.

Henry: Hey Paul. I know. I'm Late.

Mother: Could have called.

Lillian: Henry, do you mind holding the tenth of December open for me?

Lillian pours Henry a glass of his whiskey and brings it to him.

Henry: That's three months away; I don’t know what I'm doing next week. We started a major new pour today.

Lillian: It's our wedding anniversary, Henry. December 10th.

Mother: Henry isn't interested in anything that doesn’t tie in to his work.

Lillian: I know you're very busy but I would very much like for you to be there.

Henry: Of course, Lillian, I'll be there.

Lillian: Thank you dear. I want it to be special. Everyone will be there.

Mother: Have you had any dinner, Henry?

Henry: No. I was busy working. I'm not hungry anyway.

Phillip: That's the trouble with you, you work too hard.

Henry takes a jewelry box from his coat pocket and hands it to Lillian.

Lillian: (greedily) Oooh, what is this?

Henry: I had it made. From the first pour of Reardon metal.

Lillian opens the box, appears disappointed. She pulls out a bracelet that in no way resembles a railroad spike. She holds it gingerly between her fingers, as if it is made of dogshit.

Lillian: You're giving me a railroad spike? (Sighs) It's wonderful. It is. It's... It's original. I'll be ... the toast of the town wearing a piece of the same metal used to build railroads and bridges and sewer pipes and oil tanks and...

Phillip: You are so selfish, Henry.

Lillian: No, Phillip, it is not the gift, it is the intention.

Mother: The intention's pure selfishness, it seems to me. I mean, another man would have given his wife a diamond bracelet if he wanted to give her a gift. For her pleasure not his.

Lillian: No, a chain is appropriate. I think it's the chain by which he hold us all in bondage.

Henry sighs and turns away.

Lillian: Henry's poured his metal today and I have the first trophy. It's sweet.

Phillip: It's pathetic, Lil.

A servant interrupts, bringing refreshments. Henry takes a seat in his office. Phillips follows. The two exchange hellos.

Henry: What are you doing with yourself these days?

Phillip: I'm working for Friends of Global Awareness.

Henry: I know them. What do you want?

Phillip: Money. Doesn't everyone?

Henry: Call my office first thing in the morning I'll authorize a hundred grand for you.

Phillip: You really don't care about helping the underprivileged, do you?

Henry: No, Phillip, I don't. But it'll make you happy.

Phillip: It's not for me, Hank. It's for the benefit of the less privileged. You think I can have the money wired to my account?

Henry: A wire? Why?

Phillip: The thing is, it's a progressive group, they wouldn't appreciate your name on a check.

Henry: You're kidding me.

Phillip: No, it would embarrass us to have you on a list of our contributors.

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