Saturday, March 28, 2009

The Way We Were (1973) [PG] ****

It's 1937, and Katie Morosky, Hubbell Gardiner and J.J. are all seniors at an Ivy League college where they face an uncertain future in Depression-torn America. And, if that weren't enough, there's civil war in Spain and the threat of war in Europe. Katie Morosky (Barbra Streisand) is a Jewish political activist, a serious, no-nonsense communist sympathizer who organizes strikes and peace rallies. Hubbell Gardner (Robert Redford) is a handsome blond golden boy, a budding writer who's in college on a track and field athletic scholarship, and for whom everything in life comes too easily. When WWII breaks out Hubbell and J.J. (Bradford Dillman) become naval officers while Katie works in the office of war information.

Seven years pass, and by chance, Katie and Hubbell meet in New York City. Although they are totally different in personality, social and political values and religious background, somehow opposites attract and several years later they find themselves married, and still later they move to Hollywood where Hubbell turns his first novel into a screenplay. But the House Un-American Activities Committee and the resulting Hollywood blacklist threaten their marriage.

Directed by Sydney Pollack, this is a sweeping romantic drama produced in the Hollywood style, and with the production values, of The Electric Horseman and Out of Africa, both also directed by Pollack and starring Redford. Created when Redford and Streisand were at the height of their box office popularity, while The Way We Were presents some of the major issues of the period, the characters appear to glide through life, rather than having their life trajectories altered by external events. In that sense the film can be viewed as a star vehicle for Redford and Streisand. The film received Oscars for Best Song and Best Original Score.

The supporting cast includes Lois Chiles (as Carol Ann), Patrick O'Neal (as George Bissinger) and Viveca Lindfors (as Paula Reisner). 

Labels: college, drama, Fifties, filmmaking, romance, war, WWII

Internet Movie Database
RottenTomatoes Averages (critics=60, viewers=74)
Barbra Streisand - The Way We Were

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