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Rand Excerpt: About Her Movie Love Letters

Rand wrote the screenplay for the 1945 movie Love Letters, based on a novel by Christopher Massie. The following excerpt is from a letter to her acquaintance Gerald Loeb, dated August 21, 1945, in Letters of Ayn Rand, p. 231:

You want me to explain Love Letters to you. [...] The truth about Love Letters, as I see it, is this: it is essentially a very silly and meaningless story -- by the mere fact that it revolves around so unnatural a thing as somebody's amnesia. No, it has no moral lesson to teach, nor any kind of lesson whatever. So, if you look at it from the standpoint of content -- it has none. But it has one valuable point as a story -- a dramatic situation involving a conflict. This permits the creation of suspense. If the basic premise -- amnesia -- doesn't interest you, then of course the rest of the story won't interest you. A basic premise in a story is always like an axiom -- you take it or you don't. If you accept the premise, the rest will hold your interest. as for me, I accept the premise out of sheer curiosity -- nothing more deep or important than that. That is, granting such a setup -- let's see what can be made of it. My only interest in that picture was purely technical -- how to create a good construction that would be dramatic and suspenseful, out of practically nothing. The novel on which the picture was based was a holy mess. Whatever story interest and unity it has, I had to invent. But we picked this particular novel because it had elements of a possible situation. That is very rare in picture stories.

Omissions from the text are shown with bracketed ellipses. All other punctuation and spelling is from the original.

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