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The Way We Were

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The Way We Were is a 1973 American romantic drama film, starring Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford, and directed by Sydney Pollack. The screenplay by Arthur Laurents was based on his college days at Cornell University and his experiences with the House Un-American Activities Committee.


A box office success, the film was nominated for several awards and won the Academy Award for Best Original Dramatic Score and Best Original Song for "The Way We Were". Thesoundtrack recording charted for 23 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 and eventually sold in excess of one million copies.Edit

PlotEdit

Told in flashback, it is the story of Katie Morosky and Hubbell Gardiner, who meet at college in the 1930s.

Their differences are immense: she is a stridently vocal Marxist Jew with strong anti-war opinions, and he is a carefree WASP with no particular political bent. She is drawn to him because of his boyish good looks and his natural writing skill, which she finds captivating, although he doesn't work very hard at it. He is intrigued by her conviction and her determination to persuade others to take up social causes. They meet, romantically, for the first time on the night that the Duke of Windsor marries Mrs. Simpson.

The two meet again at the end of World War II. Katie is working at a radio station, and Hubbell, having served as a naval officer in the South Pacific, is trying to return to civilian life. They fall in love and marry despite the differences in their background and temperament.

Soon, however, Katie is incensed by the cynical jokes Hubbell's friends make and is unable to understand his acceptance of their insensitivity and shallow dismissal of political engagement. At the same time, his serenity is disturbed by her lack of social graces and her polarizing postures.

When Hubbell seeks a job as a Hollywood screenwriter, Katie believes he's wasting his talent and encourages him to pursue writing as a serious challenge instead. Despite her growing frustration, they move to California, where he becomes a successful albeit desultory screenwriter, and the couple enjoy an affluent lifestyle. As the Hollywood blacklist grows andMcCarthyism begins to encroach on their lives, Katie's political activism resurfaces, jeopardizing Hubbell's position and reputation.

Alienated by Katie's persistent abrasiveness, Hubbell has an affair with Carol Ann, his college girlfriend and the ex-wife of his best friend J.J., even though Katie is pregnant. Katie and Hubbell decide to part when she finally understands he is not the man she idealized when she fell in love with him and will always choose the easiest way out, whether it is cheating in his marriage or writing predictable stories for sitcoms. Hubbell, on the other hand, is exhausted, unable to live on the pedestal Katie erected for him and face her disappointment in his decision to compromise his potential.

In the film's final scene, Katie and Hubbell meet by chance some years after their divorce, in front of the Plaza Hotel in New York City. Hubbell, who is with a stylish beauty and apparently content, is now writing for a popular sitcom as one of a group of nameless writers. Katie has remained faithful to who she is: flyers in hand, she is agitating for the newest political causes.

Katie, now re-married, invites Hubbell to come for a drink with his lady friend, but he confesses he can't. Katie's response acknowledges what they both finally understand: Hubbell was at his best when he was with her, and no one will ever believe in him or see as much promise in him as she once did. Their past is behind them; all the two share now (besides their daughter, whom they name Rachel) is a memory of the way they were.


CastEdit

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