Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Way We Were Revisited

It's been thirty seven years since Robert Redford and Barbra Streisand made movie magic in the love story The Way We Were (1973) and this Tuesday, Oprah scores a coup with a reunion show.

For those of you who are a) straight and male and/or hate love stories, b) too young and never got around to seeing, or c) living in a cave, The Way We Were is the story of star crossed lovers who meet in college and fall in love years later and their differences drive them apart. Redford plays Hubbell Gardner, a Waspy jock and Streisand as Katie Morosky, a Jewish political activist and the couple eventually prove that love can't conquer all. New York, Hollywood and Malibu in the forties never looked better and that goes for Streisand and her ironed hair as well (perhaps her most glamorous role to date).

Sydney Pollack directed the film (he later teamed with Redford on Out of Africa) and rumor has it, the golden one had to be literally coaxed into doing the role (Warren Beatty and Ryan O'Neal were also considered). The film is based on Arthur Laurent's book which I highly recommend as well. 

On location in Central Park...

...and in Malibu

Pollack with Streisand and Redford

A on-again-off-again sequel was in the works for decades but Redford could never come to terms with the story or script. Apparently "The Way We Were II" would pick up in the sixties, and the pair would come back together to deal with their radical daughter who protests the Vietnam War. Some things are best left alone and what are the chances magic can happen twice?

The film has become a camp classic and you would be hard pressed to find fans who cannot come up with at least a line or two of the dialogue or a favorite scene. (And since you didn't ask mine would be Redford and Bradford Dillman sailing - "Best Saturday Afternoon").  Sex and the City even paid homage when Carrie told Mr. Big goodbye at the Plaza Hotel. And if you've seen the film you know what I am talking about.

"Your girl is lovely Hubbell"

The Way We Were garnered six Academy Award nominations (Best Actress, Costume, Art Direction and Cinematography) and won two for Best Song and Original Score. Rent the movie, download the score and set your Tivo.

Photo Credits: Columbia Pictures


  1. Oh...I love this movie so much. There are many lines in it I love beginning with

    "In a way he was like the country he lived in everything came to easily to him. But at least he knew it."

    but my most favorite is right there with your's on the boat.

    "Best Year?" 55,56, no 57...I can't remember the actual years....I need to watch the movie again.

    The first time I saw this movie, I was a teenage and just cried and cried and didn't understand why they couldn't just be together.

    Then later as an adult watching it and after being through a few relationships....I understood and cried even sad....they loved each other but could not be together. It was doomed from the very start.

    I am looking forward to the Oprah show. I don't usually, make sure I see Oprah...but I don't want to miss this one.

  2. One of my favorites.. Saw it on my first wedding anniverary, 1974.

  3. Thanks for this trip to the '70's, when I started my passion with movies.

    I remember seeing "The Way We Were" in its first run...I have watched it several times since. It has improved with age.

    I still don't know if I find the leads believable as a romantic couple, but the scene where she first cooks him dinner was emotionally true, and looked gorgeous.

    Funny but I also remember loving the sailing scene, too. The music was all over the airwaves. That was also the year of "The Sting", so Marvin Hamlisch snagged 3 Oscars that year!

  4. It is one of those films that hits people on so many levels. And I think the first quote you noted was from the book in the movie "A Country Made of Ice Cream"?

  5. A great classic...They both looked so wonderful and their relationship struck a chord with so many of us. I must re-watch this and see if I enjoy it as much now as I did....I suspect I will ...if for no other reason than nostalgia...xv

  6. Because my world has always revolved around powerful music, this film became a favorite. Thanks Marvin Hamlisch. With movies, in my opinion, it's a chicken or egg thing... film vs music. Does one make the other better? This film had both sides; the beauty of one couldn't exist without the passion of the other. To this day, the score/song will make me cry. The movie will make me smile. Thanks Cathy, for reminding me of a time my then husband and I really shared a good film experience. Did I mention we would always sing the song to each other? I was/am no Streisand as a singer but he always loved to hear me try.

  7. I have been listening to the soundtrack now for three decades and one of the rare instances where the movie is as good as the music.

  8. The costumes in this are some of my favourite! I love the film, my mum introduced it to me and I ended up pinching her dvd.. perhaps I should give it back!

  9. He's so sexy!

    If you have some time, please go take a look at my new post today. Thank you!

    Luciane at