Katie Morosky is a serious politically minded student radical in the 1930s who falls for her complete opposite, the carefree and handsome big man on campus Hubbell Gardiner. Although they are attracted to each other from the beginning, nothing happens between the two until they meet up years later during World War II and begin a romance. While Katie encourages Hubbell to become a serious novelist, he is content to move to Hollywood and write for the movies--a pursuit she finds shallow. Hubbell, meanwhile, admires Katie's passion for causes, but grows weary of her do-or-die political activism--something that becomes dangerous for both of them during the dark times of McCarthyism. With conflicts rising to the surface that force them to face their core principles as individuals, it soon becomes clear that love will not be enough to keep them together.
Director: Sydney Pollack
Writer: Arthur Laurents
Producer: Ray Stark
Cinematography: Harry Stradling, Jr.
Art Direction: Stephen Grimes
Editing: Margaret Booth, John F. Burnett
Music Composer: Marvin Hamlisch
Costumes: Dorothy Jeakins, Moss Mabry
Cast: Barbra Streisand (Katie Morosky), Robert Redford (Hubbell Gardiner), Bradford Dillman (J.J.), Lois Chiles (Carol Ann), Patrick O'Neal (George Bissinger), Viveca Lindfors (Paula Reisner), Allyn Ann McLerie (Rhea Edwards), Murray Hamilton (Brooks Carpenter), Herb Edelman (Bill Verso), Diana Ewing (Vicki Bissinger), Sally Kirkland (Pony Dunbar), Marcia Mae Jones (Peggy Vanderbilt).
C-119m. Letterboxed. Closed Captioning.
Why THE WAY WE WERE is Essential
The Way We Were
was a smash hit when it was released in 1973 and has endured over the years as one of the great love stories in cinema. It was nominated for six Academy Awards, and took home two: Best Original Song ("The Way We Were") and Best Original Score.
The film was the first and only time that Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand, two of the world's biggest movie stars at the time, ever appeared in a film together. The on-screen coupling of such opposite and dynamic talents caused quite a stir and captured the imagination of the movie-going public. Their chemistry was such that even to this day more than thirty years later people regularly still ask them if they will ever work together again.
The Way We Were
was one of the first mainstream films to tackle the hovering dark cloud in Hollywood's history: McCarthyism and the blacklist. This ugly period during the 1940s in which Communist witch hunts seriously damaged the careers and lives of many professionals in the entertainment industry provided a hard-hitting political backdrop for the touching love story of Katie and Hubbell. Although the McCarthy period wasn't that far in the past at the time, the film helped educate a new generation about Hollywood's darkest period.
Actor Robert Redford was already a movie star when he made The Way We Were
, but the film's success solidified him as the world's leading male sex symbol of his era. It took him to a new level of fame that secured his place as an enduring Hollywood icon.
The title theme song to The Way We Were
was a gigantic success just like the film and became an institution unto itself. With music by Marvin Hamlisch and lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman and sung by star Barbra Streisand, "The Way We Were" provided the perfect heartbreaking punctuation to the film's love story. It became Streisand's first number one single as well as one of her signature numbers and later won the Academy Award for Best Original Song. It has been covered by innumerable singers and musicians over the years and has remained one of the most recognizable songs in the world.
The Way We Were
became one of Columbia Pictures' top grossing films of all time and was subsequently credited as having almost single-handedly rescued the troubled and financially strapped studio from disaster.
by Andrea Passafiume